Category Archives: Italy

italy

Italian H-Farm signs €101 mln agreement to launch H-Campus

H-Farm is a digital platform launched in 2005 to support young entrepreneurs start new initiatives and help in digitalization of Italian firms. So far they have invested in 86 innovative small enterprises and their total amount invested over the last 11 years is €24 mln.

Their latest project, H-Campus, has a goal to be the European most important innovation hub. The latest €101 million contract was set up by launching a real estate fund managed by Finint Investments SGR and will operate after the buildability approval is received. It will be undersigned by Cattolica Assicurazioni, which will have 56% of shares, with help of the FIA2 Fund “Smart housing, Smart working, Education & Innovation” managed by CDP Investimenti SGR, which holds 40% of shares, and Ca’ Tron Real Estate which holds 4% of shares. The €101 million fund has current assets, acquired by Ca’ Tron Real Estate (their value is €32 million) and assets which belong to by Cattolica (their value is €10 million), plus €59 million of liquidity to be spent on the project’s development.

H-CAMPUS is supposed to serve over 3,000 students, young startuppers, professors, entrepreneurs and managers. Sharing the same place caused exchange of ideas, experiences and best practices as inspiration and examples. It may also establish new opportunities. The real estate project implies extension of the area absorbed by H-FARM from 14,000 m2 of built space and 12ha of park to 31ha of land, with 26,000m2 of new buildings. Everything costs €69 million. The whole complex is under a 30-year lease.

At a normative level, H-CAMPUS was identified as a “project of strategic interest” by the Veneto Region and is a subject to Regional Law 35/20, art. 32, now in its final authorization stage.

Italian startups worth to track in 2017

Despite of a quite slow start, at least when compared to European powers like Germany and UK, the startup scene in Italy has started to grow seeking global stage. Italian startups have been notably active in the last few years, supported by programs like the governmental Italia Startup Visa Program. Here are some of them worth to know:

Talent Garden –  it is a coworking network with places to work all across Italy and also in other countries: Spain, Albania, Romania, Lithuania. Soon it will open in France. Talent Garden was launched in a small Italian town and in just a few years it grew from a startup to Europe’s largest coworking provider. It has diversified its core business, from shared offices to a hub for innovation-related activities. In 2015 it began with training courses for developers, which were requested by companies willing to make use of digital technologies.

D1 Milano – last year this company created the world’s first thermochromic watch. The startup was opened in 2013. With average prices of $230, the company aims to offer affordable wristwear. It is currently trending in Japan and is stocked by retailers like Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and The Dubai Mall.

BeMyEye is an innovative service for crowdsourcing shop checks and mystery shopping. It provides trustable observations via a widespread network of more than 350 000 on-demand workers using a smartphone application in few days from thousands of locations in Italy, Germany, Spain, France and UK. Soon it will start other European locations.

Drexcode – an online platform for rental of luxury clothes, that has a portfolio of high-end clothes and accessories from the latest
collections of the most famous fashion brands.  It was founded in 2014. In 2015 it closed an investment round of the of the total value of 556k Euros.

Waynaut – a platform for multimodal transportation with innovative solutions such as ridesharing and carsharing. It brings all available transport means under one search, providing users with the fastest, cheapest and most convenient options for their route and guides them on to the travel operator.

Musement – an app which enables you to locate and plan guided tours, city passes, museum tickets, and more. It was launched in 2013 and currently operates in 450 cities across 55 countries. In 2016 the startup obtained $10m in an investment round aimed at improving the app and expanding internationally.

At present startups in Italy seem to suffer from an image problem because the country is usually considered by foreigners as a tourist destination, rather than an innovation powerhouse. Hopefully, having some successful startups already,  the local ecosystem will be noticed by international investors, giving it the needed boost.

 

Startup bank N26 expands into 9 European countries

The company, formerly known as Number26, now offers accounts in 17 European countries. Bank-based mobile application extends its services to Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia.

Like the Atom Bank in the UK and GoBank in the United States, N26 is a fully mobile bank. Opening an account takes only eight minutes and this can be done by downloading the application on your device running iOS or Android. Customer identification is performed by a video call and requires to show your passport. After verification, the customer can transfer money to a free bank account and receive a MasterCard card.

The Bank currently operates in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Slovakia. In France, the use of bank services is currently limited, but probably will be again fully open in February.

N26 has received a banking license in July and has acquired over 200 000 customers in eight markets. The Bank says that its goal is to provide services to all Europeans over the next few years.

13 million people in the EU do not have a job

Nearly 13 million people in the EU are unemployed for over a year – according to the latest quarterly review of the European Commission on employment. The economic recovery, which began in the spring of 2013, is still quite unstable and the prospects for employment are uncertain. However, in most sectors since mid-2013 employment increased  by 0.2% in the first quarter and 0.3% in the second quarter of this year. Especially in the second quarter of this year, employment increased in a significant number of Member States. The increase in employment was recorded in Spain – by 0.7%, Portugal – 0.9%, Estonia – 1.2%, the UK and Poland by – 0.5% and Italy – by 0.2%. In case of France, employment has not changed for the third quarter in a row.

There increased the number of hours worked and for the first time since 2011 there has been a slight increase in the number of full-time employment contracts and an increase in youth employment. However, many new jobs are part-time work or temporary work, and the unemployment rate still slightly deviates from the highest level recorded in the past. In August, the unemployment rate in the EU was 10.2% (nearly 24.6 million people) and in the Euro area countries it was 11.5% (approx. 18.3 million people). Long-term unemployed represents a large and growing group of all the unemployed – nearly 13 million people remain out of work for over a year. In addition, one third of the unemployed are unemployed for over two years.

The situation in the labor market improved for young people because in most Member States the unemployment rate in this group has decreased significantly. In August in the Member Countries there were 21.6% unemployed people aged from 15 to 24, and in the Euro area countries – 23.3%. However, youth unemployment remains at very high levels in countries such as: Greece and Spain. Of those employed, almost half has a contract for a specified period and nearly one quarter works part time.

The European Commission suggests that Member States must take efforts to fill the assumptions of guarantee for young people and to help every young person in search for suitable employment or training opportunities, gaining experience or education dedicated to finding a job in the future.

Mobile Internet: Europe ahead of the USA

Only 19% of the American Internet users use it via their mobile phones – indicates the research firm comScore. In five Western European countries  does it 29% of Internet users.

Mobile internet is the most popular in Germany and Italy, were 34% of the Internet population in these countries uses Internet on their phones. The next places go to: France (28%), Spain (26%) and the United Kingdom (24%). In the United States only 19% of Internet users use the Web on a mobile phone. Unfortunately the conducted study has not included the countries of Central – Eastern Europe.

Portals, independent from the mobile operator, are much more popular in the USA than in Europe.  Three-quarters of the Americans who browse their mobile devices, visit sites such as Google, Yahoo! or MSN. Such portals are visited by only 30% of the Europeans – says Bob Ivans, managing director of comScore Europe.