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1. Italian Startups
2. Set up a startup in Italy
3. I've got an idea. And now?
4. Value analysis
5. Business model
6. Communicate, communicate, communicate
7. Being net
8. Find your market
9. Funding: venture capital, business angel and other
ways of financing
Today's table of content
1. Alive and kicking startups
3. Lessons learned
“Buongiorno, a DOCOMO Company, is known in the
worldwide mobile commerce ecosystem for
developing and managing paid apps and services
that help consumers get greater enjoyment from
mobile devices. Buongiorno is now a global leader at
the heart of the mobile internet revolution.”
Buongiorno is an Italian company that provides
content (such as games, music, and information) for
Buongiorno started out in 1995 when current
chairman Mauro Del Rio started sending humorous
e-mail messages with the subject "Buongiorno" to 11
friends. The business expanded quickly—by 1998 he
was sending e-mail newsletters to 25,000 people.
Del Rio launched Buongiorno SpA to provided
services for the telecommunications market,
beginning a policy of growth through international
acquisitions, the first of which was of the Spanish
company MyAlert in 2001. Buongiorno merged with
Vitaminic in July 2003 to form Buongiorno Vitaminic
SpA. The company continued with its policy of
acquisitions, the most significant of which were the
Italian company Gsmbox in 2004, and the French
company Freever in 2005.
In 2006 the group Buongiorno delivered almost 1.4
billion "digital objects" (ringtones, Java games,
wallpapers, etc.) to over 60 million end users (unique
mobile phone numbers).
As reported on the 2009 balance sheet, the
Buongiorno group has a net worth of around €158.1
million and revenues of about €259,5 million.
In 2009 the Buongiorno group employed 1000+
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buongiorno - http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buongiorno
YOOX Group S.p.A is an Italian internet mail order retailer of men's and
women's multibrand clothing and accessories. Founded by Federico
Marchetti, a former investment banker, in Zola Predosa near Bologna in
2000, Yoox Group has become a profitable e-commerce company that
serves "more than 100 countries worldwide".
It has established itself amongst the market leaders with the multi-brand
stores yoox.com, thecorner.com and shoescribe.com
Since 2006, YOOX Group designs and manages mono-brand online
stores for fashion brands looking to offer their latest collection on the
Internet (Emporio Armani, Diesel, Valentino, Moschino, ecc.)
As reported on the 2011 balance sheet, Yoox group
has a net worth of around €10 million and revenues
of about €291,2 million.
In 2011 the Yoox group employed 469 employees
(+26% than 2010).
The website was created in 2004, spawning from the success of low-cost
Low-costs were usually not considered in the traditional channels of
distribution (booking sites and travel agencies): an hassle for the
customer willing to book a flight, who had to check all the companies'
sites one by one.
This intuition pushed the founders to “ride the wave”, gaining instant
success. Later, they broadened the range of services offered, including
hotels and full holiday packages, therefore improving the perceived value
of the service.
2004 – First incorporation of the society, with 50.000
€ capital, by two founder (Marco Corradino and a
business parntner), one employee
Sale of first flight
2005 – Scheduled flights are introduced (CRS)
First internal customer service, with four employees
2006 - Bravofly Group is constituted, service for the
European market starts, in four languages
“Jobrapido is one of the largest job search engines in the world, delivering
660m visits per year in more than 50 countries. It helps job seekers search
millions of jobs globally, and provides employers with access to one of the
world's largest candidate audiences.”
“Looking for a job on the web is annoying”. From this thought of Vito
Lomele (an engineer from Conversano, who lived in UK and Germany) was
born the idea to limit to the minumum this unavoidable phase: “I was
looking for a hob, and I realized how it was difficult and complicated. So I
said myself: there are no search engines for job offers? I'll make one”
Started in 2004, in 2006 became a company.
With the project growing, more people and money were needed: 200k €
were raised from some friends, including the former boss, and 150k € were
invested by an european entrepreneur, Oliver Samwer.
2011's turnover was 24 million Euro, with 3 of net profit; 660 million users,
80 employees from all over the world.
