Friday, February 19, 2016

United Ventures becomes SICAF authorized by Bankitalia: Closing at €70M

One of the first SICAF funds in Italy, following the introduction into the Italian legal order allowing the establishment of alternative closed investment funds in corporate form, has born. United Ventures obtained by the Bank of Italy on 17 February 2016 the authorization for the establishment of an asset management company, i.e. United Ventures One SpA to operate as hetero-managed venture capital SICAF (investment company with fixed capital) managed by United Ventures Spa, that as advisor of the holding, becomes asset management company authorized by Bankitalia and recognized as manager by EUVeCa.

 United Ventures, born as an investment holding company and turned into SICAF following the implementation of the AIFMD in Italy, was founded in 2013 by Paolo Gesess and Massimiliano Magrini respectively founders of JV Capital and Annapurna Ventures, the company had launched the fund raising in early 2013, thanks to the sponsorship of the Italian Investment Fund, which invested the first €10M, contributing for one third of the first closing held in March 2013 having reached €30M. In November 2014 it was announced the first closing at €60M. The company and makes early stage investments in Venture Capital, with a focus on digital technologies. Following the completion of the subscription of a capital increase that will occur in the coming days by leading institutional investors, its assets under management will amount to over €70M.

In its new role, the venture capital vehicle can continue to operate on the market as required by the new European Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD), which entered into force on 21 July 2011. The law introduced a number of measures to create a European internal market for alternative investment fund managers by defining a framework for the authorization, ongoing operation and transparency of the funds.

The transposition of legislation allows to United Ventures to operate in an international market positioning itself as a leading player by raising capital from both Italian and foreign investors because it is subject to an international legislation that equalizes and unifies all the other European players in the sector.

For Italy it is a significant change because it marks the introduction of a new investment vehicle model alongside that of SGR (asset management company) and the classic Club deal (private savers communities that invest using ad-hoc platforms).

The authorization process that ended with the authorization given by the Bank of Italy to United Ventures also enhances the work of internationalization that the fund management company, United Ventures Spa, has so far constructed by raising €70M in capital and investing in 16 companies (including Appsbuilder, Badseed, BuzzMyVideos, Cloud4Wi, FaceIt, Halldis, Kuldat, 20Lines, Marinanow, Meritocracy, Moneyfarm, Musixmatch, Paperlit and Lovethesign) that starting from Italy are able to operate globally. Investment targets are companies based in Italy but also in the rest of Europe operating in the areas of digital technologies, software, mobile, e-commerce and gaming.

The goal of United Ventures is indeed to support active entrepreneurs in the software industry and digital technologies in the growth and internationalization process, operating in the world's major technological ecosystems thanks to a network of co-investors located in global innovation centers.

Studio Craca Di Carlo Guffanti Pisapia Tatozzi & Associates (5Lex) has assisted United Ventures in obtaining authorization. The team was led by Francesco Di Carlo and composed of Giorgio Bobba.