Impact comes first for Italian business angels

Published on 23/02/2021

55% of Italian angel investors consider themselves to be ‘hybrid angels’ and the majority say they prioritise social impact

Who are the Italian business angels? In which sector do they invest the most? Are they impact-oriented or do they just focus on economic returns?

The answers to these and many other questions can be found in the recently published report ‘Impatto Business Angels Italiani’, which is based on research undertaken by the Social Innovation Monitor (SIM), in collaboration with Angels4Women, Angels4Impact, Club degli Investitori and Doorway.

According to the study, there are 1014 business angels in Italy and 251 of them (25%) responded to the survey.

Based on the survey, the typical Italian business angel is a 50-year-old man, who also supports the entrepreneur in other ways, beyond just investing money. The typical angel is at an early stage of their investment career – they have made less than 10 investments, and while looking for profit they are clear that social impact comes first, and are very aware of helping local startups grow.

Male. As in the rest of Europe, gender inequality is also present among Italian angel investors, with women representing only 14% of Italian angel investors.

50 years. The average age of the Italian business angel is 50, both for men and women.

Support beyond the money. Regarding the question of whether they offer support to the entrepreneur beyond investing money, 68% of those surveyed say they are active in accompanying the founders during the journey and help them in different ways, while 32% say they are passive in this regard.

Beginner. 75% of Italian business angels are beginners (between 1 and 10 investments); 21% are considered advanced (more than 10 investments) and 4% are virgin (0 investments).

Impact first. The majority of individual investors consider themselves as hybrid angel (55%), in the sense that they seek both social impact and economic returns. 34% claim to be profit-oriented angels, while 11% consider themselves to be impact-oriented.

Within the majority group that does not consider themselves a strictly profit-oriented angel, up to 82% say that their priority is impact first, while 18% look more to financial returns first.

Local. Out of the total of 245 business angels who answered the question survey, 60% concentrate their investments only in Italy, while 40% invest in Italy and abroad.

Sector and diversification. "Digital Services & ICT", followed by "Biotech and Healthcare" and "Fintech & Big Data Tech" are the most popular sectors for those business angels that are considered specialised (49%); while the 51% prefer to diversify their investments in different sectors.

Download report here: