With Two New Investments, Endeavor Catalyst Gives the Growing Italian Scale-up Ecosystem a Vote of Confidence
Endeavor Catalyst — the $100M+ global co-investment fund of Endeavor — has made two new investments in Italian fintech companies, joining Series B rounds for digital wealth management platform MoneyFarm and leading Italian mobile payments business Satispay.
These new investments mark the fourth and fifth investments for Endeavor Catalyst in Italy, following investments in co-working space Talent Garden (2016), clinical wearable device company Empatica (2017), and on-demand grocery service Supermercato24 (2018). With five Italian investments in under two years, Endeavor Catalyst was recently recognized as one of the most active international funds investing in Italy.
At a time when some consider the entrepreneurship scene in Italy to be bleak, with entrepreneurs facing challenges ranging from a nascent — albeit robust — startup scene, to a lagging venture capital community, to larger national economic challenges, Endeavor continues to recognize immense promise among Italian entrepreneurs.
Launched in 2016 with the goal of building a dynamic, flourishing entrepreneurship ecosystem that encourages business development and innovation — called “ambitious” at the time by some media outlets — Endeavor’s Italy office today supports 23 entrepreneurs leading 16 companies, which are innovating across a wide range of industries, scaling up, and making a tangible impact on Italy’s economy and people’s lives. Endeavor Italy companies generated over €60 million in revenues last year, and have raised over €200 million in debt and equity capital.
“At Endeavor, we like to say, when economies turn down, entrepreneurs turn up,” said Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg. “In the first two years since Endeavor launched in Italy, we’ve seen just that: an impressive and diverse group of Endeavor Entrepreneurs who are scaling up and paying it forward to help continue growing Italy’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
Entrepreneurs like Pablo Galvani and Giovanni Daprà of MoneyFarm, which has already gained significant traction in Italy and the UK is poised to become the leading player in digital money management across Europe with their “robo-advisory” platform. This recent funding round is the largest funding round by a European digital wealth manager to date.
Or, like Alberto Dalmasso and Darigo Brignone of Satispay, a company which allows users to send payments to each other or make in-store and online purchase, and has already become Italy’s leading payments platform.
Endeavor Catalyst Managing Director Allen Taylor sees these investments in MoneyFarm and Satispay as part of a larger global trend in technology disrupting the traditional financial services industry.
“We’ve made more investments in FinTech than any other sector over the past 12 months. From Latin America to Europe to Asia, we see technology disruption in this category as a global trend,” Taylor said. “We’re particularly happy to be partnering with great entrepreneurs like Pablo and Giovanni of MoneyFarm and Alberto and Darigo of Satispay. It’s visionary founders like these guys that we believe will have an outsized impact on the Italian entrepreneurship landscape in the months and years to come.”
In a recent interview with Italian daily Sole24ore, Taylor also noted how impressed he has been overall with the caliber of the entrepreneurs in Italy. “Ever since I met Davide [Dattoli, CEO of Talent Garden], I have been impressed with every single Endeavor Entrepreneur I have met in Italy.”
For their part, the entrepreneurs also seem to appreciate the extra boost Endeavor Catalyst adds to their funding rounds.
“Endeavor helped us secure a milestone financing round backed by leading global investors,” said Davide Dattoli of Talent Garden, which marked Endeavor Catalyst’s first investment in Italy when the fund participated in the company’s 2016 Series B round.
The investor connections, coupled with support and advising from the Endeavor Italy team, helped Talent Garden raise the capital it needed to continue its expansion across Europe. Today, Talent Garden has coworking spaces in eight countries.
“Italian entrepreneurs have big dreams,” Taylor notes. “We’re just happy to play a role in helping to make them a reality.”