Friday, September 26, 2014

Cynny raises €2.5M in angel funding in just 8 months

Stefano Bargagni the serial entrepreneur who in 1993 founded CHL, the Italian leading company in e-commerce of tangible goods for the end user, and since 2000 listed in the Standard segment of the italian stock exchange, raised €2.5 million  in 2 equal tranches - in just in 8 months for Cynny, the startup he founded in 2013 and that it is launching a mobile application that brings together file-sharing, tagging and social media.

The company structure was enriched with 41 new members, including some foreigners, with an average investment of around €70,ooo each, reaching a total of 60 members. The capital raised so far by Cynny has been allocated almost entirely to research, development and purchase of hardware. In addition to developing the App, Cynny has created a microserver based on ARM technology. This technology is already operational with 3 rack ("cabinets") of 532 microservers each active in Europe and the United States. 
Stefano Bargagni, founder of Cynny, said: "We're riding on a success story. Cynny is shifting away from its purely creative phase to the "production" one.

What is the Cynny app? Cynny is a new platform that allows users to communicate keeping firmly in control of their data. The Cynny App frees the user from any limits of space, type of file and device and gives him/her total control of sharing, storing, enjoying their contents.

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Prestiamoci Raises €450K in Equity Funding from Digital Magics and other Investors

Prestiamoci the only Italian startup having a license, as holding company, released by the Bank of Italy for the management of a online P2P lending platform, has raised €107k as part of a €450k capital increase from Digital Magics, the certified venture incubator of innovative startups listed at the AIM Italia segment of the Italian stock exchange (Borsa Italiana), along with Italian and international investors. Thanks to the Prestiamoci web platform, investors can lend resources to private persons and companies in a very transparent way, with the professional skills in the credit management typic of the banking system. 

Thanks to this funding, Prestiamoci will focus on the growth of the company, launching campaigns as well as marketing  and communication activities to strengthen brand awareness and acquire new lenders and applicants. 

The venture incubator has participated in this operation by investing EUR
107,000 continuing to support the innovative startup with the members of the Board of Prestiamoci and other investors, including both European and American private and institutional operators, experts in the field of P2P lending, and members of the Digital Magics Angel Network, who took part at the previous capital increase in October 2013, when Prestiamoci raised €550k from Digital Magics and a pool of private investors. As of today the total investment made by Digital Magics in Prestiamoci amounts to €297k, while the overall raised funds by Prestiamoci amount to €1M 


The Digital Magics Angel Network is a network of

Friday, September 19, 2014

Oakley Capital Private Equity acquires Majority Stake in Facile.it

Milan, 19 September 2014 - Milan-based price comparison website Facile.it, Italy’s #1 destination for consumers to make informed decisions about their motor insurance, household expenses and personal finance has sold its 75% controlling stake to British investment group Oakley Capital Private Equity

Founded in 2008, with a portfolio of gross written premia of €260m and over 580k clients Facile.it is by far the country’s largest (online and offline) motor insurance broker. Its strong insurance position is increasingly leveraged in other related verticals like ADSL, Gas & Power, Bank Accounts and, from mid-2014, also Cellular contracts. Well-known household brand with 80% (prompted) brand recognition and 20% “top of mind” (twice that of the nearest competitor), with average of 1.4m unique visitors and 2.1m visits per month.

Overall, the valuation of the portal run by a highly experienced management team led by CEO Mauro Giacobbe and managed by Angelica Pelizzari exceeds the 100 million euro. It is a bet that of Oakley on the Italian market, where the price paid is equal to 25 times EBITDA of 2013 (€4.02 million) of Facile.it, and more than three times the consolidated turnover of last year (€30.9 million). But for the fund with British background the acquisition is strategic because it already holds in its portfolio the reference participation in the main German price comparison website, Verivox. Therefore, it opens up for the Italian portal prospects for growth and international development, thanks to the capital of the new reference shareholder, who made ​​its debut as investor in the Italian market.

And to get particular benefit from the sale are Barbara, Eleonora and Luigi Berlusconi who through Holding Italia Quattordicesima, the vehicle that holds the 21.42% of Fininvest, in 2011 invested a few million in Facile.it. At the end of 2013, the participation of 20.39% in the portal was budgeted at a value of €6.37 million. This allows the three children of former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi to cash a robust gain of nearly €14 million, as demonstration of the goodness and foresight and investment. 

The challenge of Oakley, it's all in the potential of Facile.it, that at the end of first half of 2014 saw a 28% jump in overall revenues, with the EBITDA increasing by even 108%. Among other things, the company that owns the portal does not currently have any debt towards the Italian banking system, and has a net cash position of €1.6 million (as at 31 December 2013). Facile.it which employs 126 people expects to achieve over €35m of revenues and over €8m of EBITDA in 2014. 

