Recently equity-crowdfunded startup Oval Money is ploughing ahead to a Series A fundraise. The platform, which describes itself as a personal finance marketplace, has scored a ‘significant’ investment from Italian banking group Intesa SanPaolo.
Founded by former Uber Italy chief executive Benedetta Arese Lucini (pictured), Oval seeks to help people save and invest automatically, while giving them better oversight over their financial standing.
The company raised £1.3m through a Crowdcube campaign in January, surpassing its £500k target. Of that total, £788.2k came from 'the crowd', with the remainder coming from private investors. The crowdfund was said to be key to developing its savings and investment marketplace. TechCrunch reported yesterday that the app’s investment products are now live.
Intesa SanPaolo previously supported an equity investment by Bertoldi Group Family Office and others with a zero-interest loan (part of a government support programme for startups). Bertoldi contributed about half of Oval's €1.2m seed round, which was made up of equity investment and the zero-interest loan. The family office also made a small investment as part of Oval's Crowdcube round. Oval had raised a total of €2.7m prior to Intesa SanPaolo's equity investment.
Intesa SanPaolo has a history of involvement in the fintech sector. Last year, the bank began offering fintech lender Iwoca’s credit products to its SME customers.
In a similar move, in tandem to taking a minority stake in Oval Money, Intesa SanPaolo will offer the app’s tools to 20,000 tobacconists across Italy via its subsidiary Banca 5 – which it says will give it access to an underserved demographic of immigrants and young people.
“Working with such an important banking group like Intesa SanPaolo, and building on the infrastructure of Banca 5, allows us to guarantee to our customers a better performance, and even higher standards of safety and security. The interaction of a digital solution with a physical distribution also allows us to complete our mission of being a more accessible and inclusive solution,” said Benedetta Aresa Lucini, in a statement.