Italian startups adolescence: investments and growth

Group of young multiracial business people are working in modern office. Freelancers in coworking place. Creative and stylish youth.

Italy has not proved to be that advanced at all, in terms of innovations. However, it started to reinvigorate. Leaving behind pessimisms and be willing of looking at the glass half full, even when it is only full for a third, times are mature and machinery has been initiated. Surpassed its childhood, Italian startups are now maybe at its adolescence. Mr. Andrea Rangone, scientific manager of the Milan Polytechnic School Startup Intelligence and Startup Hi-Tech Observers, presents the outcome of their research focus on Italian startups hi-tech investments.

Focus on startups

For the ninth consecutive year, Milan Polytechnic School Startup Hi-Tech Observatory analyzed the innovative enterprises panorama in life sciencebiotech, digital, energetics and cleantech sectors. Mr. Antonio Ghezzi, Observatory Director, explains that 1200 hi-tech startups took part at its activities, including investments quantification, performance analysis and dynamics, and significant realities selection. This work has broad spectrum goals and spreads from the situation analysis to innovation culture spreading.

Investing in the change

Mr. Ghezzi introduces the maths, enthusiastically. 2021 presented a change of course in terms of worldwide hi-tech startup investments. Against, about 670 millions Euros invested in 2020, this past year registered a doubling of the capital, almost reaching 1.5 billion Euros.

Incrememnts have been considerable, both in the formal (such as private or governmental venture capital) and in the informal actors (such as business angels, angel networks and venture incubator). Governmental contributions have benn particularly important, for the first mentioned, and crowdfounding platforms, for the second. However, international investments have been the real step foreward, which have been tripled with respect to 2020. In 2121, the capital quantity that foreign actors invested has reached the one of formal and informal investitors. The average investment cut result is quite good too, for every cathegory. The most of it, overcomes 1 million Euros.

The willing of recovery from a dark phase such as the pandemic is still running. With this number of investments in 2021, Italy is getting at the high of the other European countries charachterized by a similar economy. While in the 2020 in our country formal investments have been just a bit more than a half of those of Spain, they were just a sixth and an eighth of those of Germany and France, in 2021 accelerated Italian trend. However, there is still a negative gap lasting over time. Its origin resides in corporate investments, that have been just 81.1 million Euros in 2021. Even though the pathway is already established, there is still a lot to do in terms of number of investments.

Foreign startup hi-tech investements

Mr. Ghezzi concludes his intervention with data from money coming from abroad. From 19% in 2020, to 30% in 2021: the international component in hi-tech startup gave concreteness to growth.

These data are coupled with a geographical change in their origin. While in 2020, more than a half f the money came from Europe, followed by USA, China and Hong-Kong, in 2021 European role got resized. Just 25% of investments came from our continent, firstly from Holland, while the main role return back to USA (74%) after few years, which proves how our country allures the more advanced a mature USA again. To follow, we find Canada and Saudi Arabia, while Chinese area countries disappeared, maybe due to pandemic effects.

Italy is running, but other European and international contries are fast too. The running shot to catch up must keep it going with enthusism and investments must increase, since startups panorama is living its adolescence, with the hope of a more mature future development.

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