10 super start-ups from Naples to watch

9 Aug 2018

The bay of Naples. Image: Enki Photo/Shutterstock

The Italian city of Naples is home to a diverse and growing start-up ecosystem characterised by entrepreneurs pushing the boundaries of tech.

Famous as the birthplace of the pizza and nestled in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Naples has been putting its stamp on history since it was established by the ancient Greeks a few millennia ago.

The city is the third-largest in Italy and one of the most ancient cities on Earth. Its architecture is a vibrant mix of Greek, Roman, Norman, Renaissance and Baroque styles, making its historic centre a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From a tech perspective, Neapolitan entrepreneurship is fostering a growing community of start-ups and app creators.

Naples caught the attention of tech giant Apple which recently created its first iOS App Development Centre in the city to equip students with practical skills for developing iOS apps.

“Europe is home to some of the most creative developers in the world and we’re thrilled to be helping the next generation of entrepreneurs in Italy get the skills they need for success,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, at the time.

And so, here are some of the start-ups from Naples we think you should check out in 2018:


ADmantX is a smart data provider that facilitates advanced brand planning and targeting within the digital advertising industry. The company’s patented semantic natural language processing technology draws on over 20 years of data science expertise. The company was founded by president Stefano Spaggiari and is led by CEO Giovanni Strocchi.


Buzzoole is a big data-powered influencer marketing platform that allows brands to integrate key influencers into their digital communications in an automated way. Buzzoole was started up in 2013 by Fabrizio Perrone, Gennaro Varriale, Luca Pignataro and Luca Camillo. It has raised $2.1m in funding, including $830,000 last year in a round involving Russian fund Impulse VC and Switzerland’s R301 Capital.


DeRev is a popular Italian crowdfunding platform that focuses on enabling creative and innovative social enterprise projects. As well as social entrepreneurs, it works with institutions, brands, cultural stakeholders and start-up incubators. Founded in 2012 by Robert Esposito, DeRev has raised $1.5m in funding from investors that include Vertis and Digital Magics.


Epoché is a line-up of hybrid smart watches that are the brainchild of Neapolitan entrepreneur/designer Allessandro Felaco. Felaco’s ‘Invisible Smart Connect’ technology combines Italian elegance with digital ingenuity. The young company won the Campania stage of the Start-up Panorama d’Italia Award and has joined Amazon’s LaunchPad programme.


Emotricron is the creator of photo-sharing apps, including the Phlay app that allows users to create music videos from a set of pictures. Emoticron was founded by Mario Amura and Armando Ferrigno in 2014 and has raised €820,000 to date.


IVM designs and develops monitoring systems based on integrated sensor platforms. These include products like POWERVE, an innovative system to determine the actual weight transferred from train wheels to rails, and SWAN-T, an advanced system for measuring the condition of railway wheelsets. Another system, EW-LMS, can detect possible landslides on railway tracks and provide a timely warning for drivers. Francesco Mannara co-founded the company in 2014.


iGoOn is a service that allows you to offer or search for a lift by car, either on a schedule or in real time, via a smartphone app. It can be used by individuals or companies that want to enable employees to carpool. Led by CEO/CTO Luigi Picaro, iGoOn was founded in 2014 and has raised €385,000.


Metooo is an integrated app that helps event organisers plan, sell and promote their events. Functions include importing lists from Gmail and MailChimp, site-building, discount codes, ticketing, transactions and an organiser dashboard. The start-up was founded in 2013 by Ferdinando Caruso and Ciro Esposito and has raised €510,000 in funding to date. Companies that use the platform include EY, Pull & Bear, TEDX, Google, Intel and Unicef.


Viniexport provides a central platform for members of the food services industry to trade and acquire wine from diverse producers directly. The company has just secured a €2m funding round led by Spain’s Inveready and is targeting sales of €10m this year based on sales of around 100,000 bottles per month. The company was founded in 2015 by Eugenio Picca, Paolo Orlando and Oreste Guadagnolo.


Volumeet is a social network designed to allow music fans to keep track of their favourite artists and tap into unique content and memorabilia. The company was founded by Massimo Morgante in 2013 and last year raised €295,000 in funding from Digital Magics.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years