Italian eco-friendly tech startup closes first seed round in May

A total of 29 angel investment deals worth an aggregate EUR 187 million targeting Western European companies have been announced in May 2020 to date, according to Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk. Even though there are still 11 days left until the end of May, volume and value are significantly down month-on-month, from 66 deals totalling EUR 328 million announced in April.

On a positive note, the value of angel investment deals targeting Western Europe in May to date is not one of the lowest recorded for the trailing 12 months as it exceeds the whole of March (EUR 132 million), December 2019 (EUR 170 million), August 2019 (EUR 128 million) and May 2019 (EUR 135 million). Conversely, volume in May to date is one of the lowest recorded for the last 12 months, second only to August 2019, when 24 deals were announced over the four weeks.

The value of angel investment in the region remained robust in Q1 2020, in spite of the adverse impact of the coronavirus pandemic on markets and economies globally. A total of 162 deals worth EUR 643 million were announced over the first three months of 2020, while 95 transactions valued at EUR 515 million have been announced in Q2 2020 to date. Dealmaking targeting the region in Q2 2020 to date accounts for a third of the global volume of deals announced so far in the second quarter (287) and more than a quarter of global value (EUR 1,947 million).

A EUR 110 million investment in Jung of France is propping up the aggregate value of deals recorded for May to date. The funding round by the French online reconditioned electronic products sale platform operator – trading as Black Market – accounts for 59 per cent of total value recorded in the month to date. Only one other deal exceeded EUR 10 million: Blast, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based esports entertainment events organiser, secured almost EUR 13 million in a funding round led by angel investor Johan Gedda and Vakstfonden.

Ten of the top 20 angel investments in Western Europe in May to date targeted a business based in the UK, though companies based in Spain, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Italy also featured. The only Italian deal in the month’s top 20 involved deep tech startup FLEEP Technologies raising EUR 800,000 in a seed funding round that was supported by Pariter Partners, members of Italian Angels for Growth, Club degli Investitori, and the Cogliati family. The Milan-based company was spun out of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia in 2019 to advance a proprietary process technology for the manufacturing of flexible integrated micro and nano electronic circuits with the use of organic polymer inks without the use of silicon. These printable integrated circuits are transparent, flexible and recyclable and can serve industries ranging from packaging to consumer electronics. Money raised will support the development of the intelligent, flexible and sustainable electronic systems – with the aim of bringing the technology to the market within three years.

While it is difficult to predict how the ongoing COVID-19 crisis will impact dealmaking, it is worth noting that investors have enough dry powder to take advantage of opportunities cropping up across the various sectors as companies seek financial support, be it to stave off administration or to bankroll growth.

© Zephyr

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