REVIVA, the first startup that animates real estate auctions

Reviva is the first startup created to liven up real estate auctions’ buying and selling. It uses predictive models and machine learning along with an experiential marketing process to reach potential buyers in the traditional real estate market, making them aware of the auction market and helping them find the right property for them. The goal is to help them understand its true value and get them to buy at a fairer price.
We interviewed Co Founder and CEO Ivano De Natale.

How was the idea of REVIVA born ?

Italy has the sad record of being the country with the highest number of NPLs in Europe: loans that banks have given and debtors have not been able to repay. There are calculated to be about 325 billion circulating in the Italian system. When an NPL is guaranteed by a real estate the only way the bank has to recover its credit and the debtor to repay it is by auction but, due to a cumbersome and obsolete mechanism, 72% of the auctions in Italy are deserted. This means that nobody shows up to buy the properties which are then sold after 5 years on average at a price much lower than their market value. This has a strong impact on creditors, who are unable to recover the amount paid, debtors, who are unable to repay, and the company suffering from liquidity. In addition to this, the value of the auctioned houses pulls down the value of the properties put up for sale on the traditional market. Our solution was to founding Reviva.

How does Reviva affect the industry?

We have managed to increase real estate auction sales by 43% and one out of four times our buyer is the one who wins the property because he or she has understood its value. All this has a positive impact both for banks and creditors who are able to recover larger sums, for debtors, who are able to repay, and on society, which finally has a more prosperous economy thanks to the injection of liquidity.

What stage of growth are you in?

Right now we are in the growth phase and we have already positioned Reviva on the market: we are recognized as a leader by our clients.
As far as fundraising is concerned, so far we have done bootstrapping: my partner and I invested all our savings initially in the company and then we invested all the profits in marketing and technology. We are launching our fundraising campaign which will take place in three parts, one part as convertible financing by an institution, another part with equity business angel financing that also brings experience and a third part through crowdfunding. We will finish our campaign by December 2020

What do you expect from entering the Fintech District?

Entering the Fintech District allows us to create and build relationships with other startups and companies and institutions in the financial world. During this period, actually,we are about to conclude a partnership with another fintech that is active in the real estate lending and crowdfunding branch.

What is your team like?

Our team is composed of 16 people all located in the tech, data science, administration and commercial areas. The average age is between 25 and 30 years old: my co-founder partner is 30 and I am 38, together with some other commercial people we are the oldest in the company. To find some older people you have to look at the advisors: nine of them who helped us in the first years of our startup and who have an average age between 45 and 55 years.

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Coronavirus: FD Corporate members’ initiatives

In the atmosphere of uncertainty in which the coronavirus has put us, health, social and economic, it is encouraging to see how many companies have not hesitated to launch initiatives to support those at the forefront in the fight against this virus. The Fintech District’s corporate members have also done so and we are proud to share and support them.

  • AXA Italy has financed a project to restructure the Reanimation and Intensive Care Unit of the Sacco Hospital in Milan. Thanks to a contribution of 500,000 euros, two new Air Treatment Units will be built to implement the first four beds, guaranteeing controlled biological contamination environments that are essential to protect patients and healthcare workers. A Surgical Room, one of a kind, will also be built for the possibility of performing small and medium surgery on patients with highly diffusible infections, keeping them within a highly protected environment.
  • Banca Sella has launched three initiatives to support the economy for the coronavirus emergency. It has compiled a decalogue of banking and financial services that can be done through the App and Internet Banking, comfortably and safely from home. It’s promoting Vidra a free e-commerce service to support small shops that had to close due to the emergency. It launched an innovative platform for remote dialogue with customers. The bank chooses the video and web collaboration system developed by the scale-up Bandyer to communicate remotely with its customers.
  • EY, through its EY Foundation, has launched a fundraising campaign to increase the number of intensive care places dedicated to Covid19. The donations will be donated in equal parts to the hospitals of the San Donato Group in Milan and to the Fondazione Policlinico Gemelli in Rome. Full transparency of the fundraising process and their use will be given thanks to an EY blockchain solution.
  • IBM Italy has launched three initiatives of support and solidarity for the coronavirus emergency. Through its Foundation, it donated 250,000 euros to the Pope John XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, involving its employees and Business Partners in a fundraiser, open to all. By participating in “Solidarietà digitale”, it made available to the community a ibm.biz/ibmsolidarietadigital and a dedicated portal, and the U.S. Department of Energy relied on Summit, the most powerful supercomputer in the world, to model what could affect the infection process and identified 77 with the potential to compromise the ability of COVID-19 to attack and infect host cells.
  • UBI Banca Group has chosen to support more than 12 healthcare institutions and research centres directly involved in the management of the coronavirus emergency with 5 million euro of funding. In order to give immediate concrete form to its commitment, UBI Banca will also donate two ambulances which will be destined in a very short time to the provinces of Bergamo and Brescia. Details of the project.
  • Zurich Group has chosen to support the National Health System with a donation of 650,000 euros in order to deal with the coronavirus emergency. Thanks to a fundraising campaign shared by employees, agents, the company and the “Z Zurich Foundation“, 650,000 euros were donated to the Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan, the Lazzaro Spallanzani Hospital in Rome, the Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo and the Cotugno Hospital in Naples. Employees and agents joined forces to make a concrete contribution and, for each euro donated, Zurich Italia and the Z Zurich Foundation contributed an equal amount. Zurich Italia also offered its support to hospital facilities to facilitate the procedures for purchasing medical devices and other instruments needed to deal with the Covid-19 emergency.

