Let’s go back for a moment: Milkman was born in 2016 and Di Camillo and Perini were both part of it. On May 21st, Poste Italiane entered the capital of this start-up, and you officially became two “serial exiters”…
Antonio Perini: After my American experience (after selling Workwave, I had joined the US company as a manager to keep working on the project), in my head, and in my heart, the idea of Milkman began to take shape. The basis of this new project continued to be Viamente’s tech, but this time the business was retail delivery. It had to allow users to have capillary control over the last mile. Menawhile, the Italian landscape had changed: the environment was different, there were more VCs and there was a certain hype about start-ups. Thanks to my “track record” I could promptly raise 200,000 Euros to start Milkman. Since then, less than five years have passed to the meeting with Poste Italiane. In this time, VC funds Vertis and 360 Capital Partners also invested. It was Poste Italiane that made the first informal approach to us: at a conference, a manager from their innovation team approached me to ask about Milkman, as their innovation team had heard of us.
Andrea Di Camillo: In those weeks, I had the opportunity to first meet the strategic marketing managers of Poste and then Matteo Del Fante. The meeting had to be about something else, but we did nothing but talk about Milkman: let’s say it was a gradual approach with many initiatives from several sides. The agreement we signed is not an exit in the strict sense of the word, it’s rather a sort of dry run. Poste entered Milkman’s capital by taking part to its third funding round, with the goal of giving life to MLK Deliveries and offering customers the distinctive services that Milkman developed and perfected over the years. This operation, like the one in which 49% of Tannico merged into Campari, contains several iconic meanings: two gigantic and historic Italian companies, led by an enlightened top management, have made a cultural leap that will lead many others to do the same.
These are two open innovation projects: due to their size, these start-up are not amplifying, today, the revenues of the corporates acquiring them, but their core of skills, entrepreneurial spirit, and vision, enters the large companies and changes their way of making innovation by projecting those same businesses into a future in which they will have very different dimensions.