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Italian Founders Fund is born: Koinos Capital's new venture capital starts with a 50 million fund

This fund of founders is designed to support new generations of digital entrepreneurs.

Italian Founders Fund, the first-ever Italian Venture Capital fund created by founders, for founders, announced today the launch of its debut €50m fund. Backed by a diverse group of Italian entrepreneurs covering a range of generations and sectors, IFF is driven by a shared goal: empowering Italy’s next generation of exceptional talent and digital innovation.

The fund is housed within Koinos Capital SGR and now stands as one part of the firm’s multi-asset investment strategy. The fund gives Koinos exposure to early-stage venture capital and new business relationships, standing out on the peninsula for its uniquely collaborative community approach.

In addition to funding, IFF offers its portfolio companies the expertise, experience, time, and network of a diverse and highly qualified investor base. Within the Italian Founders Fund, founder investors also actively participate in the process of identifying investment opportunities and analyzing them, allowing the investment team to gain an even deeper understanding of the sector and the challenges faced by target companies.

With over €50 million of entirely private capital raised, and the next target of €60 million in sight, IFF was born as a direct response to the Italian founders community’s desire to put Italy on the map of the best spots in Europe to open a company.

Italian Founders Fund’s investment strategy focuses on being the lead investor in the pre-seed and seed rounds of innovative startups led by Italian founders, whether operating in Italy or abroad, while also being able to target foreign startups interested in entering the Italian market. And by becoming the top investment network for ambitious Italian founders, IFF will serve as a privileged gateway for international funds looking to invest in Italy, facilitating co-investment from the earliest stages.

IFF aims to complete 25 transactions over its investment period, with initial investments ranging from €500,000 to €1.5 million and the possibility of accessing an additional €2.5 million in subsequent rounds.

The fund is led by Lorenzo Franzi, former partner at Global Founders Capital. Lorenzo brings a remarkable international professional background, ranging from investment banking to experience as the founder of a digital startup. After many years abroad, Lorenzo has returned to Italy to launch the fund by partnering with a group of the best Italian founders.

Marking the fund’s public launch, Franzi says: "This is the beginning of a new chapter for the Italian Venture Capital ecosystem. We’ve brought on board over 100 founders, including key figures from Italy’s entrepreneurial and innovation sector, and we also have representatives from the firmly established business owner/investor community. This allow us to set up a truly integrated system that can promote and support Italy’s promising ecosystem both at home and on the global map. We are convinced that by unifying the country’s ambitions and talents, we’ll help shape our future economy for the better".

"Thanks to the background and network of our founder-investors, we aim to enable promising projects to emerge and grow, transforming untapped potential into companies capable of generating value, change, and jobs. I believe this is a significant sign of maturity for the Italian digital ecosystem, as seen in other countries where the presence of VC funds fueled by private capital and the experience of successful founders is a clear indication of a maturing and growing ecosystem".

From the very beginning of its fundraising stage, the initiative has registered remarkable interest, allowing the fund to quickly finalize its first two investments. The first announced investment is in JetHR, a tech company focused on removing the pain of HR management bureaucracy. This investment marked the largest pre-seed round in Italy, with IFF co-investing alongside Exor Ventures. And it’s paying off: in just a few months since its official launch, JetHR has already achieved €1 million in annual recurring revenue, positioning itself among the top 10% of Software as a Service startups in the world when comparing rapid growth. IFF’s second investment has been made in Glaut, aiming to improve the market research and surveys sector using artificial intelligence. Glaut’s round involved the participation of various international funds and angels. Beyond these completed deals, three new transactions are currently in the finalization stage.

Marco Morgese, CEO of Koinos Capital SGR, notes that, "This type of founder-led fund is already prevalent in markets where innovation is at the forefront of industrial development policies. We see them in the USA with Founders Fund, which has been around for almost 20 years, as well as in Europe where 10x founders operates in Germany, Galion.exe in France, ByFounders in Scandinavia, and Dutch Founders Fund in the Netherlands. Given the crucial role of innovation in the country’s industrial development, the IFF project represents the natural evolution of Koinos. We have been transitioning from a private equity fund supporting small and medium-sized Italian businesses to a multi-asset platform encompassing both private equity and venture capital, all while maintaining a strong entrepreneurial spirit".

(Source: Koinos Capital SGR press release)

Author

Luca Coppolella
Head of Content

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