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Coronavirus: the Power of Fintech Community

What can a community, founded to create synergies and foster collaboration in the fintech sector, do in a moment like this when the country where it is based is going through an emergency that will be remembered in history? Undoubtedly collect all things valuable and useful made by its members, support it, amplify it, so it can reach as many people as possible.

With a fintech spirit which takes fuel from innovative and digital tools and services orienteered towards the future, but still capable of looking at current needs and responding quickly and effectively, we move on. At this time also the fintechs of the Fintech District community have proved to be active and responsive in giving support for the Coronavirus emergency.

Here is a collection of the proposed initiatives. Not only hashtags such as #iorestoacasa and #andràsuttobene but concrete actions.

  • AppQuality, the Italian leader in Crowdtesting, is offering free online consultations to help managers implement and improve their smart working culture. Also, since many ecommerce websites are struggling to keep up with their customers’ expectations, AppQuality is happy to provide a free test of their checkouts
  • Borsa del Credito has created Cash anti Covid-19, a 6-month bullet loan designed to cover 100% of current SME expenses for the next six months (wages and salaries, rents, utilities).
  • Catapush offers free of charge and for the entire period of the emergency for Covid-19 the instant messaging application Catapush Messenger to local, provincial and regional Administrations, Civil Protection, Hospitals, Red Cross, other public authorities involved, to allow them to communicate directly from their systems with staff, volunteers, doctors, staff etc. on the territory and/or with citizens. (Rest API, On Line DEMO)
  • DeRev, free of charge, provides its team and its experience in strategic communication and crisis management to support national and regional institutions, municipalities, health facilities and politicians who in these days have the task of informing, raising awareness and assisting citizens in the most correct and effective way possible.
  • Fintech4i Monday, March 23rd organized the webinar “How I fight you COVID” to raise funds for the coronavirus emergency. Thanks to 4 experienced traders will analyze price movements in this historical phase of modern finance. All revenues will be donated to the Italian Red Cross.
  • GrowishPay allows Italian ecommerce to donate a share of their sales to entities or non-profit organizations in this moment of emergency through the GROWISHCHARITY solution that also provides a widget in real time to view the total amount donated and transfer the donations collected to the beneficiary organization.
  • Hype offers its customers the possibility to make a donation directly from its app, using the “send money” function, to help the ASST Fatebenefratelli Sacco hospital, in Milan, to which fintech itself has already donated 25K €.
  • Lita.co Italy launched “Call for Italy“, in partnership with Entopan. It’s a program to help startups, SMEs and big companies to overcome the crisis after COVID-19 emergency. They want to support the growth of innovative projects through investments, educational programmes and advisory on innovation. Call for Italy is an ecosystem made of financial partners, investments funds, banks and innovation consultant, all committed to help companies with high level services to face and overcome the crisis.
  • October suspends capital repayments for a period of 3 months for more than 500 SMEs with active repayment schedules. This measure will be initiated automatically and without any bureaucratic procedures by entrepreneurs. October will renounce the fees charged to SMEs throughout the period as a further sign of its efforts.
  • Opstart, Ener2crowd and gimme5 have launched a special fundraiser on the portal www.fintech4life.it in favour of Cesvi, committed to supporting the Pope John XXIII Hospital of Bergamo and to supporting the over-65s in the cities of Bergamo and Milan, with home help.
  • PINV Documentale enables you to safely send, receive and store accounting and financial documents. No more sifting through emails, chats or jumping from one platform to another. No matter where you are, you and your accountant will share a single online platform where everything will be easily available 24/7
  • Satispay invites its community to support the Civil Protection through its Donations service. The money collected through the association 1 Caffè Onlus will be donated entirely to the Civil Protection, which in turn will allocate the funds to the Italian health care, especially to hospital doctors working towards containing the contagion.
  • Soisy will cancel commissions on all investments until June 10 to all investors of Soisy to remove obstacles to the flow of investment to the economy
  • Splitted (by Splitty Pay) has launched a fundraising campaign in collaboration with the Don Gnocchi Foundation and the Director of the crisis unit, Paolo Banfi, for the purchase of new ventilators to strengthen the intensive care unis. The funds raised will be donated to the foundation as soon as the amount for the purchase of the equipment is reached.
  • Starteed, Oval and Walliance have launched #ioRestoaCasa, a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the Department of Civil Protection to support healthcare units facing the Coronavirus emergency.
  • In this context of health crisis, Swikly is showing its solidarity by offering its online security deposit service free of charge until 31 August in order to help vacation rental professionals, camping professionals as well as car rental companies to make a success of their season, in the best health and safety conditions.
  • Revolut supports Humanitas hospitals involved in the Coronavirus emergency through the Donations function within the app. Donations will be used to provide hospitals with medical devices and materials needed to protect the most fragile patients.

