Italy’s angels&incubators, crowdfunding, fintech and venture capital weekly roundup. News from Kong, Univercells, Italvolt, Swift Navigation, InteRNA, Crif, 4Aim and more
Mar 18, 2021
Kong, an US-based Api (Application programming interface) startup founded by two Italians, raised 100 million US Dollars from Tiger Global, Goldman Sachs and current investors Index Ventures, Charles River Ventures (CRV), Andreessen Horowitz, and GGV Capital (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Kong raised 171 million since its foundation in 2008. Augusto Marietti and Marco Palladino created the company and moved it in San Francisco in 2010. Travis Kalanick, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, Marc Andreessen, and Mike Volpi invested in the business. Kong’s value amounts to 1.4 billion. Belgium’s pharmaceutical company Univercells raised 70 million euros from Health Technology Holding (HTH), an investment vehicle the integrates the scouting activities of Zcube – Zambon Research Venture and other international investors (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Since its foundation in 2013, Univercells, raised 180 million US Dollars from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, KKR,SFPI-FPIM, and SRIW (two Belgium’s Government investment companies). Univercells developed a bio-manufacturing platform for making biological drugs at lower prices. Italvolt, a company that Lars Carlstrom founded, will invest 4 billion euros for creating the first Italian Gigafactory (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Such a Gigafactory will be the biggest size in Europe and 12fth in the world with 45 – 70 GWh. The construction will end in spring 2024. Carlstrom previously launched Britishvolt together with Orral Nadjari (ceo) and invested 2.6 billion British Pounds for the development of a 30 GWh Gigafactory based in Blyth, in the North Eastern English region of Northumberland. Britishvolt attracted the resources of private investors based in Scandinavia and UAE ahead of an IPO that could launch by July 2021. Swift Navigation, a California-based geolocalization firm, attracted the resources of Italy’s Sequitur Capital and other investors for its 50 million US Dollars round (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Marco Di Miceli (ceo), Massimo Fasoli and Anastasio Scalisi founded Swift, , an investor in European and US B2B deep tech software scaleups. Forest Baskett and Greg Papadopoulos of New Enterprise Associates (NEA) led the round that Eclipse Ventures, EPIQ Capital Group, KDDI Open Innovation Fund, and other firms joined. Swift raised 97.6 million since its foundation In 2019, Sequitur poured resources in Beaconforce, a people management platform that drives performance and provides real-time insights for professional development. InteRNA Technologies, a Dutch biotech firm, raised 18.5 million euros from Aurora Science, an investment company of AurorA-TT, Rottapharm Biotech and Italfarmaco, the pharma business of the De SantisFamily (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Waterman Ventures and Aglaia Oncology Funds also invested in the company. CRIF, the Italian business and credit information provider, invested in Neva First, a venture capital fund of Neva (fka Neva Finventures) (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Luca Remmert and Mario Costantini are the chairman and ceo of Neva, which belongs to Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center. CRIF will support Neva First for its investments in fintech, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cybersecurity, agritech, and green economy. Neva raised 100 million from Intesa Sanpaolo and 50 million euros from Compagnia di San Paolo, Cariparo, Carifirenze, and Carilucca. The fund aims to raise 250 million by the end of 2021. ACBC, an Italian startup for the production of eco-friendly shoes, closed a 3.2 million euros round it had opened last Summer, thanks to funds raised from Cdp Venture Capital, Boost Heroes and Ocean On Limited (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Those funds add to the ones raised in December 2020 from Club degli Investitori (240k euros) and in August (2.3 million euros, of which one million through an equity crowdfunding campaign on Doorway). 