Business Angel Networks: the majors in Italy
Table of Contents
Business Angel Networks are associations of angels who join forces in order select and then invest in startups in a professional, effective, and efficient way.
Business Angel Networks are widespread all over the world, but in this article, we will focus on the most important ones in Italy.
The best way to reach a business angel is to contact the main Business Angel Networks on their websites.
A Business Angel can invest primarily in two ways: individually and in groups, i.e., syndication. Informal investors therefore also invest in groups, and, in this way, they diversify, reducing risks.
Here is a list of the major Business Angel Networks in Italy, which have over 600 business angels all together:
- IBAN (Italian Business Angel Network)
- IAG (Italian Angels for Growth)
- Club degli Investitori
- Angels for Impact
- Angels for Women
Italian Business Angel Networks: IBAN
Italian Business Angel Network (IBAN) is the first Italian association founded in 1999 with the aim of coordinating the financing activities of informal investors in startups. The network has over 150 members, among which you can find Business Angels such as former managers, entrepreneurs and other relevant people that want to invest their capital in promising startups.
Within Italy it stands out as a point of reference for private investors, for national networks (BAN) and for Investor Clubs, while at European level, after being among the founders of EBAN (European Business Angels Network), which is now among the permanent members of BAE (Business Angel Europe), the Confederation of Business Angel Associations in Europe, founded in 2013 also thanks to IBAN to be the voice of informal investors in Europe.
The activity of IBAN
The success of a startup depends essentially on three factors:
- a good business plan,
- the financial means available, and
- entrepreneurial skills.
IBAN intervenes precisely in these three areas because it assists in the drafting and development of the business plan, provides financial support for the funds raising, and, thanks to its professional skills and knowledge, assists the entrepreneur in his/her most important decisions.
For more information, please read FAQ for Project Proposers
Here you can find an interesting paper on Business Angels: SURVEY IBAN 2019, and an interesting document: Practical Guide to The Development of Business Projects – Starting a business with the support of the Business Angel
If you are interested in knowing IBAN’s business angels, please read more on our blog: interview with Fabio Fanecco in Management Consultant and Business Angel for Startups
Italian Business Angel Networks: IAG
Italian Angels for Growth (IAG) is one of the most popular Business Angel Networks in Italy. IAG works with the main national and international players amplifying the advantages for members and founders. The network helps startup founders with capital and skills to grow and make a real change.
IAG invests in entrepreneurial teams with innovative and concrete projects, able to go from idea to go to market.
IAG offers a network of over 250 business angels, among which there are experienced mentors to support the growth of the company. IAG members typically invest between €0.2 million and €1.5 million, or even bigger amounts with the help of co-investors.
The main investment sectors are Life Science, Deep Tech, Digital and Fintech.
IAG key figures
The main figures are:
- 100+ startups funded in over 14 years.
- 6.000+ investment opportunities analyzed.
- €250 million invested by IAG shareholders and co-investors.
- 250+ associated business angels.
Benefits for startups
Below are the main advantages:
- Important and extensive business network.
- Mentoring and concrete support from Champion IAG.
- Support for management team growth.
- Support for current and future fundraising.
- Significant investments thanks to Club Deals.
- Freedom to define the amount, type, and liquidation of the investment.
- An investment from €200,000 to €1.5 million (if necessary: support in the search for co-investors).
- A network of over 210 business angels at your service.
- Mentoring by investors with expertise in your industry.
- Opportunities for collaboration with the network’s corporate partners.
Here are the requirements of the network:
- Product, process, or business model innovation.
- Full-time founder.
- A prototype and initial traction metrics.
- One or more patent applications, if applicable.
The stages of the investment process
The investment process can be divided into 3 phases. Let’s look at them in detail.
The first phase lasts 1-2 months and can be split into the following processes:
- Scouting and team analysis: investment opportunities research; cognitive meeting with the team; 100 deals reviewed every 2 months.
- Screening members: meeting between business angels and founders to deep dive technical issues and confirm mutual interest; voluntary application of the startup’s IAG sponsors. 25% of the deals examined reach this stage.
- Screening Committee: choice of opportunities to be presented at the meeting of members i.e., 7 senior IAG.
- Meeting of shareholders: Term sheet with the main agreement in case of investment; Pitch of the startup in front of the IAG members gathered in plenary; Quantification of the soft commitments of IAG members with a minimum commitment per member of €10K. Only 3% of those examined reach this stage.
The second phase lasts 3-4 months and can be divided into the following processes:
- Due Diligence: in case of commitment greater than €200K, carrying out commercial, business, tax, legal and patent due diligence; transition from soft commitment to hard commitment; confirmation of the champion or the champions.
- Investment: finalization of the investment contract and vehicle constitution for the investment; signature and execution of the investment. Only 2% of those examined get an investment.
The third and final phase lasts 3-8 years and can be divided into the following processes:
- Life of the company: Continuous assistance of the champion to the team on the issues that can be supported by IAG investors and network; support in any subsequent rounds of investment.
- Exit: support in the process of divestment (or listing) of the company.
Italian Business Angel Networks: Club degli Investitori
The Club degli Investitori is one of the most famous Business Angel Networks in Italy and it is constantly looking for capable and innovative entrepreneurs. The investor club is a network of over 200 business angels who invest in startups, scaleups and innovative SMEs.
The Club operates with the support of sponsors, partners, and co-investors: institutions, innovation operators, other investor networks and Venture Capital funds.
