December 20, 2021 Statistics

Investments in Italian startups reached € 1.46 billion in 2021, +118% on 2020

According to the research of the Hi-tech Startup Observatory of the School of Management of the Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with InnovUp – Italian Innovation & Startup Ecosystem, total equity investments in Italian hi-tech startups reached € 1.461 billion in 2021, more than doubled (+118%) the value recorded in 2020 (€ 669 million).

For the first time in Italian history, investments into startups exceeded the threshold of € 1 billion, with unprecedented annual growth.

Of the 193 funding rounds registered in 2021, 115 (or 60%) were first rounds, i.e. the first investment ever for the startup. This is in line with last year’s figure (94 first rounds represented 55% of total rounds in 2020).

The average size of first-round investments was € 4 million, down from the € 4.7 million recorded in 2020. Therefore, the average size of follow-on rounds explains the 2021 growth: € 12 million compared to € 9 million in 2020. 

Independent VC funds, corporate CVC funds and GVC funds (in the research defined as “formal investors”) confirm their traditional role in driving the entire ecosystem, with investments growing by 96% from € 294 million in 2020 to € 576 million in 2021.

Also, investments made by venture incubators, family offices, club deals, angel networks, independent business angels, equity crowdfunding platforms and companies without a structured CVC fund (in the research defined as “informal investors”) grew consistently, from € 245 million in 2020 to € 449 million in 2021 (+92%).

Finally, international players more than tripled their investments, from about €130 million in 2020 to over €435 million in 2021, returning to contribute for one-third of the entire ecosystem as in 2019. The foreign capital came mainly from the United States (74%), followed by Europe (25%) and Asia (0.43%).


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