Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Vision Raises €6.3M in Series A funding to boost international expansion

Nicola Meneghello, Founder of New Vision
Piazzola sul Brenta,  September 16th, 2014 - Nicola Meneghello, 36 years old, represents a new generation of Italian startupper: it doesn't mimic californians if not in the look (t-shirt and jacket) and does not attempt to replicate, in miniature, what big brothers in places like San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Berlin or London do

It solves problems (a little as the Wolf character in Pulp Fiction, although, fortunately, here it comes to other issues related to the dialogue between cloud platforms). 

When he was young, Nico Meneghello wanted to design bridges. He had entered the Faculty of Construction Engineering of the University of Padua. "I was a boy of the late 70's who grew up with Lego and Playmobil. The idea of ​​building I had always liked." said Menegnello in an interview with Economyup.it. Then, at age 22, after four years of study, he understood that his future was not in construction but in the digital space. It was in 2000 when Meneghello he left Faculty of Engineering, to become an entrepreneur (he was still missing seven exams). Today it can be said to have done well to follow his animal spirits since the in 2000 in Padua founded New Vision has grown to reach 50 employees. 

It is that why probably he convinced  a pool of investors led by Innogest SGR to tip on the development of New Vision, the company that "renders smart" digital contents and simplifies their management, by closing the biggest
round of venture capital round of the year in Italy: €6.3M (approximately $8M) through a share capital increase subscribed by the existing shareholders and Italian major institutional investors specialized in venture capital investment in the digital economy. 

In particular Innogest sgr, which with a total capital under management of over 160 million euro is one of the leading italian Venture Capital funds in the Seed and Early Stage segment, Withfounders, a digital accelerator founded by five entrepreneurs protagonists of the most successful exists of the digital economy in Italy in the last 15 years, and other investors including Centerboard Partners of Pietro Strada, an advisory company based in London specializing in media and ICT, are part of the consortium which has invested €6.3M in the series A round in digital company founded by Nico MeneghelloA remarkable figure. Among the investors there is also Gianfilippo Cuneo, senior partner and chairman of Synergo SGR

At the beginning the idea was to develop digital communication platforms that were beautiful to use, with a great user experience, powerful in terms of technology and able to automate the processes of control over the business activity and to manage the remote communication. At that time, however, the software in the companies were very complex, "says Meneghello, who is now 36 years old. 

In the early years of the life of New VisionMeneghello, with his partner Dario De Agostini and other collaborators, began to win competitions and prizes, and to develop digital communication platforms for major clients. New Vision gave name to the first Italian Rich Internet Application for e-commerce, awarded by the Minister of Development and Innovation Mr. Lucio Stanca, as well as the first Italian social community, recognized as innovative site by Adobe Systems Incorporated. "After a few years we realized that we had accumulated valuable experience and we were ready for a bigger step," recalls the entrepreneur.

Then, in 2010, the intuition: 4ME was born conceptually, the system on which the company has worked a lot. But what is 4me exactly? a revolutionary cloud-based platform to ease the way companies manage, share, target, publish content and measure content usage without file duplication and that can compete with the most advanced solutions on the marketSo companies can measure content, user and customer profiles usage patterns, analyse data and provide realtime update to improve communication targeting across all digital channels. Everything can also be controlled remotely: is like having the office in your pocket. 

It is the platform that enables the governance of the enterprise information system, without losing information and indeed by simplifying its management. An environment where the user is at the center of his whole digital experience and from a single point collaborates, shares, publishes content on the web and social, manages and stores the data, makes remote training, live streaming broadcasts. From all this the user gets constantly statistics and data on the use of the information sent. "He gives the example of a statement, which you want to attach a series of images and video: Normally the material is to be used with different channels; this involves the dispersion of the data. In the 4ME "Folders"  you can hold files among the most diverse, decide who can see or intervene, to know who has changed this and that and so much more. You pay based on usage. "Now - concludes Meneghello - we are implementing the strategy of internationalization; this involves, for example, the simplification of the message, some work on the brand and a recruitment at global level."

The 4ME platform was developed using emerging technologies. The New Vision team worked on it for four years, the company doubled the team - now they are fifty - and opening up the headquarter in Piazzola sul Brenta, in front of Villa Contarini, the largest Venetian villa, renovating a building where there was an old vocational training school. A very special place, where there is an amphitheater that allows the company to do sessions together and bring customers in an environment different from the usual. 

"Now with these resources the company aims to push forward the development of the company from technological point of view, to take on new people who share its same vision and to open some office abroad," says the founder. "Starting probably from London, New Vision wants to create a space that functions as an osmotic membrane to access the talents who speak other languages ​​and come from important experiences around the world.

In the short term, anticipates the founder, a new version of the product will be released, a release that will sign the start of internationalization path of New Vision that aims to become a global leader in the cloud industry. The goal is to achieve, in three years, a turnover of EUR 20 million, with at least five open markets. Goal that may seem out of reach, given that the company currently has a turnover of  EUR 3.5 million and 50 employees. But New Vision has important clients ad to reach its targets it will continue to move as always: by working with head down. The challenge now is to build a global leader.

Innogest SGR 

Innogest SGR is the main operator of the Italian Venture Capital with assets under management of more than EUR 160 million, which invests in highly innovative companies with a high growth profile. Since 2007, the Innogest team  has invested in 20 companies across through its Innogest Capital I (fund size €80 million) and has attracted investments in portfolio companies for more than €120 million. Since 2013 Innogest manages the Innogest Capital II fund, with a focus primarily on opportunities in the digital/ICT and medtech spaces, and IPGEST is a Venture capital fund of about €41 million in size specialized in investing in companies with a strong Intellectual Property position and an ambitious plan to build industrial and commercial value out of such intellectual property.

Centerboard Partners: a corporate finance firm providing privately-held and publicly listed companies with advice on mergers & acquisitions, trade sales and divestitures, capital raisings, capital restructurings and other strategic advisory services. Centerboard's sectors of focus include: information and communication technologies, digital media and medical technologies. In these sectors we have deep knowledge and extensive relationships. The commitment is to support clients with superior service in achieving their strategic objectives and to maximise value for them: we are uncompromisingly dedicated, results- oriented and ethical.

Withfounders is an accelerator founded and operated by successful entrepreneurs and managers who help other entrepreneurs to build companies by providing them with skills, experience, credibility, vision and technological networks. In Italy it has contributed to the emergence of different innovative companies with international ambitions. Among them: Buongiorno, Vitaminic, Saldiprivati​​, Jobrapido, Glamoo, Promoqui, Autoxy, DigiTouch, Seolab, JUSP, Brandon Ferrari.

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