If you want to know how the equity crowdfunding sector in Italy is going, Matteo Masserdotti, CEO of 200crowd, is the right person to ask. It is in fact to him and his team that we have also entrusted a live online course dedicated to this topic: interactive and also available on demand. But now, here is a taste of what you can learn.
What is the state of the crowdfunding equity sector in Italy today?
Italy was one of the first countries in the world to regulate the equity crowdfunding market; in recent years we have experienced a very interesting growth, always in double digits from 2014 to 2019, but remaining behind in terms of absolute value compared to more mature markets such as the Anglo-Saxon one; a reflection of an also less developed Venture Capital investment culture in Italy. The market, today, is showing signs of greater stability in terms of growth and concentration on larger rounds. The size of the average round has increased over the years, reaching over 550,000€ in 2020. A growth that is also taking place in the average investment ticket that has exceeded 4,000€ in perfect line with the data recorded in the collections launched on 200crowd.com. These two data indicate that the early adopter phase is maturing on a more considered investment concept, with more capacious and structured investors, all good indications to face the opening to a wider and pervasive European market as it will be designed by the new European Regulation on Equity and Lending crowdfunding.
Why is it a useful tool for the economy of the country in your opinion?
The equity crowdfunding allows you to invest in private companies, therefore not listed and unlinked from the stock exchange systems. It makes this type of investment free from market fluctuations and the investments received by the company directly support investments in real economy, favoring the strengthening of those companies that are the backbone of our country: micro, small and medium enterprises. It also allows for a greater capitalization of the same companies that can access the banking system with a more favorable leverage.
Which kind of realities can benefit from it and how to “get started”?
There are two “realities” that can benefit from this tool: companies and investors. In Italy all private companies of capital can launch a campaign of equity crowdfunding and provided they fall within the definition of PMI. I would add that to launch an equity crowdfunding campaign you must also have: the ambition to grow and position yourself strongly in the market and the willingness to welcome new partners within your company. You also must have the courage to face the market openly, with transparency. From a sectorial point of view, surely there are many sectors that are more appealing to investors than others, due to multiple returns and growth opportunities – as fintech is – but in reality it must be understood that every nation, cluster or district has peculiarities and excellence that in other parts of the world are difficult to replicate and give a great competitive advantage at an international level, such as food or fashion in Italy. On the investor’s side, instead, the benefits of investing in an alternative asset such as in private companies is interesting for anyone who wants to diversify their investment portfolio and balance it against market exposure.
Can you tell us about your “impossible mission” of crowdfunding that was successful?
Every Equity Crowdfunding collection is in itself a small and “impossible enterprise”: an act of great trust and shared vision both by the investor and by the company’s founder. However, in terms of timing, the amount collected and the interest that certainly generated the first campaign made with Soisy two years ago has exceeded all expectations. In less than a week from more than 90 investors the company has collected 1.250.000€. A first record for fintech, and for the crowdfunding equity sector in general, which we also managed to replicate and exceed the following year reaching the same figure in less than three hours, from twice as many investors.
Are you interested in participating in the course held by 200crowd?