Rome and London-based Lumen Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm, has launched its approx. €25 million maiden fund. After obtaining authorization from the Bank of Italy as the first Simple Investment Company (SiS) in Italy, Lumen Ventures begins its adventure of investing in tech SMEs and startups with high growth potential.
So what is a Simple Investment Company (SiS)? In Italy the ‘SiS’ is a lean investment vehicle, and was legally introduced for the first time in 2019. It is aimed at raising capital from private individuals to boost innovation, via venture capital. SiS are allowed to collect resources of up to a maximum of €25 million, for investments in unlisted small and medium-sized enterprises that are in the experimentation, establishment and startup phase.
Lumen Ventures has fulfilled all the criteria to become a SiS, and therefore now launches its around €21.5 million fund. The finance will be to be invested over four years into a number of sectors, including fintech, insurtech, healthtech, and foodtech. They are looking for early stage startups to meet their ‘criteria of excellence’, regarding business model and growth potential.
Startups receiving funding can expect to receive support to launch both in the Italian and wider European markets, coming from a young team of investors who have experience as entrepreneurs themselves.
Lumen Ventures CEO and founder Davide Fioranelli, former founder of Freetrade in London, said: “I firmly believe there are Italian business realities being in no way inferior to similar examples from abroad. Therefore, I decided to embark on the Lumen Ventures challenging project in my home country, putting to good use the skills I gained in London first as the founder of a startup myself and then as an investor. I designed Lumen Ventures together with an under-30s team, that has already invested in a number of startups, preferring the simple investment company as a vehicle. “A solid experience in the field” Fioranelli continues “is for us essential to support startups. Without having operated in the front line, it is difficult to understand the real needs of those entering the market: this is certainly the added value of Lumen Ventures single investment company. We are industry agnostic, but we expect to benefit from Fintech’s experience looking in a first instance at the Healthcare, Foodtech and Insurtech sectors.”