There is no early stage fundraising activity in Italy.
This figure emerges from the report from AIFI, the Italian venture capital, private equity and private debt association, which released the figures of risk capital activity in the first semester of 2015.
According to AIFI, the fundraising activity involving venture capital, was near zero. A worrying figure, of course, which should change soon anyways.
In the second semester of 2015, Innogest already announced the close of an €85m fund while Government-led Invitalia Ventures launched a €50m co-investment fund to back tech startups along with private investors. In addition, other operators, including the four funds supported by Fondo Italiano di Investimento (read the news here) are in their fundraising stage.
Anyways, the “near zero” fundraising activity, not a new fact given that in 2012 something similar occurred, shows the lack of a long-term vision at a government level. Now, the above mentioned Invitalia Ventures (led by CEO Salvo Mizzi), which is creating an international network and should work as a “catalyst” of the vc activity in the country, can represent the beginning of a new, needed strategy. This also considering the risible seed/startup investment activity of the first semester 2015, which saw €20m committed in 53 operations, with an average of €0.4k per deal.
Apart some welcomed exceptions (e.g. Genenta Science, which closed a €10M Series A Financing in March 2015), neither Series A nor Series B activity is consistently in place. This can also depend by the lack of fast-growing startups, but the cases of DoveConviene, which raised its $10m Series C round from Pan European investor Highland Capital Partners Europe and bootstrapped VisLab, bought by US Ambarella for $30m, let some doubts on the effectiveness of the national venture capital industry.
This even considering the vc players’ difficulties of communications with the corporate sector, which, apart some cases, has showed a complete lack of interest and culture for innovation, making harder to find the right way to “exit”.