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VC and fundraising. Tips for fintech by Paolo Gesess

What is the attitude of VCs towards fintech today and how is it possible for a startup to attract the attention of top investors? We asked Paolo Gesess, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at United Ventures who has given a mentorship session with the startups of our community on this very topic.

Fundraising for fintech: what are the specificities of this sector?

I wouldn’t say that fundraising for fintech has specific sector-related peculiarities. The differences are mostly related to the business model: in the case of a B2C model, the company will need to be funded for several years, with a considerable capital injection, as the cost of customer acquisition is high and the process is slow. On the other side a B2B model, such as an enterprise software, is streamlined, faster and easier to invest in. Marketing costs are much lower, and so are the funding needs.

Fundraising in Italy: has the situation improved in recent years compared to other countries?

The situation has certainly improved in recent years: new operators have appeared and, more generally, several measures have developed the venture capital market in Italy, and consequently facilitated the fundraising activity of startups. What I recommend to the target companies, in any case, is not to stop at Italian investors, but to open up to investors from other European countries. United Ventures is an European focused VC with a global portfolio, and partnering with many international VCs we can tell that the European tech investing community is getting more and more interested in the Italian startup scenario.

What is the actual attitude of VCs towards fintech?

The fintech sector has exploded in the last few years, but it remains very attractive to investors. The disruption of financial services is ongoing and this process will continue for many more years. In this regard, it is important to remember that the time horizon for venture capital is around 10 years: experience has taught us that disruption takes time. With regard to our portfolio, Moneyfarm is a great example of a long-term investment, able to create enduring, transformative value along the years. We first backed the company in 2012, when the concept of fintech was not as widely popular as today, and a few days ago we celebrated its agreement with Poste Italiane, launching the largest API-based digital wealth management partnership in Europe.

Do’s and Don’ts for a young reality to attract the attention of the VCs?

First of all, to draw the attention of a VC, you need to be very focused on the problem you want to solve and very clear on the solution that you propose. Do (well) one thing and not one hundred. Another crucial point is the coherence between the financial requirements and the stage of development. Founders need to have clear ideas about their financing needs and long-term growth plans. Finally, they must have a perfect understanding of the competitive landscape at European level and, in a regulated landscape such as that of financial services, of the relevant European legislation.

From your point of view, can a structure like Fintech District have a positive impact on the growth of fintech companies?

Certainly, the Fintech District can contribute to the growth of fintech in Italy. As a facilitator of relations between the various subjects of the ecosystem, it can play a role in helping founders and their teams to build a valuable network of professionals with which to deal on different issues. Education and training are extremely important: very often for fintech companies is difficult to recruit profiles that combine the knowledge of financial issues with specific technical and IT skills. The mentorship program itself – of which I am very happy to be part – is an important tile of this knowledge sharing process. Talent and capital go together: they are both crucial for a company to grow internationally and make a meaningful impact.

Discover our mentorship program. If you join our community, you can participate for free!