Utego has collected over 509K euros with the platform 200Crowd which added to the 540K of Invitalia makeover a total of more than a million euros. This startup, a member of Fintech District, allows you to have all your accounts and cards available in a single free application and manage your operations and control your cards with a single login. To find out what the two founders Stefano Musso e Paolo Patruno will do with the capital raised and how they were able to get it, we interviewed them.
What are the results of the campaign you did with 200 Crowd?
We raised 508.500 euros from 173 investors
What will you do with the money collected?
- complete the IT structure of Utego that now at present has a back end and front end user side but still needs the front end for partner institutions.
- test our data communication flow from/to the partner institutions.
- consolidate our technology (including Cyber Security) also to also implement more projects at the same time
- begin to recruit new people in strategic roles and close external collaborations also on the “commercial development” front;
- speed up compliance with the latest Italian and European regulations, on the Legal & Compliance working tables
- expand the network of future partner institutions and thus facilitate the signing of alliances and partnerships
And then we will launch the Utego App on the market, in the autumn, with some investment also for communication and the plan to launch it on the market.
Which do you think were the factors that led to the success of the campaign?
The first and most important was and is the personal network. The crowdfunding equity platform has its own network of investors who have invested in Utego – and the choice between the various platforms on the market should also be on the basis of this network – but can not “push” or “guarantee” investments on their part, otherwise it would become a financial promoter.
You have to prepare for the campaign with a personal network ready to support more than half of the investment that is required from the market. After this, interest grows and the second factor of success comes into the game: one’s own face, skills and the ability to make that particular idea attractive and sell it. Investors, even for average cuts in investments, need to be convinced and able to see for themselves what they decide to focus on which should not be just an idea on a powerpoint.
The third factor of success is certainly the technology behind the collection platform, as well as the assistance the platform provides especially to investors, before, during and after the investment. This factor is absolutely fundamental and “enabling” for the whole operation.
The fourth and last factor is the communication of the collection campaign itself. It is not important for the actual collection as such (the social campaign has brought us a percentage of investors of less than 10 per cent), but it is necessary to create a media landscape that also contributes to the soundness of the project.
Developing a crowdfunding campaign today in Italy: what difficulties must be faced and how could the situation be improved?
We didn’t find this very difficult. The support team helps you in everything, there are only bureaucratic delays but as these are regulated by the Institutional Regulator I do not really see how they can be improved. On the “investment” front, putting yourself in the shoes of investors, the process starting from when interest is shown in the actual investment itself by bank transfer is still rather complex and long. You could perhaps improve with a direct payment link visible as soon as you show interest, perhaps with reference to a credit card or a PayPal wallet… At least for figures up to 3,000 or 5,000 euros.