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United Ventures: the new thing in the italian High-Tech venture capital industry

What two Italian venture capital firms and an institutional investor, Fondo Italiano d’Investimento, had in mind when they founded it in early March

United Ventures: the new thing in the italian High-Tech venture capital industry

Alberto D'Agnano

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The most typical, though needed like fresh water in the current Italian drought, venture capital fund. No complicated investment strategies, no outrageous and hard-to-manage size, just a genuine support to the growing Italian high-tech industry, coming from private and institutional players. This is what two Italian venture capital firms and an institutional investor, Fondo Italiano d'Investimento, had in mind when they founded United Ventures in early March.

The two private investors, Annapurna Ventures and Jupiter Venture Capital, respectively founded by Massimiliano Magrini and Paolo Gesses, combine non-overlapping investment capabilities, since the first is specialized in seed investing while the second one focuses on early and late stage investments. The two founders can leverage on their previous shared experience in Moneyfarm, the well-known financial advisory startup.

The institutional support offered by the above mentioned  Fondo Italiano d'Investimento along with Fondazione Banco di Sardegna, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca, Banca Sella and Banca Patrimoni, has already guaranteed a first-stage of funding equal to ?30mln, with the ultimate goal of increasing the size up to ? 50mln. Due to the typically small first-round investment in startup companies, this size is enough to pursue a well diversified portfolio of opportunities in a very promising industry.

The long awaited change of mindset of the 1980's Italian generation seems to be finally happening: many bright talents are realizing both that their dream job can be created rather than passively waited for, and that they can do this in their home country. This opens up interesting possibilities for investors looking for potentially high returns that are, however, to a certain extent independent of the lately unpredictable major macroeconomic factors.

In the long path to innovation and growth, where the asynchrony between the availability of funds and that of investment opportunities has historically been one of the most harming hurdles, this initiative looks off to a great start.

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