#UVnewsletter

goodbye 2020

Dear All,

2020 has been tough, but the tech ecosystem has proven resilient far above expectations. A huge transformation is underway - changes in the way we work, innovation and growth in technology, progress on diversity and inclusion. We believe that all these factors will play a key role in the recovery of our societies and economies, and we are looking forward to it.

Here at United Ventures, we had an intense year. We are closing 2020 with 5 more game-changing companies in our portfolio (Deliveristo, BOOM, InSilicoTrials, Datrix and Fiscozen), 1 new growth fund in the making, 2 new team members, a renewed brand identity, and many projects in the pipeline. Read on to catch up with everything.

Our best wishes for a peaceful holiday season and a brighter future,
The United Ventures Team


New investments

Deliveristo: Disrupting the B2C food delivery market

We participated as lead investor in the €4,5M Series A round of the Italian food tech startup Deliveristo, which aims at digitizing the B2B segment of the food delivery market by directly connecting restaurateurs to food suppliers. Read more on our blog.

BOOM: Rewriting the rules of photography

In an era where visual content is everything, BOOM is on a mission to reshuffle the world of photography by transforming the way digital photo content is generated. We led their $7M Series A to support them in building the reference B2B platform for commercial photography globally. Techcrunch has more here.


Portfolio highlights 

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InSilicoTrials CEO Luca Emili was selected among the Italian Businesspersons of the Year by Fortune. The company partnered with Challenge America and VHA Innovation Ecosystem to fight Covid-19 leveraging innovation and had two abstracts (1&2) about their products published by the prestigious European Heart Journal.

Fiscozen has been reconfirmed by Startupitalia among the top Italian startups of 2020 and was featured among the 10 Milanese startups that could change the world.

xFarm has been selected for the second consecutive year as a finalist for the Forward Fooding#FoodTech500, the world’s first definitive list of the global entrepreneurial talent at the intersection between food, technology, and sustainability. It has also launched the 2.0 version of its app.

MishiPay has been named on the CB Insights 'Retail Tech 100' which showcases the 100 most promising B2B retail tech companies in the world, has won the Retail Tech Innovation Hub top prize for Payments Innovation, and launched its innovative Scan, Pay & Go checkout technology in nine new countries.

Equalum has been listed as one of the Trend-Setting Products in Data & Information in 2021 by DBTA for its commitment to making customers’ engagement with their data more efficient, performant, and seamless. 

Credimi grows at a constant speed, aiming to hire 40 new team members in 2021. In the first 9 months of 2020, the company distributed a record amount in Europe of 450 million euros, recording a growth of 39% on the previous year, and bringing the total distributed to 1.2 billion euros. 

Exein offered the first public demonstration of the edge security development company’s open-source security framework for the Internet of Things (IoT) at NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC), the world’s meeting place for the developers, researchers, scientists, and engineers of the global AI community. 

brumbrum continued to build the reference consumer retail brand and channel in the automotive category, driving value through 360° customer value proposition across Used, CaaS, and Services.

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Datrix, together with ByTek, Paperlit, 3rdPlace, and FinScience, continued to support their clients by developing software solutions of Augmented Analytics for marketing, sales, publishing, and investing purposes. Here you can have a glimpse of their 2020.

MainStreaming has been awarded on the occasion of #HDFI2020 (Ultra HD Forum Italia) and #FED2020 (Forum Europeo Digitale) for its innovative AI-based iMDP (Intelligent Media Delivery Platform) for broadcasters, media, and enterprise companies.

FACEIT has redesigned the matchmaking system to feature multi-dimensional matchmaking algorithms and adjusted skill rating; and has just launched a significant update to Minerva, its admin AI.

Musixmatch implemented new cool features - such as the possibility to search for songs by lyrics in Spotify and the new Lyrics Quote Widget for iOS14. The company is always growing and looking for talents in different areas: Product, Content, AI, Biz Dev, Finance. Join the band!

