Vidyasoft and the new challenges awaiting this ex-spin off

2020 is a turning point for Vidyasoft: it is a new phase with new projects on the way, partnerships and exploration of markets, including international ones. First of all, since May, this company is no longer a spin-off of the University of Salento. Five years of being accompanied on the market are now over and it has to fend for itself and find a new “home”. Roberto Vergallo, founder of Vidyasoft, says he has already found a suitable space, “a beautiful space in a new ecosystem that is being created in Lecce. However, it is also our goal to intensify our presence in Milan in the space we already own in Via Sassetti 32”.

The new phase is also full of challenging goals that have not allowed the team to slow down, despite the arrival of the pandemic and all the doubts and uncertainties that have come with it. Over the concern has won the enthusiasm, commitment and desire to look ahead to the new challenges that await Vidyasoft in 2020 have won over all concerns.

“We are signing a new partnership with an Apulian company like us and with an important presence in the Fintech District as a corporate member. We do not want to reveal the name so as not to take away the surprise – explains Vergallo – but what we can say is that it is a company that has been on the market for over 25 years: a leading international player in Italy for software and omnicanale bank. It has 70% pervasiveness in the ATM sector and one million users worldwide. At the end of the commercial agreement we expect to expand our market and reach more important Italian service providers and banking groups”.

In the daily life of the Vidyasoft team, ongoing projects with important advances also take up space and time. The partnership with Sella, for which they have created the first Italian voice banking system, continues and will be added to the operations. In this way it will be possible to move money simply using one’s own voice. And then “we have started the industrialization process of our home voice assistant Vidyasoft that we already own in the prototype stage – explains Vergallo – Unlike the well-known commercial voice assistants such as Google Home and Amazon Eco, our device has no policy limitations because it is 100% based on our cloud wox and for this reason it lends itself to industrial applications such as industry 4.0, and specific customizations based on the Internet of Things”.

Today it is active only in Italy, but Vidyasoft is looking with curiosity at the international market. “Surely the global market of our partner opens new possibilities for us. In addition to important presences in London, Paris and Frankfurt we expect to develop a dynamic international activity also in Slovenia, Romania, Serbia, Belgium, Portugal and France”.

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New partnership between FD & Delmonte meaning new opportunities for the Community

Fintech District and Delmonte join forces to create a special service available to all startups in the fintech community. We asked Michele Albertini, Business Development Manager at Delmonte, to explain how the project was developed and what it is made up of.

What are your inbound activities, in particular those related to Hubspot?

Del Monte is a Digital Marketing Agency, HubSpot Platinum Partner. Our activity can be summed up in a few words: we design and implement Sales & Marketing data-driven projects. To achieve the desired results and to work in this direction, we select the best technologies available on the market. As for Inbound Marketing projects, we have chosen the worldwide leading platform: HubSpot. An Inbound Marketing project for startups is fundamental in a strategic vision where the goal is either the acquisition of a customer base or the creation of a profiled and qualified community. Inbound marketing allows creating, over time, solid and lasting relationships that represent a fundamental asset for the company. As Hubspot points out “Inbound it’s a method to attracting, engaging, and delighting people that provides value, and builds trust”. HubSpot was created with the aim of providing an enabling technological solution to Inbound Marketing projects. HubSpot’s all-in-one marketing, sales, and service platform is built to help you implement inbound and grow better. It’s all powered by the same database, so everyone in your organization — Marketing, Sales & Services — is working off the same system of record. This allows for a smoother handoff between Marketing, Sales & Services, and a more delightful experience for your customers.

What is the partnership with the Fintech District?

Thanks to our experience in numerous inbound marketing projects, also for young startups, we decided to create together with Fintech District a package of onboarding services for the three HubSpot Hubs: Marketing, Sales and Service.

Who needs it and why?

Onboarding is a complete package that allows Startups to use the platform in a short time bringing concrete results. Onboarding is made up of three parts:

  1. A setup phase of the platform,
  2. The creation of a training plan for the staff,
  3. On-the-job assistance for the entire duration of the contract.

The platform is rich in features, and the risk of “getting lost” or not getting the most out of it is pretty high. In this sense, we can talk to startups, understand their needs and bring our best practices to achieve tangible results in a short period of time.

