Saturday, August 29, 2015

H-Farm eyes IPO on the AIM Italia

H-FARM, the first Italian private digital venture incubator - halfway between an incubator and a VC -, ten years after its foundation is ready to go public on AIM Italia the Borsa Italiana's market specifically created to enable small and medium-size Italian enterprises which wish to invest in their growth and have a high growth potential to access capital markets. The process kick-started with a series of financial and company moves. Beyond the international reorganization of the company structure, implemented in the last months, the Treviso-based digital platform founded by Riccardo Donadon with the goal of helping young entrepreneurs in launching their initiatives based on innovative business models in the Internet sector and to support the transformation of the Italian companies in a digital perspective, has completed two important steps. 

After launching two convertible bonds, the first of €15M (fully subscribed by existing shareholders) and the second of €4M, the startup incubator appointed the teams of consultants that will take it on AIM Italia. According to market rumors, the listing of H-Farm on the stock exchange will be by accompanied by the advisor N+1 Syz, the (nomad) nominated adviser Banca Intermobiliare and Unicredit (already shareholder of the company) as global coordinator. The listing on the Milan's stock exchange will take place in autumn. Provided that the storm that in recent days has shaken international markets do not advice to change the schedule of the IPO. The landing on the stock exchange is the completion of a process that began ten years ago and is a major milestone for a public company such as H-Farm.

The incubator currently has a shareholder base composed of 34 members, among which it counts Red Circle Investments (16.48%) of the Rosso family (Diesel), the Cattolica insurance group (4.5%), Unicredit (2.72% ), RCS Mediagroup (0.68%), Banca Sella Holding (0.6%), the ex listed Buongiorno (1.2%), the financial holding company of the Veneto region "Veneto Sviluppo" (3.57%), the entrepreneur Gianfranco Zoppas ( 0.68%) and Stefano Parisi (1.36%), the former manager of Fastweb, now in charge of Chili TV. And with the placement on the AIM there could be significant new entry into the company shareholding. H-Farm, which in ten years has made 80 investments in start-up, by investing €30M, set itself the target to play the game in a wider space and thus reduce investment times. The development of venture capital in Italy has long been the focus of debates and even the government of Matteo Renzi (which right in H-Farm, in Roncade, made his first official visit as prime minister) has put the issue among the key points of his economic agenda. Currently the Treviso-based H-Farm, the Milan-bases P101 (founded by Andrea di Camillo) and the Florence-based Nana Bianca (wanted by Paolo Barberis, former founding member Dada) are the only incubators, accelerators and venture capital heavyweights on the Italian market. The creature of Donadon, which currently has 51 investments in its portfolio, is also present in India, Britain and the United States. The last major acquisition, that of Nuvò  - the consulting company for services of digital innovation with an headcount of 80 and €10M in revenues - was completed in June. And after the IPO the prospect is that of actively increasing the volume of activity.

H-Farm the digital platform founded by Riccardo Donadon (former CEO at E-TREE - exited in 2001 to Etnoteam) with the goal of helping young entrepreneurs in launching their initiatives based on innovative business models in the Internet sector and to support the transformation of the Italian companies in a digital perspective, - the first Italia private digital venture incubator - halfway betweeen an incubator and VC, fascinates not only for the location in Ca' Tron (Treviso) but also for its "penetrating" investment approach in startup ideas. Indeed, this venture capital incubator, with offices in Seattle (USA), London (UK) and Mumbai (India) was born in the countryside of Ca' Tron, near Treviso, location which Donadon choose in the middle of the countryside because he "wanted to link high-tech thinking with the slow life of the country" as Margaret Greenberg observed. Startups on which this venture incubator invests are initially incubated and provided not only with financial backing but also with technological, logistical, as well as consulting support. Definitely an interesting fact, able to create a very positive image. The acceleration model of H-Farm lasts an average of 36 months, during which H-FARM invests in and supports the growth of the startups. has since inception invested in over 80 startups by investing approximately €19.8 million and successfully exited 7 companies, giving employment to 350 people. The aggregate turnover of the company exceeds EUR 30 millions. Between 2014 and 2018 are foreseen investments for further €10 million.

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