Open innovation with Cardo & SpazioDati

Open innovation: what is it exactly? It is an approach to innovation according to which companies are also based on ideas, resources and technological skills coming from the outside, in particular from startups, universities, research institutions, suppliers and consultants. But what about in practice?

Let’s find out what open innovation really means, looking at this process from the point of view of startups, often involved by the Corporate itself to bring new ideas, technologies, services. During the Data Driven Competition organized with Cerved, we got to know about the experience of Cardo and SpazioDati. The first is the story of a collaboration that has just begun, while the second one has lasted now for over 5 years.

Let’s start with Cardo, a technological suite allowing institutional investors to have access to all available opportunities for investment in alternative finance, at present with a particular focus on invoice trading. We talked about open innovation with CEO Altin Kadareja.

Altin, how did you start collaborating with Cerved?

The collaboration started thanks to the participation and victory of the “Data Driven Competition” contest. During the 3 months of development, we used the API made available to us by the creation of the first model of machine learning able to predict the number of days of late payment of every single bill visible on the marketplace.

Have you had difficulty working with a corporate in terms of open innovation?

We have not had any particular difficulties. Cerved proved itself very attentive to innovation. Every week, during the Data Driven Competition we made alignment calls with a team exclusively dedicated to us for solving any problems and doubts regarding the use of their API. We are very satisfied with the service that has been offered to us.

What advantages is it giving you and will it give you an open innovation experience?

Having access to the Cerved databases has certainly been a huge advantage. This information, appropriately re-elaborated and integrated into our systems, is used to develop our credit scoring models and test our portfolio optimization algorithms.

What are your goals for this collaboration with Cerved?

We have created the first statistical model providing a delay in the number of payment days for invoices. In the future, we want to expand the offer by inserting other algorithms which at present are being developed such as those dealing with the risk of fraud. We aim to include other asset classes within the Cardo (P2P Lending and real estate crowdfunding) and then we will use the data provided by Cerved to create specific risk models for this type of product. We would also like to integrate the two Cardo and Cerved platforms to offer maximum transparency and maximum data granularity to our investor.

Now, let’s find out how the collaboration between Cerved and SpazioDati proceeds. SpazioDati is a startup that operates in the big data and semantic field. We talked about open innovation with CEO Michele Barbera.

How did your collaboration with Cerved start and what does it consist in?

It started in 2013 when SpazioDati was just over a year old. Cerved was one of our first corporate clients in Italy. At that time we were mainly dealing with natural language analysis and generalist semantic engines, we were not yet specialized in the company world and business information. At first, Cerved commissioned us a Proof of Concept and then a real product that is still used today to improve its internal processes. The relationship became more structured and Cerved invested in the capital of SpazioDati.

What were the greatest difficulties of “adaptation” in working with a corporate? How have you faced and overcome them?

Initially, SpazioDati was for Cerved only a provider of technology for Cerved and know-how in the Big Data and artificial intelligence sectors, subsequently, the relationship evolved and the Cerved sales network began to distribute our products. The impact with a wide and articulated B2B sales networks like that of Cerved and the ways in which it interacts with customers required a rapid and radical adaptation of the processes of SpazioDati as we were a startup used to working almost exclusively online. It was a period of strong growth of for the team as well as continuous changes of the organization to be able to respond to the needs of Cerved and its many customers. At the same time, we have tried to preserve the nature of SpazioDati, our creative capacity and innovation. We managed to grow without losing the startup spirit.

What advantages is this experience bringing you?

The B2B sector is very complicated for a startup. If you sell complex products that generate significant changes in the customer’s internal processes, the sales phases are very long and elaborate. It is difficult for a startup to face them alone. The partnership with Cerved has allowed us to overcome many barriers and has greatly accelerated our growth. Cerved’s first investment in SpazioDati has brought not only capital for growth and commercial relationships with its customers, but also an enormous amount of valuable data regarding the entire Italian business ecosystem. It would have been impossible to find them elsewhere.

