Two Italian VC firms and an institutional player, Fondo Italiano di Investimento, have combined to form United Ventures, closing a first round of funding at €30 million ($39M). The new firm has set a fund-raising target of €50 million, with a term of ten years and brings together Annapurna Ventures, a firm founded by Massimiliano Magrini which has specialized in seed investing, and Jupiter Venture Capital, which specialized in early-stage and late-stage investments, a firm founded by Paolo Gesess.
Together, with institutional and private investors, the new entity aims to take advantage of a recent explosion in tech activity in Italy, which was evidenced by the enormous reception we had a TechCrunch Rome last year. In part, Italy’s terrible economy is channeling talent towards one of the few growth areas: tech.
In addition to Fondo Italiano di Investimento, the first closing of the fund was participated in by institutions Fondazione Banco di Sardegna, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca, Banca Sella and Banca Patrimoni. Among individual investor there is serial entrepreneur Matteo Fago founder of Venere.com, Marco Corradino co-founder of BravoFly group and Davide Serra managing partner of the edge Fund Algebris.
Massimiliano Magrini, founder and managing partner, says: “There is an entire generation of young Italians with entrepreneurial talent who would prefer to have the opportunity to create their own jobs rather than look for one. To do so, they will need to found their own companies, and this is why the system needs venture capital.”
For his part, Paolo Gesess, founder and managing partner, added: “This first closing, completed with important support from both institutional investors and successful digital economy entrepreneurs, is only the first stage in a process that… we believe needs to be completed as swiftly as possible.”
Paolo Gesess and Massimiliano Magrini’s associates include operating partners Mario Mariani, founder of the incubator The Net Value and former partner of Annapurna Ventures, and Sergio Zocchi, former partner of Jupiter Ventures.