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Bending Spoons – Made in Italy

Bending Spoons: impossible, maybe

Making the impossible possible is the guiding principle of Bending Spoon, an innovative Made in Italy start-up whose mission is to create a positive and lasting impact on customers, employees and society at large by developing apps that improve people’s lives.

reading time4 minutes

Remember the child in the film The Matrix, who could bend spoons? That character inspired the Italian software house Bending Spoons, and its motto, “Impossible. Maybe”, is a reminder that the impossible exists until someone makes it possible.

Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn

Bending Spoons is the second Italian start-up to become a ‘unicorn’, i.e. a company with a value of more than a billion dollars. The start-up was founded in Copenhagen by four young Italian engineers: Luca Ferrari, Matteo Danieli, Luca Querella, and Francesco Patarnello. They were all abroad to attend a master’s course, thanks to a scholarship. Here, they founded their first start-up, Evertail, which closed down within a couple of years. Strengthened by this experience and far from discouraged, they founded Bending Spoons in 2013 with their Polish friend Tomasz Greber. The aim is to develop applications for Android and IOS that improve people’s lives and create a positive and lasting impact on customers, employees and society at large.

A piece of advice that is as good as funding

In 2014, they moved their headquarters to Milan, and after only a few weeks, they were already generating profits. That same year, Patarnello participated in a charity auction to win for €25,000 and after 144 bids, a business lunch with Roman entrepreneur Riccardo Zacconi, the Candy Crash Saga creator. Patarnello is convinced that Zacconi’s opinion is worth more than funding, and given the results of Bending Spoon, he was probably right. In 2018, the company had a dozen apps in its portfolio, more than 200 million total downloads, 270,000 new users per day, and a turnover of more than 45 million euros.

The Immuni app, a missed opportunity

In 2020, Bending Spoons developed the Immuni app with the collaboration of Centro Medico Santagostino and licensed it to the Italian government. It cannot be said that the app’s use has been decisive in containing the contagion. However, Bending Spoons went straight ahead and, in 2021, entered the FT 1000 – the Financial Times ranking of the 1000 fastest-growing companies in Europe – in seventy-ninth place.

Growth and acquisitions

2022 is an important year for Bending Spoons because, thanks to a funding round, it managed to buy Evernote, a personal productivity app and a former Silicon Valley Unicorn. In August 2023, a new financing round of 155 million definitively positioned the company among the ‘unicorns’, with a total value of USD 2.55 billion.

The year 2024 opens with two acquisitions: the first is that of Mosaic Group, a company specializing in mobile software; the second sees the purchase of Meetup, the social network with 60 million members that facilitates the aggregation of groups of people sharing interests and passions. Rumors of a possible acquisition of Vimeo have emerged, which would allow Bending Spoons to expand its portfolio further.

A futuristic new headquarters

In February 2024, Bending Spoons opened its new Milan offices in Via Nino Bonnet. Today, the company, certified Top Employers Italy 2023, is one of the world’s leading app developers, with hundreds of employees and a turnover of around 2 billion euros.

Congratulations to those who do not give up and look for innovative solutions!

Read about other Italian companies that bring Made in Italy innovation to the world.