A dynamic new market: Italy innovative startups are more than 10,000.

Edoardo Bonatti
15 maggio 2019


As it was expected, Italian startups are constantly improving their numbers and their contribution to the Italian economy as a whole. The last quarterly report on the subject, a joint effort between the Ministry of Economic Development and Unioncamere, shows that innovative startups in Italy are now exactly 10.075, as 31 March 2019.

These usually young companies are now accounting for almost 3% of all capital companies registered in the last five years and still active. When looking at the fields in which these companies operate the numbers are not surprising: 72.6% of innovative startups provide services to other companies, especially IT consulting and R&D activities, 18.4% operate in the manufacturing sector, while 3.6% operate in commerce. Innovative startups are also characterized by a strong youth presence among their directive bodies, as 18.8% of them are prevalently staffed by under-35 members, and at least 42.9% of them has at least one under-35 associate.

At the end of 2018, 4,271 innovative startup companies had at least one employee, an increase of 305 units more over the previous six months, amounting to 42.4% of the total and marking a 2% growth over the same period. At the end of March 2019, innovative startups as a whole now have 13,298 employees and 44,732 partners, the latter showing a 17.9% increase over the previous quarter. It is staggering to see how the total amount of partners and employees grew during 2018, an almost 20% increase.

Start-ups budgets are still not fully available as 43% of them either opened in 2018 or were not included in the database. Numbers show a seemingly downward trend on average revenue but this does not mean that the sector is having trouble. As it stands startups are no longer considered as such when older than five years or with yearly revenue of more than five million euros. Given these parameters, bigger, older and more successful companies are exiting the picture and the newly incorporated ones are too small to offset their departure. Thus, mature Italian startups can indeed be considered profitable and future-proof while their younger brothers are in need of capitals to further their development.

Foreign shareholders are however neglecting Italy innovative startups: just 3.2% of them see predominant participation of foreign shareholders. To bridge this gap, InvestorVisa.it selects the best Italian startups and displays them to the world of international entrepreneurs. Non-EU citizens willing to invest in such endeavours can also apply for an Italian investor visa.

Source: Ministero dello sviluppo economico