GIOVENTU » Technology Start Ups Boom in Italy
Technology Start Ups Boom in Italy
Technology start-ups have recorded an amazing boom in Italy in the last years in spite of the Italian economy contraction of the past three years.
Italy, the fourth largest economy in Europe, was one of the worst hit during the financial crisis. The mistrust in large companies that rose during this period is probably one of the reasons people are creating start-ups.
Italy is also enjoying an increase in venture capital money. Venture capital funding in the country saw a 12 percent rise compared to last year.
The start-up, Shopfully, founded in 2010, has benefited from the recent interest in the Italian market. Shopfully made an app that delivers deals on products based on stores near where you are. The firm has over 13 million people using its app globally, and works with over 200 leading brands and retailers.
Zappala led a 10 million euro funding round in Shopfully this month. The Italian market has been defined attractive because valuations of companies are not too high, especially compared to more established territories such as the U.S. and some areas of Europe.
Analysts said that prices in Italy are low and there is less competition in terms of funding, so it is possible to get better opportunities and a lot of funds are beginning to see that.
Italy's growing start-up scene has been helped by government support. A group called Invitalia, owned by the Italian economy ministry, provides funding to projects across the country. Invitalia has recently launched a 100 million euro fund. Half of this money comes from the government and the other half from private investors. The sums provided range from 500,000 euros to 1.5 million euros.
The reason behind the renewed interest in Italy is the fund and the government legislation to support start-ups.
But Italy is still not really intentionally attractive,
unlike Silicon Valley or London, Italy does not have a lot of huge
international success stories to show off.
The online fashion retailer Yoox – which recently merged with Net-A-Porter – is one of the country's tech treasures.
Getting global financial investors to put money into Italian start-ups, and also fostering an ecosystem for entrepreneurs, are the new challenges but apparently Italy is on the right track