Panakès Partners (the name Panakès derives from Panacea – Greek Πανάκεια, Panakeia – who was the goddess of universal remedy, said to have a potion with which she healed the sick) is a Milan-based newly formed venture capital firm aiming to back medtech startups in Italy, in the rest of Europe as well as in Israel.
Following the first close of the fund, which has a final target of €100m (disclosure), we had the opportunity to make some questions to Alessio Beverina, founder and managing partner of Panakès, about himself, the (ad)venture partners, the firm and its strategy. He also shared with us some thoughts about trends and the ecosystem.
FinSMEs: Hi Alessio, thank you for joining us….first, could you tell us a bit more about you?
Alessio: an Italian brain who is back to Italy after 18 years in France. I am an engineer from Politecnico di Milano, who has worked in the R&D in a lab first (Leti) and a corporate (STMicoelectronics) later, that ended up I’m being a VC in one of the most important firms in Europe, Sofinnova Partners.
FinSMEs: Let’s speak about Panakès Partners. What does it do?
Alessio: Panakes aims to be remedy to the medtech sector, as its name reminds… Seriously, Panakes is going to finance startups and SMEs in Europe and Israel, in the medtech sector. We believe that, with our financial support, network, partners and advisors, we could create successful companies, find technical solutions to real health needs, decrease the cost of the healthcare system… and give a substantial financial return to our investors.
Can you introduce the other team members?
Alessio: I am very fortunate.
First of all, Fabrizio Landi, a medtech engineer from Politecnico di Milano, has a long experience in the medtech sector, having being one of the founder and CEO of Esaote, one of the largest private companies in the diagnostic sector in Italy; Fabrizio brings knowledge, network, experience, entrepreneurial experience to our (and to the startup) table.
Diana Saraceni, another engineer, has a long experienced in VC in Italy, being one of the founders of 360 Capital Partners, the most important VC in Italy, where she was in charge of medtech. Francesco Panfilo is our President, former founder of PM&Partners, with over 30 years of experience in the investment world.
FinSMEs: What’s your (overall) investment strategy?
Alessio: it depends on the final amount of the fund, but essentially we will back companies based in Italy, in the rest of Europe (including Switzerland) and Israel, investing around 5-6m€ each per company during their entire life. At a sectoral level, we will invest in startups developing medical devices, diagnostics tools and healthcare IT solutions, with some proof of concept (not in the seed stage).
FinSMEs: Panakès has already received support from institutional and corporate backers. Are you still fundraising? Which is the final target of the fund?
Alessio: yes, we aim at several closing in the months to come. Target is around €100m.
FinSMEs: In your personal opinion, what will be hot in medtech in the next few years?
Alessio: personalized medicine, liquid biopsy, robotics, homecare…In particular, in oncology, cardiovascular and diabetes.
FinSMEs: What do you think about the Italian ecosystem? Does it need to grow? Optimistic or not?
Alessio: absolutely optimistic. If not, I would not come back home after years outside the country. The law about innovative startups has been a strong push to the ecosystem, the crisis has pushed people to find alternatives and Italy has both a strong academia research, entrepreunarial mind and experience in the medtech sector., In addition, Italians have energy and passion…
To build the ecosystem, we need to have more co-investors, but things are moving in the right direction…
I’m positive, absolutely. An entrepreneur could not be negative…