In July 2020, the Board of Directors of CDP Venture Capital Sgr - Fondo Nazionale Innovazione approved investments of €8M in 50 startups.
The investments are managed by Fondo Acceleratori as part of AccelerORA!, the initiative dedicated to high growth potential startups in the seed / pre-seed phase which are facing challenges of the impact on their business of Covid-19. In Southern Italy, certain operations are co-invested with Fondo Italia Venture II.
AccelerORA! operations are capped at a € 300 000 maximum for startups, being aimed at companies which operate in the Fashion, AgriTech, MedTech, eCommerce, Education, FinTech, Software b2b, SaaS and Digital Community industries.
The investments approved are the result of a selective process carried out by CDP Venture Capital Sgr - Fondo Nazionale Innovazione in partnership with the main national accelerators, all with a proven track record of managing acceleration programs and of developing startup portfolios, inline with the Fondo Acceleratori strategy.
“The result of AccelerORA! has us feeling proud,” said CDP Venture Capital Sgr general manager and CEO Enrico Resmini, “not only because we were able to help companies - both promising and deserving - through a difficult phase following the Covid-19 emergency, but also because we generated an increase in company fundraising capacity thanks to the investment credibility of an institutional player".
The venture capital ecosystem in Italy
Investment in the 50 startups is not to remain an isolated initiative. Indeed, CDP Venture Capital Sgr - Fondo Nazionale Innovazione aims to create the conditions for overall growth of the country's venture capital ecosystem.
Following approval, the additional private investments generated, totaling over €22M, demonstrate the growth potential of the Italian venture capital ecosystem, which can become a cornerstone of innovation development in Italy.
Context of the initiative
Driven by trust, optimism, revenue growth and personnel increases, the country's innovative startups and SMEs displayed significant resilience during the Covid-19 emergency. This is attested by the "impact of the COVID-19 emergency upon startups and the innovation ecosystem in Italy" survey conducted by venture capital association venture capital VC Hub Italia in collaboration with consulting company Ernst & Young.
85% of participating survey startups believe the business can return to pre-pandemic operational levels once the health emergency is over, with 27% recording revenue growth during lockdown and with 58% recording staff increases.
The study shows signs of deceleration as well. The importance of AccelerORA!'s timely interventions also emerges when we examine data indicating difficulties the innovation ecosystem is facing: 68% of startups report a reduction in demand, experienced during lockdown. Growth slowed or in some cases stopped, with layoffs or wage cuts resorted to, and new investments were more difficult to obtain..