Italian fintech sets the pace for reaching Europe

After a 27% increase in the number of Italian Fintech startups and an ample doubling of investments in the sector, recorded from 2017 to 2018, the projections for 2019 are positive. Our country has accelerated its pace shortening the distances that separate it from other European countries so far only geographically close, such as France and Germany. Fintech District, a reference point for the sector in Italy and beyond, as well as within its own community, feels the same ferment and growing interest from international stakeholders on the one hand and on the other registers positive trends within the sector reflecting national data.

According to PWC research, the number of fintech startups operating in our country between 2017 and 2018 rose from 235 to 299: an increase of 27%. The Fintech District community has shown the same growth and 2019 seems to be a promising year. 2018 closed with 100 startups; currently, there are 122 and by the end of the year it is likely over 130 startups will be reached, marking a growth of +30% compared to last year. The most numerous are those dealing with smart payments & money transfers, lending & solutions for credit, wealth management & solutions for the financial market.

Investment in the sector is also growing, a long-awaited and very important signal for an Italy can finally be truly competitive in Europe and beyond. 2018 was an extraordinary year in this sense: there were investments made in Italian fintech for a total of 213 million euros, more than half of the total collected by Italian fintech from the beginning of their activity to date. On the one hand, investors have begun to look carefully at Italian fintech, while on the other hands, the startups themselves have become increasingly able to attract capital.

In this context, the Fintech District has acted as a facilitator, promoting meetings and collaborations between the various stakeholders, including investors. Since its creation in October 2017, more than 220 million euros have been raised. In all previous years, fintech startups had managed to raise a total of only about 170 million euros. (data calculated on the basis of Bebeez fintech report may-2019 and Bebeez fintech report march-2019)

2019 seems to be the year in which Italy will come to the table together with the other European countries, leaders of fintech on an equal footing, strengthened by the determination of the many emerging startups populating the sector and also by the opening that several big players and institutional subjects have shown. In this already positive scenario, the entry into force of the PSD2, on September 14, has shown a strong acceleration, today we can already guess the consequences that will be more evident in 2020. There are many fintech that are ready to take advantage of the benefits of open banking to take flight, at first glance one of the most crowded sectors seems to be that of services for SMEs of which Italy has many and that so far, perhaps, have been able to benefit from fewer dedicated offers.

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Author: Tudor Sava

7 Ottobre 2019