Hercle, a Milan-based startup that opens the doors of digital and crypto assets to institutional investors, announced the closing of a €1.7 million seed investment round.
PranaVentures, an operational venture capital firm that specializes in seed and post-seed investments and invests in high-tech companies in Italy, and Kairos Partners sgr through Kairos Ventures ESG One, a closed-end, restricted alternative investment fund under Italian law that invests in innovative startups and SMEs in the B2B digital transformation, life science, new space economy and green energy technology sectors led by Roberto Zanco and Elisa Schembari, led the deal. A number of prominent business angels in the sector also participated in the round.
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Hercle offers ad hoc trading solutions for market agents with more sophisticated needs and who seek lower counterparty and operational risks
International law firm Gianni & Origoni assisted Kairos Partners sgr, on behalf of the Kairos Ventures ESG One Fund, and Prana Ventures SICAF EuVeca in investing in Hercle. Hercle was assisted by LX20 Law Firm.
Hercle, a startup founded in 2019 by Gabriele Sabbatini, Arturo Schembri, and Marco Levarato, who have a long experience in the sector, aims to offer new tools to facilitate, in a secure way, the entry into the crypto-asset market of institutional players such as banks, financial institutions, payment systems, fintech companies, and HNWIs thanks to a digital asset brokerage platform able to cover the entire cycle of trading activity with the lowest possible operational and financial risk for clients.
Thanks to the team’s extreme focus on technology architecture, risk management, and regulation, Hercle is able to offer ad hoc trading solutions for market agents with more sophisticated needs and who seek lower counterparty and operational risks.
“We believe that crypto-assets are here to stay and that in the future most traditional finance will move onto blockchain in the form of digital assets, this will ensure efficiency and greater scalability of capital markets,” said CEO Sabbatini.
“We believe financial institutions will play a central role in the mass adoption of digital assets. The eventual approval of ETFs on Bitcoin, and the arrival of MICA and the DLT Pilote Regime, will encourage institutional capital to enter the crypto-asset market (particularly Bitcoin) and push financial institutions to offer products and services on digital assets to their clients as well. We developed Hercle’s product precisely according to this vision, on the needs of such institutional players, with the aim of supporting them in integrating, managing, and offering services inherent to digital and crypto-asset exchange.”
The technically sophisticated solution has enabled the company to put its first results on the map, closing deals with a variety of exchanges globally and generating its first revenues by acquiring major clients, international and otherwise. Raising €1.7 million will accelerate the development of the platform, consolidating the technology and optimizing the solutions offered to clients. Resources will also be allocated to hiring and strengthening the team.
“We are happy to be alongside Gabriele and his team, who with Hercle are opening a new scenario in the digital asset landscape – and to welcome the challenge of enabling market access to new players by responding to their needs with reliable solutions with innovative and scalable technology,” continued Lisa Di Sevo, CEO and general partner of PranaVentures.
“We think that the sector is heading toward a new phase that will see new players that can provide a guarantee of professionalism and structuring; in this scenario, we see in digital assets an opportunity that is also suitable for professional and institutional investors. The knowledge and skills of the Hercle team are distinctive in this context to go and seize the new opportunities that will be created,” concluded Roberto Zanco, Head of Alternative Illiquid Investments at Kairos Partners sgr.
Prana Ventures is a venture capital operator dedicated to technology companies that aims to provide next-generation entrepreneurs with not only economic resources but also expertise to enhance the growth of the companies in their portfolios.
Founded by Alessio Semoli (a digital entrepreneur with three exits under his belt and an author and speaker on the topics of digital transformation and artificial intelligence) and Lisa Di Sevo, last February it led in €3.7 million round Aryel, the augmented reality startup offering a no-code software-as-a-service (sas) solution for marketing, in which it had already invested. Last May, among its latest rounds, it led the one for pet food startup, Hygge (€300,000).
Finally, PranaVentures, together with CDP Venture Capital, through the Accelerators Fund, is present in the capital of BeSafe Group, having underwritten in equal parts a €1.2 million round raised in early May 2022 and having led a second €3 million Series A round in late September. This second round also included Azimut Digitech Fund, managed by Azimut Libera Impresa sgr with advisory from FNDX. CDP Venture Capital sgr and strategic business angels also participated in the round.
As for the Kairos VenturesESG One fund, this participated in the second funding round with a €10 million raise from Viceversa, the Italian-Irish fintech that introduced revenue-based financing in Italy to support the growth of digital companies.
The Series A round was also led by CDP Venture Capital sgr through the Service Tech segment of the Corporate Partners I fund, along with Azimut Libera Impresa sgr’s Azimut Digitech Fund, Italian Angels for Growth (IAG), Fabrick and Raffaele Terrone (co-founders of Scalapay, which in March took over the Italian payment institution Cabel IP) and Paolo Galvani (co-founder of Moneyfarm, which in December took over the British Profile Pensions.)
Finally, let us recall that Kairos, an Italian sgr controlled by Swiss private banking giant Julius Bär, in May 2022 had made the first closing, at €10 million, of the Kairos Ventures ESG One fundraising, at the same time starting its operations with the closing of its first investment, the one in Endostart, a Tuscan start-up founded in 2018 that has developed an endoscopic platform for the treatment of incomplete colonoscopies based on Magnetic Balloon Anchoring Technology.
The fund, launched by Kairos in December 2021, had immediately garnered the interest of a small group of investors already close to the world of venture capital (friends&family), as well as securing the commitment of some of Kairos’ partners and, most importantly, Zanco and Schembari themselves.
DISCLAIMER: This article was written by a third party contributor and does not reflect the opinion of Born2Invest, its management, staff or its associates. Please review our disclaimer for more information.
This article may include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements generally are identified by the words “believe,” “project,” “estimate,” “become,” “plan,” “will,” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks as well as uncertainties, including those discussed in the following cautionary statements and elsewhere in this article and on this site. Although the Company may believe that its expectations are based on reasonable assumptions, the actual results that the Company may achieve may differ materially from any forward-looking statements, which reflect the opinions of the management of the Company only as of the date hereof. Additionally, please make sure to read these important disclosures.
First published in Be Beez. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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