If we were able to intrigue you or, more simply, you would like more information about HubSpot onboarding with the Fintech District+ Delmonte team, contact us stefania.barbato@fintechdistrict.com

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MEDICI and FD, a partnership to deepen the knowledge of the global Fintech

Fintech District and MEDICI become partners to provide smart tools together with more and more in-depth and updated information for all those companies looking at the fintech sector with growing interest and chosing to become corporate members of Fintech District to be in the front row among those who can observe and interact with the fintech ecosystem which is not only Italian but also international.

In this double interview with Clelia and Giuseppe we explore,not only the partnership but also the current Fintech scenario, between Italy and the world.

Giuseppe Marchese, Head of Business Development Europe at MEDICI

What does Medici do? Why did you choose to partner with Fintech District and what is it?

MEDICI is the world’s leading FinTech Research and Innovation Platform. As a premier destination for FinTech insights, MEDICI has over 13,000 FinTechs on the platform, which enables FinTechs to scale and create global economic impact. By partnering with banks, various technology companies, and FIs globally, MEDICI is committed to supporting the complex financial services ecosystem and enabling stakeholders to benefit from the industry’s accelerated growth and global impact.
The idea behind the partnership with the Fintech District is to provide useful insights and support to its corporate membership. For instance, through our platform, they can have access to up-to-date FinTech related information, unique data, and a proprietary database of more than 13,000 companies listed. As we see this relation, empowering the Italian FinTech Ecosystem with global data is the ultimate mission of the partnership.

From your point of view highly international, 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses of the Italian fintech ecosystem.

As you correctly said, we are a global company which has started to actively looking into the Italian market “only” 3 years ago. For what is our understanding, we see that the ecosystem here in Italy is very focused and concentrated in a couple of verticals (P2P lending, Wallet, Crowdfunding, Payments) and that is probably due to the Italian Regulation, which makes very difficult to establish a new solution for other verticals. For example, for all of the sub-vertical of RegTech (KYC, AML, Fraud Prevention, Regulatory Reporting, etc) working in Italy is very hard due to strict Regulatory Requirements.
The great thing about the Italian FinTech Market is that it is driven by very motivated and talented people, behind every solution there is (most of the time) a young entrepreneur who is putting all of herself/himself to make the change happen. I can tell that the community is well connected and there is a huge willingness to sharing experience and expertise – especially here in Milan which is the heart of Italian FinTech.
Above all, I really believe that FinTech in Italy, especially after PSD2, is a very high growth market, whit Financial Institutions and Regulators now willing to collaborate and to approach to new solutions, so making Italy the next-to-be country for any FinTech!

And 3 fintech ecosystems outside of italy to keep an eye on “because they will surprise us”. And why?

Regarding this question, I may be a little bit biased since we are supporting the Qatar Development Bank along with the Qatar Government in creating and developing the Qatari FinTech Hub. Hence, for sure you will have to monitor and look closely at Qatar as a growing Ecosystem for the development of FinTech in the Middle East Area.
I reckon the Indian Ecosystem is one of the strongest and fast-growing FinTech Ecosystem globally. MEDICI has an office in Bangalore, right into the heart of the FinTech scene and we can tell for sure that greater things and solutions have to come. Just have a look at UPI to have a quick understanding of what I am referring to.
Lastly, Australia is my pick. Personally, I have lived in Melbourne and seen what this country has to give when it comes to innovation – no matter the industry. One of the key aspects is the strong support of the local government, always ready to support entrepreneurs and innovations. More than that, global accelerators and large corporates are investing a lot into FinTech. For example, in Melbourne Startupbootcamp already held a first edition of the FinTech accelerator and it is ready for a second one.

Clelia Tosi, Business Development Manager at Fintech District

Why a partnership with Medici? What advantages for the community?

The Fintech District wants to increase the value for the community stakeholder year after year. The partnership with Medici and,in particular the access to the Medici Inner Circle Platform, is part of this perspective because it allows Corporate Members and our team to deepen their knowledge of the global Fintech scenario, its numbers and trend topics, to better understand the ongoing and prospective dynamics.