OCPE will help Facile.it expand its operations and accelerate business development.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Velasca raises €125k in pree-seed funding

Velasca, a Milan, Italy-based handcrafted shoes brand, has raised €125k in pre-seed funding. 

Backers include Boox Srl  and Club Italia Investimenti . The capital will be used to expand the customer base of Velasca in Italy and Europe (Germany and German-speaking countries in particular), to improve the experience of web purchase, and for the development of experimental crowdfunding and product "viral" projects.

Velasca was founded with an ambitious project: to bring the famous Italian manufacturing excellence in the field of luxury shoes to the world at a revolutionary price. Velasca eliminates intermediaries and offers high-quality footwear and accessories Made in Italy at affordable prices by connecting artisans and consumers through the proprietary website http://www.velasca.com/. Design and product quality, along with excellent shopping and post-purchase experience, are the result of the innovative approach of Velasca.

Boox is the Milan-based startup accelerator that combines experience and innovation. Its streamlined and efficient structure - along with the know-how accumulated over 20 years in business - gives continuous support to the new generation of entrepreneurs who work on the creation of digital companies. Boox mentors and advisors make available to each founder the right network and experience in the field in order to create a successful project to be launched on the international markets. Boox was founded in 2012 by Andrea di Camillo and Marco Magnocavallo that over the years have founded and led investments in several of the companies that have made the ​​history of the Italian digital landscape as: Banzai, Blogo, Yoox, Venere, DoveConviene, Neodata. The Boox portfolio currently includes  fifteen companies in different stages of development and that are primarily focused on active projects in e-commerce and SaaS.

Club Italia Investimenti is a  venture capital company offering pre-seed and early-stage venture investments in agreement with the main Italian accelerators.
CII2 selects the ventures through the Accelerators with whom it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding. When a startup joins one of These acceleration programs, Club Italia Investimenti (CII2) acquires 10% of the stakes by investing € 50,000. These funds are meant to complete the product's prototype or set up the services, as well as to acquire first customers. CII2 assists startups in raising seed funding (between €150,000 and €500,000), by helping them to validate their business plan and reach milestones in the first term of KPI, secured contracts and a growing customer base. CII2 leans on the web crowdfunding platform SiamoSoci to ensure visibility to the startups, since their inception (founding), and provide investors with full, transparent information. 
Co-investments are done along with Nana Bianca, H-FARM Ventures and Boox.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Checkbonus raises new funding from Custodi di Successo

CHECKBONUS, the first and most innovative shopping app in Italy to use the iBeacon technology, has closed a new round with Custodi di Successo (Keepers of Success), a leading network of business angels, to continue the path of growth and consolidate its presence throughout the national territory 

Milan, 10 September 2014CHECKBONUS, the startup that allows you to increase pedestrian traffic in the stores and to interact in store directly with the customer, finalized in July 2014 a new round of capital increase with Custodi di Successo (Keepers of Success), a leading Italian Business Angels network. With this operation Custodi di Successo enter the shareholding structure of Check Bonus Srl, which in addition to the two co-founders Pierluigi Casolari and Yuri Ceschin sees already committed Key Capital Srl, an investment company specializing in the financing of entrepreneurial ideas in the stages of early development. 

INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONCheckBonus is a tool of enormous potential for retailers - both skilled, both large-scale organized distribution - intending to attract new potential customers in the stores, interact directly withe them through dedicated contents and innovative ways to measure the value of walkability. Customers, in turn, benefit from a multibrand rewards catalog for which the collection takes place at the entrance points in the physical store and of promotions exclusively dedicated to them. 

A SUCCESSFULL IDEA. The unstoppable trend of smartphone usage as a way to make purchases on the move, a need for increased pedestrian traffic in the stores and the interest of the retailer to direct communication with the customer in the store are contributing to the success of CheckBonus. Coin, adidas, Parashop, Hoepli and Brico Sport have already chosen CheckBonus as a partner in their stores in Milan and Naples, and soon also in other Italian cities such as Rome and Turin. 

CUSTODI DI SUCCESSO. Keepers Of Success is a leading Business Angel network with offices in Milan, Verona, Vicenza, Treviso and Udine which now has over 70 members in Italy. In CheckBonus invested members from both the Milan and Vicenza office. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Chiesi Launches Venture Capital Fund via Strategic Collaboration with A. M. Pappas & Associates

PARMA, Italy and RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, North Carolina, September 2nd, 2014 - Chiesi Ventures, is the brand-new VC-fund launched by the Parma, Italy-based pharmaceutical Chiesi Group via a strategic collaboration with A. M. Pappas & AssociatesChiesi Ventures will complement the strategic interest of the Chiesi Group in the area of rare diseases by investing in early stage opportunities and expanding the Chiesi network in the US among universities, venture capital investors, rare disease patient organizations and entrepreneurial companies developing treatments for rare diseases.

