According to IBAN (Italian Business Angels Network Association), the Italian Business Angels (BAs) participated, independently and together with venture capital funds, in 153 transactions in Italian startups and foreign startups with Italian founders, totalling more than € 1.6 billion capital (+77% compared to 2021).
Compared to 2021, the capital invested by BAs independently dropped slightly. BAs invested € 82 million of capital into 75 deals in 2022, compared to € 91 million in 100 deals in 2021. As a result, the number of transactions decreased, but the average amounts invested increased.
71% of the deals monitored by the IBAN Survey were syndicated, confirming that the trend observed in previous years is a structural feature of the “business model” typically adopted by Italian BAs. BAs syndicate to increase the overall financial contribution, reduce individual transaction costs and reduce the risk of a deal failure.
55% of the surveyed BAs declare they intend to increase their share of assets dedicated to investing in startups, while 36% say they want to keep it constant. In total, 8 out of 10 BAs wish to, at the very least, continue supporting Italian startups as they have done so far, a significant figure in light of all the uncertainties that have accompanied the economic system, including the Italian one, since the second half of 2022.
Startups remain the preferred targets of investors for their deals compared to seed investments (52% for startups and 48% for companies in the seed stage.)
The sector of greatest interest for BAs is confirmed to be ICT. 47% of BAs’ investments in 2022 concerned this sector (up from 36% in 2021 and 30% in 2020). Within this group, business angels are more interested in startups offering B2B technology services than B2C services.
Other sectors of interest are other services (11%), including edutech and professional profile development services, healthcare (9%), and food (8%), which includes foodtech, agritech and catering.
The IBAN Survey explored the importance of ESG and/or impact investing factors in investment decisions.
More than 2 out of 3 BAs (70% of BAs surveyed) apply ESG and/or impact investing criteria when evaluating investment opportunities. In addition, 25% of the sample says that they constantly deepen the level of attention and interest of the founder team to ESG factors, and 40% of respondents say they have carried out in-depth ESG due diligence.
Divestment continues to be a rare phenomenon among BAs. In 2022, only 10% of the sample declared having made at least one divestment (6% in 2021, 9% in 2020), occurring on average 3-4 years after the initial investment.
The typical profile of BAs is a man who lives in Northern Italy (45%), generally has a background as an executive (45%) and currently works as a Business Angel (64%). Almost all have a master’s degree, and 27% have post-graduate degrees. The average BA has assets between € 500 thousand and € 2 million, of which about 12% are dedicated to angel investing (value equal to 2021), for a portfolio of approximately 9 companies (8 in 2021).
The IBAN 2022 Survey recorded 27% of female BAs, almost double the 14% recorded in the 2021 survey. A positive piece of evidence, also confirmed in the last three years, is the tendency of female BAs (about 1 in 2) to finance companies with at least one female founder, an expression of the so-called ‘sisterhood’.
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