Among the numerous fintech startups that are disrupting the Italian financial landscape, these 10 stand out the most
The Italian fintech ecosystem has grown from 16 players to more than 300 companies in the last ten years. Funding to Italian fintech startups also grew at an impressive CAGR of over 60% from 2016 to 2019. COVID-19 has further accelerated digitisation of financial services.
Fintech services such as digital payments and alternative lending have had a remarkable boost. New European regulations such as the PSD2 allow FinTech startups to flourish and offer new solutions in compliance with the emerging Open Banking system.
The Satispay payment network enables its customers to securely send money and make both offline and online payments using a smartphone app. The service relies on International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs), and it is not linked to any specific bank or to credit/debit cards. Therefore, Satispay is able to process all payments with a structural cost advantage by connecting directly to the consumer and merchant bank accounts. At the same time, the app registration doesn’t require providing any sensitive information. After the latest Series C funding round co-led by Square, Tencent, LGT Lightstone and TIM Ventures, the company has raised a total of $160 million since its inception in 2013. In addition to Italy, Satispay is also active in Liechtenstein, Austria and Germany. Currently, the app has 2.3 million registered users.
Scalapay provides an online lending platform for purchase financing. It enables users to buy now and pay later, making instalment payments for online/offline purchases without interest. Users can avail the facility by choosing the Scalapay payment method during checkout. The ambitious startup was founded in 2019 and already operates in 9 European countries. This BNPL technology provider has also recently closed a funding round to fuel its further expansion. The startup has raised $155 million at a $700 million valuation, reaching $203 million in total funding. Scalapay currently works with 3,000 merchants. The company claims 15-20% of all their customers’ transactions are enabled by the Scalapay solution. The ability to buy now, pay later has increased the average conversion rate by 11% and cart amount by 485 for Scalapay merchant clients.
Credimi offers digital financing for companies and sole proprietorships. Being authorised by the Bank of Italy, Credimi has already provided over 1.8 billion euros to 60,000 Italian businesses from all sectors. The credit check happens online. The application takes only a few minutes, and the financing proposal is ready in 3 business days. Credimi’s growth was greatly boosted by the pandemic, as the company was one of the main suppliers of loans backed by Italian State-guarantees. The startup has raised a total of $39.9M in funding over 4 rounds since its foundation in 2017. The platform closed 2021 with record numbers: $484.6 million (€434 million) disbursed to SMEs (+38.2% from 2020) against total loan requests for over $6.7 billion (€6 billion). Its revenue grew 40% in 2021, surpassing $16.7 million (€15 million).
This on-demand insurance provider offers quotes for health insurance, travel insurance, smartphone insurance, tablet insurance, laptop insurance, sports equipment insurance, holiday rental insurance, dental insurance, alternative medicine insurance, pet insurance, national/international insurance, school trip insurance, etc through its innovative online platform. YOLO enables users to purchase micro-insurance products in real-time, and on a pay-per-use basis, via the platform and app. The startup closed the first €5 million Series A investment round in 2019. The latest funding of €2,5 million took place in August 2021. In 2020, it partnered with FCA Bank, dedicated to motorists renting cars, to launch a new online platform enabling the sale of insurance policies through the digital channel as well as managing customer relationships in the post-sale phase and conclusion of the loan.
MatiPay is the new IoT solution making vending machines “smart”. This mobile payment and telemetry system provides an immediate connection between the vending machine and the smartphone app. The app is connected to a virtual wallet rechargeable via cash dispenser, Credit Card or PayPal. Its business clients can update prices and configure vending machines remotely; engage customers with a loyalty program, rewards and discounts; as well as offer the ability to pay with NFC-enabled wearables and other contactless technologies. MatiPay’s smart fridge Frigo allows merchants to expand and diversify the range of their automated food services with fresh ready-made meals along with ordinary sweets and snacks. In 2019 Neva Finventures, Intesa SanPaolo’s Corporate Venture Capital arm invested €7 million to support the international growth of MatiPay, getting a minority stake in the startup.
Young Platform is a brand-new Italian cryptocurrency exchange designed for the next generation of investors. The aim of the platform is to simplify access into cryptocurrency through a range of products. Not only does the startup serve as a crypto marketplace with the connected wallet, but also educates its customers about the new class of digital assets through its Academy lessons. Being aimed at young investors, the startup has also introduced some gamification elements. E.g. Young Platform Step is the free app for learning the basics of the crypto market through quizzes and games. Every successful step you take throughout the day brings you Young tokes (YNG) which can then be exchanged for discounts on cryptocurrency buying and selling fees. Young Platform has raised a total of €4.6M in funding over 2 rounds. The startup also has recently acquired the London-based Arithmos Trading to increase the speed of transactions, maximise profit and minimise risk.
BacktoWork is an equity-based crowdfunding platform for startups, SMEs, and real estate projects. It partners with the major international banking group Intesa SanPaolo. Besides listing on the convenient online platform, startups seeking funding get a dedicated campaign manager, marketing support, and a consultant that will guide them through the necessary paperwork.
Italy-based digital fintech platform for expense management Switcho helps users manage their recurring expenses in smarter ways. The startup operates with two aims; to constantly improve the financial situation of its users, and to manage all the bureaucracy related to the saving action. This young startup has raised a total of €2.7M in funding in just two years of existence. By teaming up with Open Banking provider Salt Edge, Switcho is able to access bank transactional data and information on the payees for each bill from 500+ Italian banks. Adding that information to the services from suppliers on the market, the company analyses them and offers tailored deals to its users.
MDOTM develops AI-driven investment strategies for institutional investors. The startup provides portfolio advisory and asset allocation solutions to banks, insurance companies, family offices, pension funds, as well as wealth and asset managers, which enhance their investment decision-making process. Its award-winning proprietary AI engine continuously analyses millions of market data points, and provides forward-looking investment views on expected risk and return of single-stocks and at a sector and asset class level. This month, MDOTM acquired the team of Mercurius Betting Intelligence, a company specialised in AI-based betting models and sports prediction. The deal will incorporate Mercurius’ skills in AI applied to game theory, rare events forecasting and tail risk management into MDOTM expertise. The company has raised a total of €8.2M in funding over 2 rounds.
Walliance is a crowdfunding investment platform catering to the needs of real estate projects. Investment opportunities start from € 500, while operators of the sector can raise capitals in an alternative and transparent way. The startup offers investments in the real estate market through equity and debt crowdfunding, acting as an intermediary between Small and Medium Enterprises that develop real estate projects and individuals, or legal entities, that want to invest in them. Besides Italy, the platform is authorised in France. Total investments made with Walliance exceed €59 million. Annual Return on Investments (ROI) equaled approximately 10-11%. The startup itself is supported by 8 investors, having raised a total of $3.7M in funding over 6 rounds.