In 2012 Evenbase, from the publishing group DMGT (Daily Mail and
General Trust) bought out 49% of the company (it is said, for 30 millions),
leaving Lomele at the helm with 51%.
Glancee is an app that let you discover people
nearby who share friends and interests with you.
Behind the scenes, Glancee uses Facebook to find
common friends and Wikipedia to match users based
on interests relevant to one another.
It is a social discovery tool that reveals the hidden
connections we share with the people we stumble
upon everyday in bars, campuses, even grocery
Founded in 2010 by Andrea Vaccari, Alberto Tretti
and Gabriel Grisé, it was bought out in 2012 by
It was bought before having earned any money, and
without having received any funding.
“We are therefore very excited to announce that
Facebook has acquired Glancee and that we have
joined the team in Menlo Park to build great products
for over 900 million Facebook users. We've had such
a blast connecting people through Glancee, and we
truly thank our users for being a part of the Glancee
“Mag.0” research project
funded by WorkingCapital in 2010.
In 2011 they won “Mind The Bridge”, then took part in
“500startups” program, where they raised $515K and
won Best Design Award at LAUNCH Education.
“AppsBuilder is the new cross-platform tool to create
apps in a cost-effective way and without having any
coding skills. The project was born in 2010, when the
two computer engineers Luigi Giglio and Daniele
Pelleri acknowledged the mobile as the major
technology shift of our times and decided to develop
a do-it-yourself app platform to create, edit and
promote mobile apps with no programming
skills at all.”
“Balsamiq is the maker of Mockups, the rapid wireframing software that
combines the simplicity of paper sketching with the power of a digital tool so
that teams can focus on what’s important. We’re a fast-growing, but small
and personable company that competes on usability and service. We
believe work should be fun, and that life is too short for bad software.”
Balsamiq was profitable in 3 weeks after launch.
(it was developed while Peldi was working for Adobe in the US, coding at
“Since 2006 Passpack is the leading innovator in web-based password
management and secure collaboration. Passpack employs the highest
grade encryption systems, coupled with security patterns built specifically
for the Internet to guarantee complete data privacy. Businesses worldwide
trust Passpack to protect their logins every day.”
2006: Passpack, the free online password manager, launched and
immediately started to grow.
2008: Passpack incorporated with headquarters in Italy.
It received seed funding from Zernike Meta Ventures S.p.A (ZMV),
representing Ingenium and members of Italian Angels for Growth.
2009: ZMV renewed their dedication with additional funding.
2010: Founders move to California, and release Passpack Mobile.
Born in 1999 as a online shop and delivery service
for groceries in Silicon Valley, California.
Founded by Louis Borders, a successful entrepreneur
(founder of Borders Bookstores)
Promised 30 minutes deliveries anywhere in town, 24/7.
Within an year and still in the red, it expanded business
to 10 major US cities, aiming to reach 26 biggest cities in
Gained 375 million $ in investment money within 18 months
(from Goldman Sachs, Yahoo, Sequoia Capital etc)
Worth 1.2 billion after two years
(despite no sustainable revenues)
13 million sales in its first 6 months
(despite reporting 35 million losses)
Over 2000 employees, presence in the most important
US markets (west coast)
Bought out its direct competitor with 1 billion $ in stocks
Huge investments in infrastructure (inspired by Amazon)
300,000-square-foot distribution centres
(the “most automated in the world”)
Lots of advertising
200 trucks for the Atlanta area only
(grand total actually unknown)
Refitted company headquarters → 92.000$ for 115 chairs
Grocery business in the US works on razor-thin margins
2-3 cents per dollar are considered good margin
1 cent per dollar is common
Burned through 1 billion $ in investment money without
achieving a sustainable business model
No one on the board had any experience in management
Operating expenses much higher than traditional channels
- bad management decisions
- customers' advantages did not justified higher prices
- too much money avalaible induced lavish spending
- dotcom bubble collapsed
LARGEST DOT COM FLOP EVER
According to CNET
Don't do it!
Galatea's 5 points against founding a startup:
1. A startup is not only a good idea
2. A startup is an enterprise
3. A startup is a work group
4. A startup must have a good product
5. A startup is stressful