Intesa Sanpaolo launches Neva First Fund to back European startups

Friday 16 September 2022 12:26 CET | News

The venture capital arm of Italy-based bank Intesa Sanpaolo, Neva Sgr, has launched the Neva First Fund to support European startups.


Neva Sgr was launched in 2020 and has invested in 26 companies so far, including Italian startups such as proptech Casavo, insurtech Yolo and Italian luxury marketplace Mirta. The Neva First Fund includes EUR 250 million, and its average initial investments have a ticket size of around EUR 4 million. However, the fund will also invest first cheques of up to EUR 10 million. 

The fund will primarily invest in startups at the growth stage as they enter new markets, and Neva would like to deploy all its available capital by August 2024. The largest investor is Intesa Sanpaolo followed by a series of Italian banking foundations such as Compagnia di San Paolo, Cariparo and Carilucca. 

Neva Sgr officials cited by have revealed plans to launch a second, larger fund in 2024. The same source revealed that the venture capital arm would like to raise the quota of investments in Italian companies beyond 30%, as the Italian venture capital market has evolved rapidly in recent years.


The venture capital arm of Italy-based bank Intesa Sanpaolo, Neva Sgr, has launched the Neva First Fund to support European startups.


Italy ramps up its VC investments 

According to, In 2020 and 2021 Italian tech has seen significant growth in venture capital investment.  Still, Italy is behind other European countries such as Spain and Germany, not to mention the US. The same source reveals that, in 2021, companies such as Depop, Soldo, and Truelayer, moved their headquarters away from Italy to maximise their fundraising efforts, keeping only a minor number of headcounts in Italy. 

Despite being the fourth economy in Europe with plenty of technology talent available at reasonable costs, Italy is running at least five years behind Spain and France when it comes to attracting venture capital investment.  

In 2021, the Italian Government sponsored a EUR 1 billion investment program in the native startup ecosystem, establishing a new venture capital fund in Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), the state-owned financing agency. CDP has also launched two different acceleration projects aimed at supporting SMEs and startups with mentoring, networking and support services. 

According to VC investment into Italian startups reached a record high of USD 1.4 billion in 2021, which is more than double when compared to the previous year. In 2022, USD 1.3 billion has already been invested into Italian startups and we’re still a few months away from the year’s end.

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Keywords: investment, funding, banks, fintech
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: Intesa Sanpaolo
Countries: Italy
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Banking & Fintech

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