Friday, November 14, 2014

Digital Magics exits crowdlending platform "" to norvegian TrustBuddy for €5.3M, the only Italian Peer-to Peer lending platform authorized by the Bank of Italy to manage a marketplace for online private loans, will merge with TrustBuddy International ABthe world’s largest, publicly traded, peer-to-peer company. will leave the venture incubator Digital Magics, which will continue to support it in its growth phase.

The transaction, which involves the purchase of 100% of the shares of Agata S.p.A., the company that owns and manages the brand, amounts to €5.3M: €1.5M will be paid in cash and €3.8M in equity (shares) of TrustBuddy. In addition, the shareholders of of will receive 10 million options to purchase shares of TrustBuddy, at a share exchange ratio of 1 option to 1 share by 2018 and a strike price equal to 160% of the average price of the share in close proximity of the closing. The transaction is subject to due diligence and approval by the competent authorities and the closing will be made within two weeks from obtaining such authorizations. In this way Digital Magics and other investors of, including many belonging to the Digital Magics Angel Network, will become majority shareholders of TrustBuddy.

TrustBuddy chose Prestiamoci for its proprietary technology platform and for the business model built in Italy, which TrustBuddy wants to replicate in other European countries. With the acquisition of Prestiamoci, once finalized, the Norwegian company will enter the Italian market through a holding company regulated by the Bank of Italy and will aim to accelerate its online development of long-term loans, thus further consolidating the European  and international leadership.

Digital Magics will continue to support the growth phase with its
expertise and know-how. Digital Magics, acquired in 2013 a stake of 22.4% in Agata S.p.A. the company that owns and manages the brand which was founded in 2008, becoming its largest shareholder.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Espresso Group's Digital Division and Innogest SGR launch REinventures to back Italian Digital Startups

Rome, 5th November 2014 - Espresso Group's Digital Division and Innogest SGR launch REinventures, strategic alliance in the field of venture capital in order to finance and develop startups in the digital sector. REinventures will enhance innovative business initiatives by integrating, with a model without precedent in Italy, the experience of Innogest SGR - the leading Italian Venture Capital fund - with the publishing and multimedia expertise of Gruppo Espresso.

REinventures will provide selected startups with both financial resources and an average visibility and expertise to develop innovative digital products and services. The digital know-how and visibility offered by the Espresso Group and its newspapers will be crucial in accelerating the growth of the selected startups. Innogest SGR will also contribute to the creation of business opportunities for startups to raise capital overseas and to develop the management team.

Assisting entrepreneurs in the transition from an idea or from a small company to a global player by size is a quite difficult mission. Make extraordinary growth happen outside the US, China and a few other virtuous ecosystems in the world is even more difficult. We need capital, industry expertise, network of relevant people. If a primary group as the Espresso Group comes into play with the strength of its competences as well as of its size, and forms an alliance with the leading Italian operator in the venture capital space, then we are heading in the direction of providing business owners and startups the right resources to make a path of excellence and compete in the global arena. 

REinventures has an initial endowment of € 10 million to be invested over five years. The investment strategy involves

Friday, November 7, 2014

Innogest SGR helds Second Closing of Innogest II Fund at €70M

Innogest SGR, the leading Italian venture capital firm, announced the second closing of Innogest Capital II fund at €70M (around $90M), out of a non declared target of 60-80 millions. Innogest Capital II is the second fund raised by Innogest SGR and fundraising will be closed next February 2015. Total capital under management currently amounts to over €160M (over $200M). New investors contributing to the second closing include the European Investment Fund and some leading industry experts in the firm's areas of interest, that joined existing private and institutional investors as well as the Italian Innovation Fund (Fondo Nazionale dell'Innovazione). The raised funds - €70 million - should be considered over a period of five years, i.e. as if the fund invests about €15 million a year.

Founded by Claudio Giuliano, the VC firm targets companies in the ICT/digital and med-tech space. Since its founding in 2007 the Innogest investment team invested in 24 companies, 4 of which through its new fund, and helped its portfolio companies in raising over 120 millions in co-investments. Innogest SGR is the leading Venture Capital fund in Italy with offices in Milano and Torino. Its investment strategy targets Italian companies with global ambitions, with specific focus on two areas of interest: ICT/Digital and Medical Technologies. Since 2007 the Innogest team has invested in 24 companies, 4 of which through its current Innogest Capital II fund, and helped its portfolio companies in raising over € 120 million in co-investments.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Club Italia Investimenti 2 bets in the Italian smart parking app Parkey by providing seed funding

Club ItaliaInvestimenti 2 has invested in Parkey in a seed capital round. Parkey is the new concept of smart parking, a free mobile application developed by Cloud Park, the company that has followed the technological development of the app, available on the iOS and Android platforms, allowing drivers to find out free parking places on the go.
Cloud Park Srl has developed a unique integrated system, named Parkey, an app for iOS and Android devices, which based on Bluetooth 4.0 technology, once uploaded on an iOS or Android smartphones, in addition to identifying and obtaining any kind of information on city parking, not only allows each driver to find and navigate till any public or private parking, but moreover it transforms the smartphone into a remote control that opens and closes any access system to private and public parking. In the meantime, Parkey also executes the money transaction to pay the stop within the parking. Each parking access system recognizes each smartphone as a unique ID through Bluetooth technology installed into the access devices.

