The Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s venture-capital fund invests in three young high-tech companies based in Southern Italy
INTESA SANPAOLO: ATLANTE VENTURES MEZZOGIORNO STAKES 4.6 MILLION EURO ON TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION IN SOUTHERN ITALY
• 600 thousand euro on Pantea, specialised in mobile advertising • 2 million euro on Samares, a provider of software and hardware solutions for energy efficiency
• 2 million euro on SpinVector, specialised in augmented reality and 3D
• The above investments bring the total commitments assumed during the year by Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno to 6.6 million euro, out of total assets of 25 million euro
Milano, 6 December 2011 – Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group’s venture capital fund, is betting on Italian technological innovation and investing 4.6 million euro in three young companies based in Southern Italy: Pantea, Samares and SpinVector. The three businesses, selected according to their extensive growth potential and goals of becoming leading companies in the coming years, share some fundamental characteristics: they are high-tech firms and plan to invest in Southern Italy, the part
of the country for which the fund was created.
If Admantx, the investment of 2 million euro signed last summer, is also considered, the total investment commitments assumed by Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno in 2011 climbs to 6.6 million euro. The fund, which was launched in 2009 with initial assets of 25 million euro, contributed in equal shares by IMI Investimenti (Intesa Sanpaolo Group) and the Department for Digitalisation and Technological Innovation of the Ministry for the Public Administration and Innovation, has a planned duration of ten years. The Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno team consists of professionals from the private equity sector with long-term experience in Intesa Sanpaolo’s merchant banking arm – a department of the Group’s Corporate and Investment Banking Division dedicated to investing in and developing equity interests and industrial initiatives – as well as several young technology specialists with international backgrounds.
“We are applying close scrutiny and rigorous analysis,” explained Davide Turco, who is responsible for Intesa Sanpaolo’s venture capital funds, Atlante Ventures and Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno, “to hundreds of initiatives calling for digital investments in Southern Italy. We are truly pleased to announce a significant acceleration of investment by Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno. We are confident that we have identified projects that have the quality and ambition to grow rapidly in promising sectors, albeit with all of the risks typical of start-ups. We therefore believe that we have detected signs of a gradual yet considerable maturation of the innovation ecosystem in areas of Italy where significant venture capital activity did not exist until a few years ago.”
The fund has acquired investments in Samares and Pantea and is finalizing its investment in SpinVector with the aim of providing the three companies with financial resources, expertise and networks essential to making a true “quantum leap” in terms of business, size and new products. The following is a brief illustration of the Fund's planned actions.
Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno subscribed for part of a capital increase of a total of 600 thousand euro by Pantea, a young firm founded by Sicilian entrepreneur Gaetano Liggieri specialised in managing mobile advertising and marketing campaigns. Part of the investment is tied to the reaching of milestones. Under the agreement, Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno and Neomobile – an Italian mobile media and commerce company acknowledged as being among the industry leaders – will subscribe for a capital increase of 750 thousand euro split into two tranches. When the transaction has been completed, Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno will hold a minority interest in Pantea, while the founding shareholders will retain a majority of the company’s shares. The Fund’s intervention is aimed at creating an information technology development centre in Catania. Pantea offers its clients the Mobile Ad Server platform for managing advertisements on all mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, as well as on PCs. Pantea’s Mobile Ad Server is built on solid, flexible technology that may be personalised to suit clients’ needs. Pantea has also created the Mobile Marketing platform, which allows large brands to design, implement and distribute online marketing campaigns to their customers using text messages, QR code, mobile landing pages and other customer interaction tools.
Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno has also subscribed for part of a capital increase of a total of 2 million euro by Samares, a firm founded in 2008 that is dedicated to the development of innovative software and hardware solutions for the renewable energy market. In just three years of operation, the company has achieved a leading position in Italy’s market for renewable energy power stations, while also laying the foundation for access to the broader energy efficiency market. With this investment the venture-capital fund becomes the company’s relative majority shareholder. Due to the transaction, Samares has ceased to be controlled by the Enerqos Group, which retains a minority interest. A significant portion of the investments will be concentrated in Lecce, where
the company has opened new executive offices: a strategic decision by the company motivated by a desire for proximity to the large number of clients operating in the photovoltaic sector in the area.
Lastly, in the next few days Atlante Ventures Mezzogiorno will acquire an equity interest in SpinVector, a start-up based in Benevento founded by three young video game developers, with investment of a total of 2 million euro on a gradual basis according to the reaching of milestones. SpinVector’s business consists of software and hardware solutions for augmented reality, video games and 3D projection. The investment is aimed at financing the development of new multiplatform video games and new entertainment products based on augmented reality and 3D. SpinVector was founded by three video game developers with successful track records: they have sold more than one million copies of Dronez, a game produced in 2001 and distributed by Intel and Nvidia in co-packaging with their cutting-edge video cards. For the Virtual Archaeological Museum of Herculaneum, SpinVector has created an installation, inaugurated on 16 November, that creates a 3D simulation of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, with special effects that literally immerse the viewer in the experience.
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Last updated 6 December 2011 at 12:42