Cariplo Factory announces the fund dedicated to growITup 1

100 million euros for Italian digital startups



Cariplo Factory announces a VC fund dedicated to growITup, the Open Innovation platform in partnership with Microsoft


One year since its inception, thanks to a $ 100 million fund, growITup, the Open Innovation platform created by Cariplo Factory in partnership with Microsoft, completes its end-to-end targeted model to create job opportunities, to boost the post-seed startup and to the digital transformation of Italian companies.

In its first 12 months of activity, growITup has taken on its mission of being a bridge between Made in Italy’s flagship industry and the most promising start-up ecosystem in the country. During this period, growITup involved around 1,000 startups, evaluated over 200 and participated in 40 innovation-related events throughout Italy.

In addition, in this first year of life, growITup has built the foundations of a unique model in the European context, by partnering with top partner solutions, including Accenture Strategy Consulting, Avanade, HP Enterprise and the two Business Schools of the Politecnico di Milano And LUISS – Guido Carli University, and companies such as Alpitour, Barilla, CNH Industrial, Enel, Generali, Intesa Sanpaolo and Luxottica.

A dedicated investment fund with such financial resources is the best way to start growITup phase 2 and a real step towards the most ambitious goal of the project: to increase investment in Italian startups every year, Up to a billion euro of investments by 2020.

This fund, intended for post-seed start-ups engaged in the development of digital technologies, aims to represent the point of reference for investments in digital transformation in Italy.

The fund will benefit from growITup’s ability to generate deal flows and its expertise and services to support startups in their evolution in scale-up logic, including international markets.

The fund will also be the benchmark in Italy for the industrial, financial ecosystem and accelerators in the field of “digital transformation”. Investment decisions, which will result from these dynamics, will however be aimed at obtaining financial rewards for investors. At the same time, they are confident that they will be able to generate job opportunities and social inclusion, consistent with the extensive mission of Cariplo Factory.

The fund’s target is 100 million euros, with a First Closing set at a minimum of 25 million euros. Cariplo Foundation, Intesa Sanpaolo and the Italian Investment Fund have already indicated their interest in participating in the initiative. In addition, among the future main subscribers of the fund other primary institutional investors national and international. Final Closing is expected by the end of 2018, but the launch of investment activity is scheduled for the last quarter of 2017.

The fund, through its lifecycle within 10 years and reaching the fundraising target, provides:

10 – 20 investments in round post-seed

7 – 15 investments in round A (on average 4-5 million euros)



Fund investment areas are represented by 7 industries typical of the  “Made in Italy”, which coincide with focusing on growITup activities:

  1. Fintech & Insurtech
  2. Agro-Food
  3. Energy & Environment
  4. Manufacturing 4.0
  5. Italian Experience (Tourism, Culture & Entertainment)
  6. Fashion & Design
  7. Modern Wellbeing (Health & Wellbeing)


The originality of the growITup model, developed by Cariplo Factory in partnership with Microsoft and the capability of gaining the fund investor’s confidence, lies in the ability to dialogue with all the players in the Italian innovation ecosystem and concretizes in the validation of the Business model and technology solution, enhancing the contribution of both Incubators and Accelerators as well as the Corporate and Partners that are participating in growITup.

These are the underlying assumptions in order to have a significant impact on the growth in total investment value for start-ups in Italy, towards an ideal target of 1 billion euros in 2020 and to contribute to the competitiveness of Italian companies through digital transformation.