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THE #INNOISTALKS CONTINUE. THE ROLE OF VENTURE CAPITAL FUNDS WITHIN THE ITALIAN INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM

11/18/2020

Here’s how indirect investments in start-ups work - with a mix of skills, investment capacity and some vertical specialization.

For the second appointment entitled “The importance of indirect investments through funds of funds”, Innois, Innovation Platform of the Sardinia Foundation, teamed up with ,b>CDP Venture Capital Sgr, asking a few of them to participate in #INNOISTALK – all to deepen the functioning of these tools, so essential for the development of the entire ecosystem.

The webinar saw a trio of guests: Cristina Bini, head of CDP Venture Capital Sgr’s Fondo FoF VenturItaly, and the managers of two of the FOF VenturItaly portfolio funds within CDP Venture Capital Sgr, namely Matteo Cascinari, general partner of Primo Space and Pietro Puglisi, partner of Claris Ventures.

“As investment body the fund of funds selects the best individuals to invest within certain asset classes,” explains Cristina Bini. “It’s a question of identifying the right start-up upon which to focus in order to realize the capital gain, which is the delta value between entry and exit price.”

A complex challenge, it requires people with intuition and a mix of financial and technical-scientific skills. And that wasn’t easy to find until just a few years ago.

“When we left there was the capital, albeit limited, but without the operators,” continues Cristina Bini. “We had to scout out people who’d pursue a venture capitalist career while contributing to the construction of structures and governance, creating ecosystems and operating models from scratch.”

At the same time, however, the market today is populating with new ideas, new operators and such new initiatives as Primo Space and Claris Ventures - two of the funds in which FOF VenturItaly has chosen to invest.

Says Primo Space General Partner Matteo Cascinari: “Our fund invests in space activities in what we term the new space economy. Today Space also represents an opportunity for small start-ups because it offers a wide spectrum of applications in all sectors, from agriculture to biotech.”

And it’s precisely biotech that’s the focus of the Claris Ventures fund managed by Pietro Puglisi: “Our fund was born to bridge the world of research with that of pharmaceutical companies - bringing together capital, skills and networks.”

CDP Venture Capital favors the birth of new initiatives in these sectors within an Italian scenario which -as has happened in every venture capital ecosystem throughout in the world- welcomes increasingly specialized funds in terms of both development and industry verticals.

But what characteristics must a team that’s after building a fund have? Indeed being a group of people rather a single subject comes first here, so guaranteeing solidity and shared choices.

Track record, too, is important, meaning the amount of capital returned to former investors that then will be inclined to refinance the next fund.

If this remains yet poorly measurable in Italy owing to the system being still young, one can nonetheless rely upon professional experience, technical skills and investment capacity.

There is no lack of signs pointing towards optimism. As Cristina Bini says: “if I look at the portfolio of underlying assets created in recent years by the funds invested in it -around 230 portfolio companies- I see only few negatively impacted by the consequences of the pandemic. It’s because they’ve been able to regenerate themselves, sometimes modifying business models and grasping trends in advance.”

Thus, CDP Venture Capital's goal remains clear: to accelerate the venture capital market in Italy by generating significant resources and selecting the right people to whom to entrust them – all with the idea of ​​creating an ecosystem that remains integrated with the rest of the world.

Here’s how indirect investments in start-ups work - with a mix of skills, investment capacity and some vertical specialization.

For the second appointment entitled “The importance of indirect investments through funds of funds”, Innois, Innovation Platform of the Sardinia Foundation, teamed up with ,b>CDP Venture Capital Sgr, asking a few of them to participate in #INNOISTALK – all to deepen the functioning of these tools, so essential for the development of the entire ecosystem.

The webinar saw a trio of guests: Cristina Bini, head of CDP Venture Capital Sgr’s Fondo FoF VenturItaly, and the managers of two of the FOF VenturItaly portfolio funds within CDP Venture Capital Sgr, namely Matteo Cascinari, general partner of Primo Space and Pietro Puglisi, partner of Claris Ventures.

“As investment body the fund of funds selects the best individuals to invest within certain asset classes,” explains Cristina Bini. “It’s a question of identifying the right start-up upon which to focus in order to realize the capital gain, which is the delta value between entry and exit price.”

A complex challenge, it requires people with intuition and a mix of financial and technical-scientific skills. And that wasn’t easy to find until just a few years ago.

“When we left there was the capital, albeit limited, but without the operators,” continues Cristina Bini. “We had to scout out people who’d pursue a venture capitalist career while contributing to the construction of structures and governance, creating ecosystems and operating models from scratch.”

At the same time, however, the market today is populating with new ideas, new operators and such new initiatives as Primo Space and Claris Ventures - two of the funds in which FOF VenturItaly has chosen to invest.

Says Primo Space General Partner Matteo Cascinari: “Our fund invests in space activities in what we term the new space economy. Today Space also represents an opportunity for small start-ups because it offers a wide spectrum of applications in all sectors, from agriculture to biotech.”

And it’s precisely biotech that’s the focus of the Claris Ventures fund managed by Pietro Puglisi: “Our fund was born to bridge the world of research with that of pharmaceutical companies - bringing together capital, skills and networks.”

CDP Venture Capital favors the birth of new initiatives in these sectors within an Italian scenario which -as has happened in every venture capital ecosystem throughout in the world- welcomes increasingly specialized funds in terms of both development and industry verticals.

But what characteristics must a team that’s after building a fund have? Indeed being a group of people rather a single subject comes first here, so guaranteeing solidity and shared choices.

Track record, too, is important, meaning the amount of capital returned to former investors that then will be inclined to refinance the next fund.

If this remains yet poorly measurable in Italy owing to the system being still young, one can nonetheless rely upon professional experience, technical skills and investment capacity.

There is no lack of signs pointing towards optimism. As Cristina Bini says: “if I look at the portfolio of underlying assets created in recent years by the funds invested in it -around 230 portfolio companies- I see only few negatively impacted by the consequences of the pandemic. It’s because they’ve been able to regenerate themselves, sometimes modifying business models and grasping trends in advance.”

Thus, CDP Venture Capital's goal remains clear: to accelerate the venture capital market in Italy by generating significant resources and selecting the right people to whom to entrust them – all with the idea of ​​creating an ecosystem that remains integrated with the rest of the world.

The ecosystem supporting innovation in Italy