2021 was an unprecedented year for venture capital investments in Italy. This is also confirmed by the research of EY (Venture Capital Barometer Italia 2021), according to which Italian VC investments reached € 1.243 billion with 334 deals, more than doubling (+118,4%) the value recorded in 2020 (€ 569,2 million with 111 deals of the previous year).
These figures are in line with 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 (see: Investments in Italian startups reached € 1.46 billion in 2021, +118% on 2020).
Also, the number of rounds exceeding € 20 million more than doubled compared to the previous year (12 rounds with a total investment of € 657 million in 2021, compared to 6 rounds with € 245 million in 2020).
According to EY, the most significant fundraising round of Italian scaleups in 2021 were:
Scalapay is a credit payment method that allows users to purchase and pay it in three instalments of the same amount without interest.
Last year the company raised € 180.9 million in two rounds: € 40 million in January 2021 and € 140.9 million in September 2021 from international investors such as Tiger Global Management, Fasanara Capital, Ithaca Investment and Baleen Capital.
Newcleo is a London-based company that operates in the energy sector researching clean nuclear energy production. The company’s research centre is located in Turin.
Newcleo raised € 100.3 million from Exor Seeds, LIFTT and the Investors’ Club.
Casavo is an instant real estate buyer, a digital residential platform redesigning the experience of selling and buying homes in Europe.
The company raised € 90 million in two rounds: € 50 million in March 2021 and € 40 million in November 2021 from P101 Ventures, 360 Capital Partners, Picus Capital, Bonsai Partners, Exor Seeds, Greenoaks Capital and Project A Ventures.
Everli, formerly Supermercato24, is a marketplace for online grocery shopping where customers can choose groceries from various retailers.
The company raised € 85.2 million in a Series C round led by Verlinvest, with participation from Luxor, DN Capital, C4 Ventures and Convivialité Ventures FITEC (part of Fondo Italiano d’Investimento), 360 Capital, Innogest and DIP.
Brumbrum is an Italian online car reseller.
The company raised € 65 million by creating a securitisation vehicle whose securities were mainly subscribed by Oaktree and P&G.
2021 registered not only a notable increase in the number of late VC and growth equity rounds (334 deals) but also a significant increase in the pre-seed/seed development rounds (from 53 in 2020 to 233 deals in 2021), laying the foundations for the growth of the VC industry in future years.
Investments in 2021 are concentrated mainly in 5 sectors (see graph below).
ESG and sustainability aspects became relevant in 2021. Startups with a strategy and corporate focus on sustainability issues raised approx. € 290 million in 66 rounds (compared to € 118 million registered in 2020).
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