Private Equity Spotlight: P101 has up to EUR 100m available to invest, mature investments ripe for exit

08 January 2021

  •  Investment ticket of up to EUR 10m per company
  •  MusixMatch, Tannico raise investors’ interest 
  • Mature investments include Cortilia, Velasca and Deporvillage

Italy-based venture capital firm P101 has between EUR 70m and EUR 100m available for investments, Managing Partner Andrea Di Camillo said. 


The venture capital fund has so far invested some 30% of its P102 fund, which saw its fundraising period close last summer at EUR 100m, Di Camillo said.  Its portfolio currently features 10 companies, as per its website, and has room for up to 26 firms, similarly to its first fund, he said.


Among its most recent investments are WeSchool, an Italian provider of an online platform for distance-learning, which raised EUR 6.4m in August; Italian cybersecurity company Keyless, which raised EUR 1.8m in July; German proptech company Habyt, which raised a total EUR 6m in July; and Italian B2B marketplace of food products Soplaya, which raised EUR 3.5m in July. P101 was lead investor in all of them, according to its website. 


While the type of targets will remain similar to its previous investments under its Fund P101 – companies with a digital edge -, the firm expects to implement changes in its investment strategy, Di Camillo said. Specifically, its investment ticket will be higher, aiming to initially invest EUR 2m-EUR 5m to then grow the investment up to EUR 10m in a single company, he said. It will look at targets with revenues of up to EUR 10m, he added.


Its previous investment strategy was to deploy between EUR 4m and EUR 5m on average as total investment per company, with about EUR 2m as first ticket, Di Camillo told Mergermarket in 2019.


Companies with a digital edge in sectors such as mobility, logistics, education, healthcare, media and fintech will be under Fund P102’s focus, he said. 


The fund will place two-thirds of its investments in Italy, while a third will be directed into European deals, he said. The firm has already invested thru both its P101 and P102 funds in the UK (BeMyEye), Germany (Habyt), the Netherlands (Wonderflow), and Spain (Deporvillage), and might announce new foreign transactions soon, he added.


P101 will aim to co-invest while maintaining a lead investor role, as it has been doing in the past, and will look to buy majority stakes, he said.


The firm scouts for targets internally and relies on advisory support for the due diligence stage of deals, Di Camillo said. Chiomenti and EY are among the advisors with which it has worked in the past, he added.


The firm also manages Ita500, a EUR 40m fund established in partnership with Italian asset manager Azimut in January 2020, Di Camillo said. The fund has a 10-years duration and will mainly invest in start-ups with revenues of up to EUR 5m as well as in innovative small and medium firms (SMEs) with a EUR 5m-EUR 50m turnover range, according to a press release. Ita500 will co-invest with P101’s first and second funds. P101’s first fund has been deployed but maintains the right for further investments, so Ita500 will be able to invest in companies in the first fund, as per the release.


Porfolio companies’ strategies

P101 could consider suitors for some of its portfolio companies in Fund P101 that are attracting interest among both financial and strategic investors, Di Camillo said. 


The fund held talks in 2019 for some of its portfolio companies but these were paused or slowed down in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, adding they could resume in 1Q21. Firms raising interest among suitors include Italian provider of an online catalogue of song lyrics MusixMatch, in which P101 invested in 2014; and Tannico, he said.


A 49% interest in Tannico, a wine and premium spirits producer, was already sold to Campari Group  for EUR 23.4m in June, as reported. Tannico raised a total of EUR 8m in five years from P101 and other joint investors. Although Campari has an option to increase its stake, P101 could also evaluate other interested buyers in the company, be they private equity firms or strategics, he said, declining to comment on the size of its remaining stake in the business. 


Italian online farmer market platform Cortilia, which has been in P101’s portfolio since 2014, has just embarked on a more structured growth phase as it aims to compete in larger distribution markets, he said. It could next become an attractive target, especially should it decide to pursue acquisitive growth, he noted. 


