From Jack Dorsey to Tencent, who are Satispay's new investors

From Jack Dorsey to Tencent, who are Satispay's new investors

Round of 93 million euros for the Italian digital payments startup. Square, Tencent and Tim join the shareholders. From 2021 arrives in France

The founders of Satispay: from left, Dario Brignone, Alberto Dalmasso and Samuele Pinta (photo Satispay) A round of investments that brings in a dowry of 93 million euros. And new shareholders on board, including Square Inc, an American fintech founded by Twitter owner Jack Dorsey, and Tencent, the Chinese multinational of the web that controls the super-app Wechat, one of the main channels for paying via the Dragon's smartphone. Satispay, the leading digital payments startup in Italy, thus closes the year with fresh resources and a new shareholding structure to get international expansion plans off the ground. A campaign that began in the first half of 2020, as told by Wired, with the first orders abroad, in Luxembourg and Germany.

The maneuver, which had been working on since last year, changes the structure in Satispay , founded seven years ago in Cuneo by Alberto Dalmasso, Dario Brignone and Samuele Pinta. In addition to Square inc and Tencent (each with 15 million euros), Tim Ventures, the investment vehicle of the telecommunications company, and Lgt Lightstone, the operating arm of one of the most important private banking groups, also join the shareholder base. and global asset management, Lgt capital partners, with 20 million each. The founders remain the reference shareholders, while the new entrants are below 10%.

The overall post-investment valuation of the company rises to 248 million euros. Since its foundation, Satispay has collected 110 million capital increases. At the moment, explains the managing director Dalmasso, "Satispay is not yet producing profits but is focused on acquiring a customer base, which will pay off on average in a year and a half".

Furthermore, with this move, three operators arrive in Italy, Square, Tencent and Lgt Lightstone, who had not previously invested in Italy before. Tim, who took over part of the share of one of Satispay's first investors, Iccrea Banca, represents "an Italian strategic investor in our reference market with which to create synergies", notes the CEO. Lgt Lighstone is, Dalmasso explains, “a strategic financial investor with whom to take this first step to grow in the future”. While, he comments, the entry of Tencent and Square "demonstrates that the leaders of the two largest fintech markets in the world see value in our startup to consolidate this sector in Europe".

What Satispay does

Born as a virtual purse to pay via smartphone even in those small businesses that, due to bank commissions for credit cards and pos, were reluctant to adopt digital systems, Satispay has evolved over time, adding savings tools, transactions with the public administration, donations and, during the first lockdown, orders via smartphone to streamline the queues in stores.

The startup has reached 1.3 million active users in Italy and 130 thousand merchants. In the first ten months of 2020, approximately 21.5 million payments were processed for a total value of 400 million euros, up 78% compared to the same period of 2019, including shopping receipts, telephone top-ups, car tax and payments to offices public. Satispay now recruits one hundred employees (but aims with these resources to reach 300 in two years) and, among its customers in Italy, companies of the weight of Esselunga, Benetton, Total Erg, Arcaplanet, Coop, Pam, Yamamay, Brico, Grom and Old wild West. The app arrived on the market in 2015, after an investment of just over 5 million led by Iccrea Banca.

Satispay is also accepted at Esselunga

The new objectives

The investment is divided into 68 million euros in capital increase (beyond the expectations of a first target set at 50 million) and 25 million in the form of secondary, with the purchase of shares by some shareholders. Numbers that multiply the resources of Satispay, which had 42 million in cash before the last round.

There are two lines of growth. On the one hand, there is internationalization. For some time, Satispay has been aiming to grow abroad. In April it signed an agreement with Auchan to apply its payment systems to the chain's points of sale in Luxembourg, where it moved its subsidiary Satispay Europa Sa, which is licensed as a payment institution in the old continent, from the UK due to Brexit. . It now has two hundred merchants in the city center of Luxembourg and is doubling the sales team. In Germany, there are already 150 shopkeepers in Berlin. The next target is France, where Satispay expects to land from the third quarter of 2021.

The second track is the product. Dalmasso explains that Tencent and Square will bring with them “growth manuals and marketing mechanisms”, while the technology remains made in Italy. Plus the option of working on interoperability. "We are starting to think about an idea of ​​interoperability between mobile payment systems to offer value to customers when they travel," says the CEO. The startup is also studying, adds Dalmasso, "to credit instruments and financial products to support the community of our merchants, synergies, services for third-party startups from a tech point of view and welfare portfolios for companies to their employees".

Payment by mobile phone via Satispay

The situation in Italy

Overall in Italy, contactless payments are growing. In the first half of 2020, also thanks to the confinement phase, the Politecnico di Milano observatory on digital payments recorded 760 million contactless transactions (+ 17% compared to the first half of 2019) for a total of 31.4 billion euro (+ 15%). By the end of the year it is estimated that they will move a turnover between 74 and 80 billion euros (compared to 63 last year), with a penetration of 37% of total card transactions (even higher if they look only at in-store transactions).

And smartphone payments have received the greatest acceleration. For the experts of the Politecnico it is a relatively young phenomenon with great potential for growth, which Italians are adopting more and more.

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