Symbid has made good on its promise of impending international expansion.
The innovative equity crowdfunder is bringing the recently launched Funding Network to Italy. Symbid Italia S.p.A. has been launched in partnership with Gruppo Banca Sella. The collaboration will go live in Q2 of this year. Symbid will leverage Banca Sella’s payment solutions, banking services and extensive network in order to launch an Italian version of The Funding Network.
As we recently discovered, The Funding Network is Symbid’s attempt to centralize a unique range of traditional and alternative financial services within a singular online entity. Symbid had hinted that a pan-European rollout of this holistic funding solution was on the cards – and Italy has now become its first beneficiary.
Marco Bicocchi Pichi, dubbed Italian Business Angel of the Year 2014, will serve as Managing Director for Symbid Italia:
“This new Company is an international project with strong Italian roots. We will offer an innovative combination of services to entrepreneurs, start-ups, established companies and investors seeking growth. We’re excited to start working on improving access to finance for Italian small businesses.”
“We’ve built a community of 29,000 investors around our crowdfunding platform in the Netherlands and, as our core business grows exponentially, we believe the time is right to expand. This partnership kicks off a European roll-out which, with the launch of The Funding Network™ in the Netherlands, strengthens our position as a leader in online funding. Through the combination of Banca Sella’s expertise and investor clientele, our financial technology and, of course, the crowd, we’re making efficient online funding a reality for Italian investors and entrepreneurs.”
Some hard facts to consider regarding Symbid Italia. Italian equity crowdfunders are required by CONSOB to ensure that at least 5% of all deals are funded via accredited investors. Symbid has indicated that SMEs contribute 68% of Italy’s total “added value” (EU average is 57%). For further context, a factoring platform by the name of Workinvoice suggested in January that Italian small businesses have suffered a €100 billion credit crunch since late in 2011. The company has registered as manager of a crowdfunding platform for the collection of risk capital via an online portal as determined by the CONSOB – although its full verification by the TUF (Testo Unico della Finanza) is pending.
Symbid is on a mission to digitalize a uniquely broad spectrum of financial instruments across Europe. The platform will make prudent use of Banca Sella’s local expertise and banking experience in order to deliver a transparent, value-added product for the Italy's small businesses and investors.
Where in Europe will The Funding Network spring up next?
AltFi is returning to Amsterdam for its second annual Summit in the city. The inaugural event last year was a roaring success, with key figures from across Continental Europe's alternative finance and digital banking sectors highlighted. These included Jeroen Broekema, managing director of Funding Circle Netherlands, and Mieke van Engelen, head of innovative partnerships at ABN AMRO's standalone lending platform, New10.