Moneyfarm welcomed 14.000 new investors in 2020 and currently manages more than 1,2B euros. It has been confirmed by investors for the sixth year in a row Best Independent Financial Advisor in Italy and ranks first also in the robo-advisor category. 

Cloud4Wi has put together useful resources on how to use guest WiFi and location-based customer insights. Check their webinars to get industry insights and best practices. The latest is “The state of Silicon Valley’s tech scene during COVID-19”.


A renewed brand identity for United Ventures

During the last months, our in-house design and brand team (Bel Barreiros and Giulia Margstahler), together with the team from MOZE, worked to create a more consistent visual identity for United Ventures. While not straightforward – as usual in the design path – this exciting journey has given us an excellent opportunity to reflect upon United Ventures’ values and culture and rethink its vision and mission ahead. More here.


News from the Team

United Ventures’ family is growing with Damiano Coletti and Marco Zoccati, who joined the team in October 2020. Damiano will co-lead the firm’s recently launched growth fund together with Fabio Pirovano, while Marco takes on the role of CFO. In the next coming weeks, we’ll welcome one more team member. Stay tuned for more details!


Things Worth Sharing

Tech insights from the world, trends, perspectives & more.

A great end of the year classic: Atomico’s State of European Tech 2020 is the most comprehensive and insightful survey of the European tech ecosystem.

For those that like to stay up-to-date with UX design trends, here’s John Maeda’s - one of the first big designers to work with a strategic role in the venture capital industry - report on CX Trends 2021.

The EU’s need to compete with the United States and China on all things digital is driving Europe’s new aggressive stance on tech. But what is exactly technological sovereignty? By Politico.

The WeWork parable reveals some twisted dynamics of venture capital investing and reminds us of the importance of pursuing a sustainable growth mindset. A long article by The New Yorker.

The case of Timnit Gebru - former co-lead of Google's ethical AI team, raises several issues related to ethics, AI research, algorithmic bias, and diversity in technology. Here’s her interview with VentureBeat.

#UVsuggests

Winter suggestions (to read, watch, listen) from the team.

Awesome science discoveries you may have missed in 2020, by the National Geographic (First tyrannosaur embryos discovered! Mystery of the star Betelgeuse’s strange behavior finally solved!)

Our choices reflect and determine who we are. How Barack Obama approaches the toughest decisions.

2020 was a time warp. Was it a year, a day, or a millennium? Science offers clues to why it feels like all of the above. By Vox.

A year like no other, in photos. An astonishing gallery by the New York Times, capturing those historic 12 months.

The Queen’s Gambit will conquer you also if you’ve never learnt how to play chess.

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We inaugurated a series of articles in Italian, exploring the most significant trends of technological innovation in various sectors. The first one is dedicated to the healthcare world - check it out here.

We participated in TechCrunch’s survey and shared our views on how the startup scene is growing in Italy and how United Ventures’ investment focus has evolved during these months.

“I see an increase in complexity in the future, which can only be solved with additional creative initiatives.” The Society Magazine by U-Start featured a beautiful interview with Massimiliano Magrini. Digital version available here.

Paolo Gesess took part in the successful first edition of the Milan Fintech Summit promoted by the Milan Fintech District, sharing his views on VC/CVC partnerships.

Massimiliano Magrini won the Financecommunity Awards 2020 as Best Professional in Venture Capital for the continuous commitment to supporting talented entrepreneurs in Italy and abroad.

"We must recover the ability that our country has always had to look at reality with new eyes." In this episode of the podcast CodiceBeta, Massimo Cerofolini and Barbara Carfagna converse with Massimiliano Magrini about innovation, divergent thinking, and entrepreneurship. 

For her involvement in the xFarm investment, Giulia Giovannini has been included in the list of 77 Italian food tech influencers to watch in 2021

Sara Lovato discussed the investment trends and venture capital perspectives in mobility tech during and post Covid-19 in a panel organized by TechStars.


That’s all for today!

Enjoy your holidays and see you in 2021.

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