By downloading the app and activating the Bluetooth, in just a few simple steps you can locate the nearest car parking garage and reach it quickly, and even the payment for the whole parking time is charged directly to your credit card safely and quickly over your smartphone. With geolocation, you can find the nearest garage and find out if parking is available. By looking at the data sheets, you can

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pilegrowth Tech raises €500k in seed funding from Quadrivio Capital SGR and Como Venture for the superconductor Made in Italy

Quadrivio Capital SGR - through its TTVenture fund -Como Venture which operates in synergy with ComoNExT business incubator, and the industrial partner LPE spa, after having believed in the entrepreneurial project with a first round held in 2012, took part to a new investment round Pilegrowth Tech Srl, a company operating in the semiconductor industry, by providing financial and industrial resources for a value of over 500,000 EURLeonida Miglio, founder and president along with Hans von Känel, founder and CTO of Pilegrowth Tech, commented that "the challenge is doubly difficult, both for the highly competitive sector at global level, and because undertaken at a time of economic crisis equally global, but the confidence and the courage of the investors are the best incentive to pick it up and carry it to success, with as much confidence and courage, even in contrast to the trend of despair that hangs in our country. "

Pilegrowth Tech has the ambitious goal to introduce a radical innovation in the semiconductor industry, based on a new solution discovered by two prominent scientists in Solid State Phisics. The project is based on the discovery of an innovative process that has gained the coverage of the prestigious journal Science and that allows the growth of different semiconductor materials on silicon without producing the "crisis of rejection" that the different atomic structures normally generate. Such technology would allow to combine the industrial and cost advantages of silicon with the performance advantages of high value added semiconductors. It is for example the case of germanium, which is deposited on a silicon surface without producing cracks and could be useful for packaging photovoltaic cells capable of converting solar radiation to higher frequency. This solution represents a major technological innovation: the difficult task of Pilegrowth is to turn this scientific breakthrough into a platform for innovative products (electronic devices to handle the power of many consumer goods, in place of silicon, high efficiency but lighter solar cells,  extremely sensitive and precise x-ray radiation detectors). 

Cortilia raises €1.5M in Funding from Programma 101 (P101)

Milan, 5th November 2014Cortilia, an Italian Online Local Grocery Marketplace, chosen already by more than 500,000 users in Lomdarby with thousands of weekly deliveiers, announced today a €1.5 million round lead by P101, the Milan-based venture capital firm specialized in early stage investments in the digital space.  This new capital injection brings the total funds raised by the company since its founding in 2011 to €2.5 million and represents the first step of a midterm €5 million Investment Plan. The operator of venture capital P101 bets on Food Innovation with the startup Cortilia founded by Marco Porcaro, ready now to conquer new markets and expand the offered products and services.

P101 thus joins a pool of investors who have already bet on the company, providing not only fresh capitals but also a wealth of knowledge and know-how that will allow Cortilia to further develop its business and consolidate its market position.

"I am extremely pleased with this investment, which is the first step of an ambitious plan
we agreed with both the Company’s management and its shareholders," said Andrea Di Camillo, Managing Partner at P101. "Cortilia represents what an investor looks for in a start-up: a young and fast growing company, operating in a very large market with an innovative business model. Thanks to this investment and the resources that we are going to put in place, I believe that, in the medium term, we will able to turn this Italian story into an international success.”

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ambienta announces final close of its second fund Ambienta II at €325M ($404M) to back european Cleantech companies

After the first successful closing at €147M reached at the end of October 2013 (read here), and the second closing held on 20th December 2013 at €200,2M (read here), Ambienta SGR, the Milan, Italy-based leading private equity firm in Europe focused on the environmental sector, has held the final close of its second fund, Ambienta II, at its hard cap of €325M (approximately $404M). The fund, which started fundraising in late November 2013 with a target of €300M, has exceed its target by 7.8 per cent with the final closing, that was substantially oversubscribed, and represents the biggest european fund dedicated to environmental protection. The Fund Ambienta II attracted a mix of international investors such as pension funds, insurance companies, funds of funds and family offices from Europe and North America. Backers include the European Investment Fund, Generali, HarbourVest, Hermes, Pantheon, RobecoSAM, Stafford Capital Partners, Unigestion and Zurich Insurance Group, as well as Italian LPs such as CNPADC, Fondazione Enasarco, Intesa Sanpaolo, Fondo Italiano di Investimento, and Poste Vita.

The fund will be managed by Ambienta SGR, independent investment firm founded in 2007 by Nino Tronchetti Provera, Rolando Polli and Mauro Roversi (all three founders of Ambienta), as well as by Stefano Bacci and Rudolf Ohnesorge, - supported by a team of more than 10 professionals. The Fund will invest in 10-15 companies in line with the AMBIENTA strategy, focused on an acquisitive growth strategy with targeted investments on cutting edge SMEs with high growth potential and able to make a positive contribution to optimizing the use of resources and reduction of pollutants (resource efficiency and pollution control). The historical scarcity of natural resources and high population density have allowed a number of European companies to develop great skills in these two areas and Ambienta seeks through a heavely engaged industrial approach to supports businesses in the process of management development and growth in global markets, turning them into international industry champions. Ambienta II will continue Ambienta 's strategy of