Chiesi Ventures will have offices in Boston, MA, Research Triangle Park, NC and Parma, Italy and will focus on investment opportunities in the US and Europe. It will operate as an independent investment vehicle while maintaining a strategic connection with the Chiesi Group.

"We have taken a strategic approach in launching our fund and decided to work with an established venture fund with proven experience and a solid investment track record in building companies that are developing therapies for orphan and rare diseases," said Dr. Alberto Chiesi, President of the Chiesi Group. "We are impressed by A. M. Pappas & Associates' life science and venture expertise and the specific commitment that the firm has made to the area of rare diseases and, therefore, have selected them to help us manage our fund. Further, the launch of a venture fund specifically focused on rare diseases shows our continued commitment to patients afflicted by these diseases and our willingness to expand in the US market."

Chiesi Ventures will leverage A. M. Pappas & Associates' expertise and network to access and assess deals and opportunities, lead investments and manage transactions.

"This collaboration is a unique opportunity, and this is the first fund of its kind in the United States," said Art Pappas, CEO of A. M. Pappas & Associates. "It puts our two companies at the center of early-stage rare disease opportunities."

"We're excited about the opportunity to work with Chiesi to achieve their operational and strategic objectives," said Pappas.

A. M. Pappas & Associates is dedicated to the development of life science companies, products, technologies, and other entrepreneurial opportunities, and is known for its experience and expertise in making rare disease and targeted therapeutic investments. Through its Pappas Ventures business unit, A. M. Pappas & Associates has worked with such companies as Plexxikon (acquired by Daiichi Sankyo), Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical (IPO), Lumena Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Shire), LEAD Therapeutics (acquired by BioMarin Pharmaceutical), and Balance Therapeutics.

Chiesi Ventures is a United States-based early stage venture capital firm focused on rare and orphan indications. Chiesi Ventures complements the strategic interest of the Chiesi Group in the area of rare diseases by investing in early stage opportunities and expanding the Chiesi network in the US among universities, venture capital investors, rare disease patient organizations and entrepreneurial companies developing treatments for rare diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.chiesiventures.com.

About The Chiesi Group 

The Chiesi Group is a research-focused international group, with nearly 80 years of experience, headquartered in Parma (Italy). Chiesi researches, develops and commercializes innovative pharmaceutical solutions in the respiratory therapeutics and specialist medicine areas. In 2013, Chiesi achieved sales of over 1.2 billion Euros, constituting double digit growth over 2012. Its R&D centers in Parma (Italy), Paris (France), Rockville (USA), Chippenham (UK) and the R&D team of the newly-acquired Danish company Zymenex, integrate their efforts to advance Chiesi's pre-clinical, clinical and registration programs. The Chiesi Group employs approximately 3,900 people, 480 of which are dedicated to R&D activities. For more information, please visit www.chiesigroup.com.

About A. M. Pappas & Associates 

Established in 1994, A. M. Pappas & Associates is dedicated to the development of life science companies, products, technologies, and other significant entrepreneurial opportunities. In addition to its new specialized fund management arm, which will oversee the Chiesi relationship, the company manages Pappas Ventures, a family of life science venture funds, and is developing university-focused translational medicine initiatives. A. M. Pappas & Associates has $350 million in capital under management.  For more information, please visit http://www.ampappas.com.

Starteed raises first funding round from three investors

Starteed Group Srl, an innovative startup leader in the field of strategic and technological solutions for crowdfunding, announced its first capital increase and the arrival of three new members, recognized professionals in the field of innovation, web and finance. 

The current founders of startups Claudio Bedino, Edoardo Benedetto and Claudio Fruttero are joined by Alessandro Chiaffredo (Chief Executive Officer of Bakeca Spa), Paolo Sbuttoni (Innovation Coach & Marketing Consultant) and a third investor who doesn't want to be nominated (specialist at leading Italian private equity fund).

The raised funds (which amount remains undisclosed) will be used to grow Starteed Group Srl in Italy and abroad over the next year, boosting the skills used in product development and customer.

Starteed, founded in 2012 and led by Claudio Bedinocreates custom tailor-made solutions for crowdfunding campaigns "do it yourself" and develops reward and equity-based platforms due to its white-label technology.