Three strong points and three weak points of Italian fintech today?

Strengths:

  • PARTNERSHIP: At last there is an increase in the number of strategic and operational partnerships between Fintech and Incumbent operators. This confirms the idea that fintech does not disintermediate incumbents in the relationship with the customer, but, on the contrary, improves their effectiveness and often also increases the efficiency of processes.
  • KNOW HOW: About half of the Italian fintech founders come from previous experiences in the banking or insurance sector. Consequently they know the dynamics, languages, processes and limits.
  • REGULATION: The regulations, and in particular the new Sandbox decree and the entry into force of PSD2, open new perspectives that can certainly bring a competitive advantage to our country if well understood and exploited by all players in the ecosystem.

Weaknesses:

  • FUNDING: The level of funding, both from individuals and VCs and institutional investors, is still much lower than in other European countries, although it has almost quadrupled in the last year. This bodes well for the future.
  • VISION: In some cases the strategic vision of entrepreneurs is still too anchored in the concept of SMEs. The meaning and characteristics of start-ups are poorly understood, in terms of exponential growth, risk appetite and innovative culture.
  • COMPETITION: The global scenario is very competitive and dynamic: it is increasingly complex to make a difference and climb beyond the national borders. This is also because of the challenges launched by Big Tech giants.

Has the international look at Italian fintech changed? If so, how?

There is still a long way to go, but surely the interest towards our country is increasing. The most famous European unicorns, including N26 and Revolut, have chosen Milan as the home of their South Europe Head Quarter. The Fintech District is also increasingly recognized as a gateway by institutional stakeholders from foreign countries (every week we host or get in touch with foreign interlocutors and we have a continuous relationship with more than 10 International Hubs). Investors are also beginning to learn about our top players (especially in the lending and payment areas).

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PENTA and the value of partnerships between fintechs

Penta has just closed a €18,5 million financing round and announced that it will invest the new capital in the development of its digital marketplace to improve its offering. We interviewed Bruno Reggiani, Country Manager Italy, to understand how the platform’s launch is going in Italy and what strategy it is pursuing in our country.

With what strategy did you launch Penta on the Italian market? With what results?

Penta is a Business Banking platform that is only focused on serving Startups and SMEs. We decided to focus on this target as we really wanted to create a solution tailored on small businesses needs.

The strategy of the Italian launch of Penta has been structured on 3 different pillars: an in-depth market research to understand the pains and needs of our ideal customers and identify the differences between German and Italian businesses; and integrated marketing and communication strategy which has allowed us to push our brand awareness in Italy and immediately connect to potential customers and partners also thanks to local activities and events; a huge effort in business and partnerships development, in order to find the perfect partners to create value together and enforce the financial solutions already offered to businesses on the Italian market. The feedback right now has been great, we see a lot of potential in this market and we are working everyday to improve our services and give to Italian SMEs what they really need to manage and grow their business.

Partnership with SumUp: why Sumup, how does it work and benefits for end users?

SumUp is the perfect solution for retail businesses that have often the biggest difficulties in digitalizing their business. With SumUp we created Penta POS, a solution that allows to accept any credit or debit card, without any activation cost, and receive the payment immediately in your Penta business account, so the business owner can have full and real-time control on payments and cashflows.

Partnership with Debitoor: why Debitoor, how does it work and benefits for the end user?

Debitoor is a great invoicing solution that, thanks to the integration with Penta, allows our user to see their invoices and transactions directly connected on their Penta business accounts. The integration can be activated in a few clicks, directly from your Penta account and it’s a great benefit that allows business owner to have more control of their cashflows.

Partnership fintech – fintech. It was simple and what benefits are you getting out of it?

Finding the right partner is not always easy, as integrations take time and efforts to be created and is always fundamental to figure out together how both companies (and in particular customers!) can benefit from them. It is very important that partners share the same vision and intentions in growing their services in a customer-centric perspective – and unfortunately, this doesn’t happen all the time.

But we had the great luck and opportunity to find the right partners very quickly and to create lean processes to test the benefits our collaboration, so we can’t wait to partner with more companies and creating value together for our customers!

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