February 13, 2023 Statistics

One-third of innovative Italian startups and SMEs are participated by Corporate Venture Capital firms and generate € 4.3 billion in revenues

According to the report produced with the scientific partnership of InfoCamere and the Digital Innovation Observatories of the Politecnico di Milano and with the support of Confindustria, Piccola Industria, and Area Scienze della Vita e Ricerca, innovative Italian startups and SMEs participated by Corporate Venture Capital firms generate € 4.3 billion in revenues, almost half of the total revenues of innovative companies in Italy.

In 2022, there were more than 17,000 innovative startups and SMEs in Italy. 31.2% of these companies (5,300) have Corporate Venture Capital firms as shareholders.

The research shows that CVC-invested startups and SMEs grow more than total innovative companies. In particular, in 2022, the number of startups and innovative SMEs participated by CVC increased by +12.4% compared to the total number of innovative Italian companies, which grew by +6.4%.

Innovative startups and SMEs by type of investor – Translated by the Author

CVC-backed companies grow more also in terms of revenues. These companies registered an annual increase of +23% in revenues in 2021, whilst the overall revenues of innovative Italian companies increased by +4.8%.

Turnover of innovative startups and SMEs by type of investor – Translated by the Author

The report also analyses the characteristics of the Corporate Venture Capital firms that invested in innovative Italian companies.

CVCs are predominantly small companies (63.7% have less than 10 employees) and are based in North-West Italy (47.5%), especially in Lombardy.

More than 40% of CVCs are part of non-financial services sectors (transport, ICT services, scientific and technical professional activities).

Main industries of CVC investors – Translated by the Author

Almost half of the CVCs belonging to the non-financial services sectors invest mainly in innovative companies operating in the software and IT sectors. The percentage increases to 70% for CVCs operating in the IT industry.

On the other hand, industrial CVCs diversify their investments more. They invest 29.9% in industrial startups and SMEs, 27.9% in software companies and 21.7% in R&D companies. This particular trend highlights industrial players’ ability to develop diversified ecosystems around themselves to respond to various needs.


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