4Aim Sicaf a Milan-listed investment vehicle that targets Aim Italia-listed and soon to be listed firms, signed a partnership with equity crowdfunding platform Opstart (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Opstart will reserve 30% or up to 100k euros of each campaign for for 4Aim. The partnership will become active with the start of the activity of the Comparto 2 Crowdfunding of 4Aim Sicaf, which was established at the end of December 2020. Italian proptech Homepal launched on 11 February, Thursday, an equity crowdfunding campaign on Mamacrowd with a target of one million euros (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). The campaign will end on 11 March, Thursday. Investment tickets can be of 500 – 0.5 million. The company raised one million in 2015 from Davide Serra and other business angels; 2.6 million in April 2017 from Homeclub and other investors; 2.3 million in September 2018 from Homeclub, Daniele Ferrero, Roberto Piroddi, H-57; Bper; Boost Heroes, and Davide Serra. Andrea Lacalamita, Fabio Marra, Monica Regazzi and other managers and sector entrepreneurs founded Homepal in 2014. The company has sales of 2 million. Gruppo Millennials paid 90k euros for a 16% of Cuc Bio, a food delivery startup (see here a previous post by BeBeez ).Luigi Sciacca and Santa di Pierro founded Cuc Bio in 2016. B Zero, a startup that developed blockchain-based platform Notarify, raised 500k euros through an equity crowdfunding campaign on Opstart (See here a previous post by BeBeez ). The company started the campaign in December 2020 and set a target of 0.13 – 0.5 million. The company attracted the resources of BFC Media (the publisher of Forbes Italia and other titles and TV channels), Trentino Sviluppo and other shareholders. Notarify’s pre-money value amounted to 6 million and post-money to 6.5 million after the last capital increase it launched. Federico Monti is the founder of Notarify. Bike-room, an online retailer of bikes in which invested Milan-listed Digital Magics, raised a totale of 300k euros from Cdp Venture Capital (100k euros), Uberto Thun and other business angels (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Thun joined Bike-room’s board of directors. MyChicJungle, a digital innovation and communication firm, implemented a blockchain technology on Flowdron, an Italian marketplace for drones (See here a previous post by BeBeez ). The blockchain will allow the use of smart contracts. Flowdron has an ongoing equity crowdfunding campaign on Opstart for which set a target of 50-200k euros on the ground of a pre-money value of 500k euros. Rudy Lazzarin is the founder of Flowdron. Jacopo Moschini (ceo) and Paolo Broglia founded MyChicJungle in 2012. Japal, an e-commerce platform, spun-off from MyChicJungle in 2018 and in December 2020 received from Intesa Sanpaolo a convertible financing facility of 250k euros. Axyon AI, will launch its third capital increase by the end of 2021, Daniele Grassi, the company’s ceo and cofounder said to BeBeez (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Axyon AI, a provider of solutions for Hedge funds and asset managers, aims to attract resources for 2-3 million euros in the next two years and previously raised 1.5 million from Ing, Unicredit and London-based angel investors. Grassi founded Axyon AI in 2016 together with Giacomo Barigazzi and Jacopo Credi, the company’s R&D manager. Axyon has sales in the region of 0.5 million and aims to reach a breakeven in 2023 while expanding in Switzerland and Germany as well. HiPay, a provider of electronic payments solutions, aims to develop further its Italian opearations, Paola Trecarichi, the company’s Italian country manager, said to BeBeez (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). HiPay owns banking licences in France and Belgium and in 2015 spun-off from Euronext-listed HiMedia. Since 2016, BJ Invest is HiPay’s main shareholder. Banca Progetto, an Italian challenger bank whose controlling shareholder is Oaktree Capital Management, signed a partnership with Faire.ai and Italy’s open finance platform Fabrick for launching instant lending services for SMEs (see here a previous post by BeBeez ). Banca Progetto will get access to Fabrick’s technology and to credit score services of Faire. Paolo Fiorentino,Gianluigi Davassi and Paolo Zaccardi are the ceos of Banca Progetto, Faire and Fabrick. FlowPay received from Banca d’Italia the AISP (Account Information Service Provider) and PISP (Payment Initiation Service Provider) licences (See here a previous post by BeBeez ). Edoardo Tommasi, Lorenzo Rossi and Tiziano Pacciani founded FlowPay in November 2019.