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Fintech startups grew 49% compared to 2020, A report

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Fintech startups grew 49% compared to 2020, A report

Fintech (the finance sector that meets innovation: payments, services, money transfers, ecommerce, but also investments), experienced a moment of development and growth in 2021: banks and other players in the financial system have developed new digital channels and services, and Italian consumers have shown an increasing inclination towards digital and more innovative financial services.

In Italy, he highlighted the IAG Index, a thermometer of the startup ecosystem calculated on the database of startups analyzed in the selection of investment opportunities of Italian Angels for Growth ((network of investors participating in early stage financing rounds in startups in the Life Science sectors , Deep Tech, Digital and indeed Fintech), in 2021 the startups in this sector that were analyzed represented 13.6%, increasing by 49% compared to the previous year.

Tech companies (DeepTech and Life Science) represent the majority of the startups analyzed, i.e. about 50%.

962 startups analyzed

The Italian Angels for Growth report is based on a sample of 962 startups in the period 2020-2021. The startups in analysis are part of the entrepreneurial projects arrived at Italian Angels for Growth and evaluated for a possible investment by the partners. There are six indicators, which analyze: the industrial sectors, the type and evaluation of the investment rounds, the geographical area, the gender differentiation in the entrepreneurial teams, the ESG factor (which stands for Environmental, Social and Governance and refers to three central factors in measuring the sustainability of an investment).

Half of the 70 European unicorns

The result is in line with the European landscape, in which the fintech sector is the dominant one in terms of unicorns: in total, there are about 70 European unicorns in different sectors, and almost half of these are in this sector. This means, it is emphasized in the Italian Angels for Growth report, that Europe currently represents 25% of all 120 fintech unicorns globally (data from CB Insights). And there is also a piece of Italy: thanks to the latest capital increase Scalapay has officially become the first Italian unicorn.

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The acceleration of fintech

The digitization of financial processes and the management of operations via the online platform are just some of the key factors that have catalyzed the acceleration of Fintech. The Italian market started late, but is catching up as demonstrated by some success stories such as Fido and Sonect, but also the commercial partnership launched by Banca Generali with the startup “wallet provider” Conio which offers custody and negotiation services and reporting focused on Bitcoin in particular.

66.4% invest in seeds

In 2021 the business angels confirmed their preference to invest in the Seed phase, which corresponds to 66.4% of the startups analyzed, an increase compared to the previous year.

During 2021, according to the IAG Index, there is a generalized increase in valuations, both in the pre-money and post-money phase: the greater presence of players and the evaluation of policies in favor of the ecosystem have allowed a ” inflationary “on the entire fabric of innovative startups. In addition, the massive intervention by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti made it possible to exceed 1 billion euros in investments for the first time in Italy in 2021.

Gender diversity

According to the report, the Diversity & Inclusion theme is taking on an increasingly important role: for the most virtuous organizations in this area, best practices are a driver of innovation and differentiation, increase revenues and improve customer satisfaction. In particular, gender diversity represents a fundamental ingredient for the development of a startup, to be able to seize the opportunities and needs of the market at 360 °. In this regard, the IAG Index highlighted how the percentage of startups analyzed with at least one woman among the founders turns out to be above international standards, reaching 41.3%, with an important increase of 58% compared to 2020, which was distributed fairly evenly in all the Industry areas analyzed.

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The best Italian startups in fintech

  1. Scalapay is a startup that offers a buy now pay later service, payment in installments. In 2022, it closed a $ 497 million Series B round (bringing the total raised to $ 1.197 billion) led by Tencent and Willoughby Capital, with the participation of Tiger Global, Gangwal, Moore Capital, Deimos and Fasanara Capital. In recent weeks, Poste Italiane has extended the capital increase, with an investment of a further 27 million dollars. In 2021, it closed a € 133 million (approximately $ 155 million) investment round led by Tiger Global and participated by Baleen Capital, Woodson Capital, and previous investors Fasanara Capital and Ithaca Investments. For the startup founded by Simone Mancini (the interview with the founder) in 2019 the total collection now exceeds 203 million dollars. Scalapay currently has over 3,000 active stores, both online and offline, across Europe and plans to move to the UK and US in the coming months.
  2. Soldo is the leading European corporate spend management platform. The company, founded in 2015 by Carlo Gualandri, closed a series C round of 180 million dollars led by Temasek (interview with the founder), the venture capital fund of the Government of Singapore, and which saw the participation of new investors such as Sunley House Capital, Advent International, Citi Ventures.
  3. Truelayer is a startup founded in 2016 by Francesco Simoneschi and Luca Martinetti, who developed a platform that allows you to connect apps and banks to manage payments on the go without the need to enter all the data of a credit card. Based in London, it closed a $ 130 million Series E investment round with Tiger Global and Stripe in 2021, for an overall valuation in excess of $ 1 billion. It is the third startup founded by Italians and based in London to become a unicorn, after Depop and Soldo. We also talk about it HERE.
  4. Moneyfarm is a startup, founded by Paolo Galvani and Giovanni Daprà in 2012, which deals with savings management, using Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics and biometric recognition solutions. Born in Italy, in Milan, since 2016 it has also been operating in the United Kingdom. In 2018 it closed a round (among the most significant) of 46 million euros. In 2019, Poste Italiane and Allianz invested 40 million euros in the company. To date, Moneyfarm has raised over € 115 million. In January 2022, it raised 53 million euros in a capital increase subscribed by M&G as a “lead investor” and Poste Italiane.
  5. Satispay, a former Italian startup specializing in the payments sector, closed a round worth 93 million in 2020. The company founded in 2013 by Alberto Dalmasso, Dario Brignone and Samuele Pinta, in 2018 and 2020 was, according to estimates by CB Insights, among the 250 fastest growing fintech companies globally. In the first ten months of 2020, it recorded a number of payments up 78% compared to the same period in 2019.
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