Shock horror! Berlin VC invests in Italian startup. Is this the start of something?

Point Nine Capital has made a seed investment into Cibando, an Italian startup which operates a popular iPhone application that makes it easy to find the best restaurants in Rome, Milan, Florence and other cities in Italy. Fabio Pezzotti, one of Italy’s more successful Internet entrepreneurs and angel investors, also participated in the round. Terms of the investment were not disclosed. The deal is significant since it’s the first investment by Point Nine in a startup in Italy, a market traditional vastly under-served by risk capital. Outside of traditional e-commerce style businesses, there remains very few Italian startups compared to the rest of Europe’s major countries.

Cibando was founded by 23 year old entrepreneur Guk Kim who says the startups has so far served over 170 restaurateurs and has grown from 3 employees to over 10.

On the iPhone app, users draw a circle on a map to select how far they’re willing to drive and select their preferred restaurant category. Cibando then lists the best restaurants that match the user’s requests, along with reviews, photos and other information. For restaurant owners, Cibando is an opportunity to showcase their business.

Pawel Chudzinski, Founder and managing partner of Point Nine Capital, commented: “Guk is an exceptionally talented and driven young entrepreneur. We’re also very happy to make our first investment in Italy, a market which so far has been neglected by most VCs.”

Point Nine Capital, the “investment arm” of Team Europe, is an early-stage venture capital firm based in Berlin.

Italian VC investors (I mean the ones based in Italy) are, in general, famously useless at identifying high growth businesses in their own country so it will be interesting to watch outside investors looking to pick up good deals in the country. Mobile, in particular, looks like a good bet given the Italian penchant for the platform.