Below, the areas in which it operates:
- Fintech & Insurtech
- Food & Agritech
- Healthcare & Biotech
The portfolio of the Club degli Investitori
There are many successful startups that include this network among their investors and, certainly, among them Satispay, Everli and Talent Garden stand out. If you want to see all the startups in the portfolio, click this link.
Here is the link to propose your startup.
Italian Business Angel Networks: Angels for Impact
This Business Angel Network consists of over 60 angels who invest in innovative startups with a technological and impact focus.
A4I has an history of investments and already made two successful exits, has over 40 startups in its portfolio and more than 4.5 million euros invested.
The ideal startup formula is: 1/3 expanding market, 1/3 capable team, 1/3 defensible innovation and 100% execution and commitment.
Startups in which Angels4Impact intends to invest must:
- Be legally established.
- Have a capable management team experienced in their sector.
- Own a highly scalable business model.
- Provide an opportunity that can be accelerated with the support of A4I investors.
- Have a plausible exit strategy within 5-7 years.
- Request an investment between € 100,000 and 500,000, also in co-investment with other Business Angels Networks or Venture Capital funds.
- Preferably have a business model that has impact characteristics.
If the startup matches all requirements mentioned above, it can then apply on the website.
Below all you need to know for the application.
When to apply
Applications to Angels4Impact are possible all year around. Angels meet 4-5 times a year.
30 days before the meeting they set a deadline to select the startups to present to the members.
It is therefore recommended applying in advance so that it is possible to better evaluate the startup.
If a startup submits its application after the deadline of a specific event, it will be eligible for the next meeting.
How to apply
The startup’s application takes place through the Gust platform.
For the application to be valid, the following information and documents have to be included in the five sections of the platform:
- Pitch deck
- Executive Summary
This section must contain:
- Brief description of the startup.
- Contacts details.
- Name of the entrepreneur and the team.
- Names of previous investors.
- Amount of the funds already received.
- Amount of the funds required.
- Whether or not a prototype, market testing or clinical trial exists (where relevant).
- Current Investment phase of the startup.
For the presentation it is needed a pitch deck of no more than 10 pages.
This section must contain:
- Management team names and roles.
- Reference market.
- Problem that the startup would solve within that market.
- Product and service offered.
- Marketing and sales strategy.
- Competitive advantage.
- Business model.
This section must contain:
- Financial situation for the current year and an estimation of, at least, the next three years.
- Amount of funds already received.
- Amount of funds required.
- Type of funding required.
- Pre-money evaluation.
The list of documents required:
- Business plan.
- Financial projection of at least three years, beyond the current one.
- Copies of patents and results of operating and/or market tests.
For more information on the application, please see also the Application Guide
If you are interested in knowing Angel for Impact’s business angels, please read more on our blog: interview with Chiara D’Antò in Lawyer supports startup founders during their journey , interview with Elia Belussi in Business Angel supports startups with Design Thinking, interview with Lorenzo D’Amelio in Marketer, mentor and angel: stories change the world, interview with Alessandro Basile in Legal Advisor for startups on legal risk assessment and interview with Alessandro Annovi in Business Angel, Innovation Manager and Mentor for startups
Italian Business Angel Networks: Angels for Women
Angels for Women is the first Business Angel Network in Italy to develop female startups and break down the gender gap.
Angels for Women is an association composed mainly of women’s Business Angels, with over 60 members, who want to invest in female startups with high growth potential.
Some supporting figures of A4W, one of the main Business Angel Networks
To better understand the context around the female startup world, look at the main data below.
Women’s business angels are few but perform better:
- 25% of angels’ investments in Italy are made by women.
- +0.5% female vs male investment performance.
- Golden Seed best BA Group USA in recent years.
Female entrepreneurship is a minority:
- 20,4% of startups are founded by women.
- -50% investment in female against male startups.
Nonetheless, female startups have better results:
- +10% revenues from startups founded by women vs founded by men.
- +75% chance that fastest growing companies (+200% of growth) are founded by women.
- A4W was created to support entrepreneurship and the ecosystem of female innovation.
Requirements for the application of female startups
Angels for Women invest in startups founded or run by women or that target the women’s market and promote female entrepreneurship.
A4W considers applications from female-led companies or that target predominantly female customers. These companies must have at least one woman in an operational role at management level, and women must be able to influence the company strategy through their corporate role or through participation in share capital.
Startups in which Angels for Women intends to invest must meet the following requirements:
- The startup must be legally established.
- Have a capable management team with experience in its sector.
- Have female governance (or a business aimed at the social improvement of women).
- A highly scalable business model.
- An opportunity that can be accelerated with the support of A4W’s investors.
- A plausible exit strategy within 5-7 years.
- An investment requirement between €100,000 and 500,000, also in co-investment with other Business Angel Networks or Venture Capital funds.
If the startup meets all the requirements, then it can apply on their website.
Here is everything you need to know to apply online.
When to apply
If you are wondering which is the right moment to make the application, you need to know that:
- Applications for Angels for Women are open all year around.
- A deadline of 30 days is set for each plenary meeting before the event.
- They will select the startups to be present at the meeting in the month before the meeting,
- If a startup submits its application after the deadline for an event, it will be eligible for the next meeting.
To find out the dates of the next deadline and the next Angels for Women meeting click here.
How to apply
The startup’s candidacy takes place through Gust.com.
For more information, please read the Rules of Procedure.
If you are interested in knowing Angels4Women’s business angels, please read more on our blog: interview with Lorenza Morandini in Business angel helping female founders to reduce Gender gap and interview with Selvaggia Fagioli in Mentor, Advisor and Angel helps startups from idea to growth
Conclusions on Business Angels Networks
We hope this article was useful and helped you to find the right business angel for your startup.