Among its most mature portfolio companies Di Camillo also named Italian luxury shoes manufacturer Velasca, which is in P101’s portfolio since 2016 and has raised a total of EUR 7.7m to date; and e-commerce platform Deporvillage, which is in P101’s portfolio since 2015 and has raised EUR 3.5m.


P101 is also aiming to inject further funds in Italian e-commerce delivery service Milkman and is interested in finding a new investment partner to do so, he said without elaborating. The funds might come from Ita500 fund, he said. Milkman secured EUR 25m in a fundraising round from P101, Ita500Poste ItalianeVertis SGR and 360 Capital in May, as reported. Milkman, which earlier raised funds in financing rounds held in 2016 and 2018, has to date secured total investment of EUR 35m.


Fund P101’s portfolio firms are deemed to be more attractive now for private equity firms compared to 12-18 months ago, as some of them have become more sizable, with revenue hovering over a EUR 40-EUR 50m range, Di Camillo said. 


Private equity firms could be considered for full takeovers of its portfolio companies or as partners with which to develop further their expansion strategies, he said. Other divesting options would include selling to strategics or opt for an IPO, he added. 


In a listing scenario, P101 would not look at the AIM segment of the Italian Stock Exchange but rather at its main MTA/STAR platforms once the companies reach a proper size and adequate technological skills that make them more appetible for market investors, he said.


P101 has exited nine companies from its Fund P101 to date, including pet food and accessories company Bauzaar, online restaurant booking platform MiSiedo, and travel company Musement, as per its website.


P101 – Current Portfolio

Portfolio Companies Fund Investment Date Sector Founders
Fund 2 Aug-20 Education Marco De Rossi
(United Kingdom)
Fund 2 Jun-20 Cybersecurity Andrea Carmignani
Fabian Eberle
Fund 2 Jun-20 Foodtech Mauro Germani
Gian Carlo Cesarin
Ivan Litsvinenka
Davide Marchesi
Fund 2 May-20 Software-as-a-Service Luca Manara
Edoardo Vannutelli
Filippo Renga
Fund 2 May-20 Education Chiara Russo
Mara Marzocchi
Fund 2 Dec-19 Mobility Filippo Agostino
Elisabetta Mari
Andrea Verdelocco
Matteo Filippi
Fund 2 Nov-19 Education Alessandro Dentoni
Fund 2 Nov-18 PropTech Luca Bovone
(United Kingdom)
Fund 2 Oct-18 E-Commerce Andres Cester
Marc Olmedillo
Sergi Bastardas
Fund 2 Jul-18 Software-as-a-Service Riccardo Osti
Giovanni Gaglione
Michele Ruini
Fund 1 Jul-18 Software-as-a-Service Oscar Macia
Xavier Bisbal
Multiply Labs
Fund 1 Mar-17 Health Care Federico Parietti
Alice Melocchi
Fund 1 Nov-16 E-Commerce Enrico Casati
Jacopo Sebastio
Fund 1 Sep-16 Travel Simon Botto
Fund 1 Jul-16 Logistics Antonio Perini
(United Kingdom)
Fund 1 May-16 Software-as-a-Service Gian Luca Petrelli
Fund 1 May-16 Fintech Ivan Pellegrini
Antonio Lafiosca
Fund 1 Oct-15 E-Commerce Xavier Pladellorens
Angel Corcuera
Fund 1 Mar-15 Foodtech Marco Magnocavallo
Fund 1 Dec-14 Mobile Massimo Ciuffreda
Michele di Mauro
Fund 1 Nov-14 Software-as-a-Service Massimo Fubini
Fund 1 Oct-14 Foodtech Marco Porcaro
Fund 1 Jul-14 Foodtech Edoardo Tribuzio
Giovanni Cavallo
Lorenzo Lelli
Fund 1 Mar-14 Mobile Massimo Ciociola

Source: P101’s website

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