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Cortilia closes a new €34 million round to continue its growth as a sustainable benefit corporation business

Milan, 11/01/2021 – Cortilia, the Italian leader in online quality fresh food, announced the closing of a €34 million Series C round of financing, led by Red Circle together with existing investors. Cortilia committed to further push sustainability through its local supply chain and transformed its Articles of Association to become a benefit corporation.

Red Circle Investments, the investment company of Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel and president of fashion group OTB, joins the capital of the food-tech company founded by Marco Porcaro in 2011.  Mr Rosso is also joining the Board of Directors of Cortilia. 

Together with Red Circle Investments, the syndicate included all the institutional investors from previous rounds: Indaco Ventures, the largest venture capital fund manager in Italy; Five Seasons Ventures, the first pan-European venture capital fund specialised in food-tech; Primomiglio, Italy’s early-stage technology specialist fund; and P101 SGR, Cortilia’s first institutional investor since its inception, through two of its funds, P101 and ITALIA 500 (Azimut VC fund managed by P101 SGR).

The new financial resources will allow the company to increase its rate of growth, further develop the footprint of its services throughout Italy, and invest in the latest technologies to continue operating with the highest standards of quality, safety and sustainability.

Initially founded as Italy’s first online agricultural marketplace, Cortilia is now a full stack e-commerce company with a catalogue of 2,500 food products, promoting a model of sustainable and healthy consumption. The service, currently active in the regions of Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna and Piedmont, allows consumers to receive the freshest selection of products from farmers, breeders and artisans, delivered quickly, safely and punctually to their homes. In 2020, Cortilia had a turnover of €33 million, with a growth of +175% over 2019. More than 250 small and medium-sized local producers are integrated in Cortilia’s short supply chain and the company employs a staff of 50 people supported by 200 external collaborators. In 2021 all the staff and operations will move to the new “green” 50,000 m2 headquarter, located on the outskirts of Milan.

“We are delighted to have Red Circle as a new investor to help boost the growth of Cortilia. The arrival of an entrepreneur like Renzo Rosso, with his innovative spirit and his experience in a wide range of sectors, has the potential to provide tremendous value in terms of new prospects and opportunities”, stated Marco Porcaro, CEO of Cortilia. “We share with Red Circle and Renzo Rosso the same sensitivity towards values that we consider to be fundamental, such as quality, innovation and environmental sustainability. I am certain that this will be the foundation of a successful future for Cortilia.”

Thus Renzo Rosso, president of Red Circle Investments: “Last year was a reminder of the importance of health and well-being, and how technology can change our lives, for example in the case of Cortilia by connecting farmers and consumers digitally. This investment is the natural evolution of our interest and commitment in this sector. Cortilia combines the concept of quality sustainable food with digital innovation, two pillars of my vision for the future. My attention to nature and to the land, which is the result of my origins and which has developed over the years, thanks in part to our Diesel Farm and its production of totally organic wines and oils, as well as my passion for everything concerning innovation and technology, are embodied by Cortilia, to which I will bring my know-how in many diverse sectors and activities, and my different and unexpected way of seeing things”.

“We believe in the strong potential of the Cortilia platform. Consequently, in this round we have more than doubled our initial investment”, stated Davide Turco, CEO of Indaco SGR. Andrea Di Camillo, founder and managing director of P101 SGR continued: “We have believed in and supported the Cortilia project since the beginning, and we are proud to accompany it in this process of upscaling”. “For us, Cortilia represents an investment in a project of excellence in terms of brand, technology and customer experience, in a sector with great potential”, added Franco Gonella, member of the Board of Directors of Primomiglio, with the agreement of Ivan Farneti, managing partner of Five Seasons Ventures: “It is the best online fresh grocery company in Europe. Cortilia has the potential of becoming the next Ocado”.

CORTILIA BECOMES A BENEFIT CORPORATION

Cortilia also announced that it has updated its Articles of Association to officially become a benefit corporation, a legal form of company that allows a for-profit organisation to balance the importance of delivering public benefits, with profits for shareholders, a fundamental step in line with the company ethos since its foundation.  With its transformation into a benefit corporation, Cortilia has legally confirmed its commitment to operating in a responsible and transparent manner towards people, communities, territories, the environment, public assets, cultural and social activities, organisations, associations and other stakeholders.

Marco Porcaro commented: “Our transformation into a Benefit Corporation is confirmation of our focus on social-economic and environmental sustainability in our activities, with particular attention to the valorisation of the agricultural fabric of our wonderful country. The new Articles of Association provide for various objectives aimed at the common good, from the reduction of direct and indirect environmental impact to the promotion of short food supply chains for the benefit of local producers and customers; from transparency and accurate information to the raising of consumer awareness regarding a sustainable lifestyle; from involving and giving voice to stakeholders in decisional processes to the creation of a company community that promotes a culture of inclusion, ethic and sustainability”.