Milano Investment Partners SGR strengthens its Venture Capital platform with U-Start Ventures and Cliffs funds

December 15, 2021

Milano Investment Partners SGR (MIP SGR), an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) management company specialising in Venture Capital, after the success of the MIP I fund, announces the creation of a Venture Capital platform, through the launch and management of several alternative and reserved investment funds, differentiated by growth stage of the companies as per portfolio and geographical area.

U-Start Ventures, the multi-compartment Fund dedicated to the realisation of club deals through the activation of single deal sub-funds, has been created following the integration into the SGR of U-Start, a reference company in the world of Venture Capital – historically active in the scouting of investment opportunities. It strengthens MIP SGR’s proposition in this area with the aim of providing more and new stimuli to the network of investors.

MIP SGR also announces the launch of a new alternative and reserved fund called Cliffs, for investments in the deep-tech vertical, mainly in early-stage companies and in the US market. Cliffs has a minimum target fund size of EUR 30 million, is operational and has already made some investments in sectors such as aerospace and software development.

The MIP SGR’s platform is therefore enriched with new Reserved Funds, aimed at professional investors and family offices dedicated to the Venture Capital market, which join the MIP I fund, launched in 2018 with a European vocation and a collection of EUR 100 million. MIP I has already fully invested its endowment. MIP I’s Anchor Investor is Angelo Moratti, flanked by leading financial institutions and some of Italy’s leading entrepreneurial families. MIP I’s portfolio, which has a focus on the most promising Italian or European startups in the consumer sector, often with an omni-channel approach, includes the restaurant chains Miscusi and Pokehouse, Direct to Consumer brands such as Velasca, La Passione and Manebì, and innovative Italian and European companies such as Foodelux, Colvin, Exoticca, Watchmaster and the Buddy Group (Maskokotas).

With the integration of U-Start, the completion of the investments of the MIP I Fund, the launch of the new Cliffs Fund and further new projects on the horizon – such as the MIP II Fund and the Fund of Funds – MIP SGR enters a new phase, in which it is positioned in all respects as a global investment platform, but with a strong Italian soul. MIP SGR acts as a bridge to global expansion for Italian and European companies and as a strategic partner for American start-ups and scale-ups, especially when they have a special interest in Italy. This has also been made possible by a targeted strengthening of the management team, bringing on board three new partners, Lorenzo Calcagni, Massimiliano Dendi and Selim Giray, who will join the historic core team of Paolo Gualdani (co-founder and CEO of MIP SGR), Igor Pezzilli and Alberto Corte.

“Venture capital is an asset class in which it is essential to have access to the best ideas and the best deals thanks to an effective network of co-investors,” Angelo Moratti, founder, Chairman and anchor investor of Milano Investment Partners SGR commented. “My thirty years of experience as an entrepreneur in innovation, as a business angel and now as an international investor, leveraging the strong skills of the MIP SGR team, has made it possible for our investors to participate in some of the best growth stories in the European start-up market. With the expansion of the MIP SGR platform, we are also extending the reach of our radar to the great opportunities offered by the US market, to which we have privileged access thanks to our history as investors. MIP SGR now acts as a bridge across the Atlantic, aiming to connect forward-looking investors with enlightened entrepreneurs.”

“After the success of the MIP I fund and of some club deals that we have proposed to our investors thanks to our strong network in the US,” Paolo Gualdani, co-founder and CEO of MIP SGR added, “it seemed natural to us to both extend the club deal experience, through the U-Start Ventures multi-compartment fund, and to launch the Cliffs Fund to offer our Italian investors access to the best deep-tech opportunities, with a predominant focus on the US. MIP SGR thus becomes an alternative investment platform that responds to diversification needs in the life of target companies and their geography. Starting in 2022, we also plan to launch the MIP II Fund, which will focus on growth equity in the consumer sector in Italy and Europe, and the launch of a Fund of Funds that will provide exclusive access to the best US Venture Capital funds.”


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