The pandemic hasn't stopped the growth of Italian startups

The pandemic hasn't stopped the growth of Italian startups

The number of scaleups, the more mature companies, and the investment volumes are increasing, even if lower than the rest of Europe

H Incubators help startups to grow (Getty Images) An ecosystem that lags far behind compared to neighboring countries, but growing despite the Covid-19 pandemic, as opposed to what happened in the rest of Europe in 2020: it is that of the Italian scaleups, the former startups that have become "adults" or the technology companies able to collect more one million dollars, outlined by the Tech Scaleup Italy 2020 report by Mind the Bridge and Amazon Web Services. A world that represents 3% of the scaleups present in Europe and is worth 1.4% of the funding raised by the sector in the Old Continent.

Italy hosts 261 scaleups (September 2020), an increase compared to 228 of nine months earlier (December 2019), thanks also to the entry of 375 million dollars of new capital, a figure that alone almost equalized the whole of 2019 (397 million dollars). "Our estimate is that Italy should close 2020 with $ 680 million in new funding and around 48 new scaleups, bringing the total to 276. A record year," explains Alberto Onetti, president of Mind the Bridge. The increase would thus be 20%. “Preliminary data indicate a foreseeable downward trend in Europe in terms of new scaleups, around -25%, as well as capital raised, -20% year over year. Yet the Italy of scaleup is growing and produces turnover and employment ", reiterates Onetti.

The country is 10th in Europe, according to data at the end of 2019: the United Kingdom, France and Germany lead the ranking with 2.661, 1085 and 797 scaleups. An idea of ​​the size is also given by the loans, 2.7 billion dollars raised cumulatively (in September 2020), the equivalent of 0.1% of GDP, far below the European average (0.73%), a figure even lower than its southern European neighbors: Spain (0.35%), Portugal (0.25%), Greece (0.13%).

In any case, 60% of Italian scaleup saw an increase in revenues and staff throughout the past year and one in five raised new funds in the first nine months, according to the report. 87% of the capital raised in 2020 comes from venture capital funds and 12% from stock market listings (the European average is 14%). They are generally listed on national stock exchanges: 21 scaleups (78% of the total) are on Aim and one (Yoox) on the main market.

In recent years, approximately 86 million dollars of investments (3.6% of the total) were held by publicly supported venture capital funds. More than half was invested this year, mainly through the new participation vehicles of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. In 2019 the entire system had a turnover of 2.2 billion dollars, employing about 13 thousand people. The average revenue is 1.6 million euros per year, the average age is 7.5 years,

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