An Italian crowdfunding platform that is always making news because of the news it puts on the market! We are talking about Crowdfundme. In order To talk about the most recent strategies implemented by this fintech we met up with CEO Tommaso Baldissera Pacchetti.
What does the whole issue on crowdinvesting platforms, minibonds linked to companies and startups mean for the fintech sector?
Fintech, to whom startups and SMEs are increasingly inspired by, has undergone a strong acceleration in recent years: the minibond is a debt product that will allow the sector to expand further.
The main advantage of the minibond, which can have as issuers only SMEs, is that it allows us to diversify the overall portfolio of our investors, opening us up to a new asset class, namely debt. This product is accessible to a specific category of retail investors: those with total assets over 250 thousand euro. This is the real big news introduced by Consob with its change to the regulation of crowdfunding platforms. Previously, in fact, only institutional investors could subscribe to it.
CrowdFundMe assumes in the whole process the role of collocator and coordinator of the various actors that are part of the entire process. The choice of the SME is certainly fundamental and requires attention, especially with regard to the analysis of the economic-financial situation of the company. It is also important to define an annual interest rate that can be perceived as attractive for our investors. The risk analysis is carried out by an external rating agency, called Modefinance, which calculates a rating of the company allowing an objective assessment of the company. After the placement period, the bond is listed on ExtraMot Pro3, a dedicated segment of Borsa Italiana.
Our portal started in July with the first two placements and we are very satisfied with the results achieved so far. More than 2 million euros have been raised in a rather complicated period, offering investors a rate between 5% and 6% through the payment of half-yearly coupons.
In this particular period can it be of help to the Italian economic ecosystem and if so, in what way?
In light of the crisis caused by the Covid-19 emergency alternative finance, which in recent years has gradually carved its own slice of the market within the Italian economic and financial landscape and of which the Crowdinvesting portals are part, could represent a very effective resource.
We strongly believe that tools such as minibonds can be a new source of liquidity for companies, thus supporting the Italian entrepreneurial fabric in a delicate period such as this one.
Moreover, the minibond appears to be a tool that can meet, not only the needs of companies but also those of potential investors thanks to an interesting rate, the payment of coupons usually on a six months basis and the possibility for retail investors to access this type of products that represent an absolute novelty for them.
Today CrowdFundMe offers a complete range of financial products. What are the advantages for companies? And for investors?
CrowdFundMe has gone from being an Equity Crowdfunding platform to a Crowdinvesting platform. The portal in fact, to date, offers different investment solutions: Equity Crowdfunding campaigns, minibond and Real Estate Crowdfunding campaigns. The obvious advantage for companies is that they can draw on different financing tools through streamlined and almost totally digital processes, also taking advantage of a marketing effect and attracting the attention of a very wide audience of investors. As far as investors are concerned, the advantage is in the greater diversification of the investment portfolio and this is a fundamental aspect especially in periods of high volatility of more traditional markets. In addition, in case of investments in startups or innovative SMEs investors can also benefit from tax incentives through a tax deduction on the amount invested.
We are therefore very satisfied with our work but we don’t want to stop there: we have new projects for the future, one of which is the development of an Equity Crowdfunding trading board with the aim of making these investments more liquid. We hope to be able to give you updates on this soon.
How was your collaboration with i-RFK born and how did it develop? What important results did it lead to?
The collaboration with I-RFK has origins more rooted in time than the placement of the minibond. The participation of I-RFK on our platform began in 2019 when Paolo Pescetto turned to us to make a capital increase. Thanks to the Equity Crowdfunding campaign implemented, I-RFK became the first industrial holding company to open its capital in crowdfunding mode raising € 2.5 million. After the fundraising, again with our support, it completed this part of its journey by being listed on Euronext’s Access segment. This collaboration was then further developed with the placement of a minibond, again through the CrowdFundMe platform. The collection of € 1.2 million at an annual rate of return of 6% with a half-yearly coupon has been successfully completed. The most important results have been the collection of € 2.5 million, the listing on the stock exchange in December 2019 the i-RFK share of which has since then increased from € 1 to € 1.65 (+65%) per share, reaching a market capitalization of € 11.1 million. This result is not only reflected in the demonstration of CrowdFundMe’s high professionalism in completing the transactions, but above all in the listing of I-RFK, which is one of the five economic outputs of CrowdFundMe.