3 practical tips for a startup (fintech) that wants to collaborate with a corporate…

  1. Identify the “champions”: people within the Corporate who know the mechanisms and who can help the startup move within the complex gears of a large company. Each phase of the relationship needs its champions belonging to different divisions and having different skills and roles in the company.
  2. Have strength, obstinacy and flexibility. The first two to keep its vision even when you are in front of seemingly insurmountable walls, the third to know how to adapt to the needs of the large company.
  3. Know how to involve the whole team in embracing change, without ever losing your enthusiasm.

If you wish to stay updated about news, events and initiatives of the Fintech District, subscribe to our newsletter HERE

If you want to learn more about the activity of CARDO read here!

CARDO wins The Data Driven Competition

Cardo was selected last week as the winner of The Data Driven Competition, the first challenge launched by Fintech District and Cerved to identify new companies able to develop innovative products and services in the Fintech sector. The data and economic-financial information of Cerved on over 6 million Italian companies provided through API form the basis of the competition.

Cardo is a tech company offering institutional investors the opportunity to explore, analyze and create investment portfolios in the European markets of Invoice Trading, P2P Lending, and Real Estate Crowdfunding. Using the databases provided by Cerved, Atoka and Fintech platforms present in their machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, they are able to offer investors a technological platform to support investments in Alternative Finance. Cardo’s team has received a 10K euro prize and has the opportunity to collaborate with Cerved in launching their project on the market.

Together with that of Cardo, four other projects also made it to the finals, after being selected from over 45 proposals received for the call ranging from software developers, IT experts to Fintech startups and companies involved in digital transformation, interested in launching innovative and ambitious projects starting from Big Data.

The members of the selection board – Valerio Momoni (Cerved), Alessandro Geraldi (Cerved), Corrado Chiodi (Cerved), Gabriele Antonelli (SpazioDati), Filippo De Vita (Vodafone) and Alberto Adorini (Fabrick) – evaluated the projects according to three main criteria: valorization of the Cerved data assets, innovation of the Use Case and marketability of the Use Case.

The Data Driven Competition format, according to Valerio Momoni, Cerved’s Director of Marketing and Business Development, “encourages open innovation and the Corporate Venture Capital, which is growing at a rate of 20% per year and confirms its strong driving force for innovation. Today, mature companies innovate by collaborating with startups, they put their ideas and flexibility to good use and ensure their access to the markets “.

According to Alessandro Longoni, head of FD, the number of candidate projects is “the demonstration that many young Italian fintech companies are ready and want to collaborate with incumbents”. Satisfied with the success of the Data Driven Competition, Longoni hopes “to see the products born from this initiative created in partnership with Cerved arrive soon on the market”.

In addition to Cardo, Moneymour, Ecomate, Studiomapp and Two Hundred also made it to the finals.

Two Hundred Crowd, a company led by a group of experts in crowdfunding, finance, and marketing at the service of innovation, has created FAST (FundAbility Scoring Tool). This tool analyzes the ability of a company to attract investments from private companies by collecting and processing public or private data, such as the age of the company, competition, the experience and provenance of the work team and its online presence

StudioMapp, an innovative startup based in Ravenna specialized in ICT and artificial intelligence, has proposed a location intelligence service that provides an index of the quality of life of a neighborhood and displays all official information on a map. This tool is called Qirate and should help buyers find the best area in which to buy a house and sellers the best way in which to conclude the transaction faster.

The Moneymour project uses the data CERVED and Atoka (data of companies in the area of residence, real estate valuation, economic fabric, etc …) to increase the accuracy of credit scoring algorithms on individuals. Moneymour’s algorithms use machine learning techniques to measure the performance of companies.

The algorithm developed by Ecomate, a startup that helps European companies to grow using innovative digital tools, calculates the sustainability rating of companies, taking advantage of the contribution of experts and operators in the sector and the most advanced machine learning techniques. Ecomate uses the Cerved API to keep the rating updated in real time.

If you wish to stay updated about news, events and initiatives of the Fintech District, subscribe to our newsletter HERE