Friday, November 14, 2014

Digital Magics exits crowdlending platform "Prestiamoci.it" to norvegian TrustBuddy for €5.3M

Prestiamoci.it, the only Italian Peer-to Peer lending platform authorized by the Bank of Italy to manage a marketplace for online private loans, will merge with TrustBuddy International ABthe world’s largest, publicly traded, peer-to-peer company. Prestiamoci.it will leave the venture incubator Digital Magics, which will continue to support it in its growth phase.

The transaction, which involves the purchase of 100% of the shares of Agata S.p.A., the company that owns and manages the brand Prestiamoci.it, amounts to €5.3M: €1.5M will be paid in cash and €3.8M in equity (shares) of TrustBuddy. In addition, the shareholders of of Prestiamoci.it will receive 10 million options to purchase shares of TrustBuddy, at a share exchange ratio of 1 option to 1 share by 2018 and a strike price equal to 160% of the average price of the share in close proximity of the closing. The transaction is subject to due diligence and approval by the competent authorities and the closing will be made within two weeks from obtaining such authorizations. In this way Digital Magics and other investors of Prestiamoci.it, including many belonging to the Digital Magics Angel Network, will become majority shareholders of TrustBuddy.

TrustBuddy chose Prestiamoci for its proprietary technology platform and for the business model built in Italy, which TrustBuddy wants to replicate in other European countries. With the acquisition of Prestiamoci, once finalized, the Norwegian company will enter the Italian market through a holding company regulated by the Bank of Italy and will aim to accelerate its online development of long-term loans, thus further consolidating the European  and international leadership.

Digital Magics will continue to support the growth phase Prestiamoci.it with its
expertise and know-how. Digital Magics, acquired in 2013 a stake of 22.4% in Agata S.p.A. the company that owns and manages the brand Prestiamoci.it which was founded in 2008, becoming its largest shareholder.
Digital Magics took part to the two capital increases of Prestiamoci, in October 2013 by injecting €190k out of €550k first funding round raised from various business angels of the Digital Magics Angel Network, other private investors, and the founder of Prestiamoci.it Mariano Carozzi, as well as in September 2014, when Digital Magics backed Prestiamoci with further €107k out of a €450 second funding round.

With an investment of €297k out of a total raised amount of €1M, Digital Magics will cash in the 22.4%, i.e. almost €1.2M, with a gain of 300%. This represents the 7th and best exit in terms of IRR for Digital Magics.

The history of Prestiamoci is an excellent example of the added value of Digital Magics: starting with a disruptive and innovative business model that in the rest of the world records growth rates in double digits, Prestiamoci got in a relaunch phase, strategic and managerial support from the venture incubator Digital Magics. In less than a year the incubator and the management of Prestiamoci (Daniele Loro, Michele Novelli, Stefano Miari and Federico Provinciali) have managed to revitalize and reorganize the company, until it became a reality successful enough to attract the attention of major international investors and to sign the agreement with TrustBuddy. 

On TrustBuddy 
TrustBuddy was founded in 2009 in Norway and has since expanded to 10 countries throughout Europe: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Finland, Estonia, Poland, Spain, UK and Italia. With over 300,0000 users, TrustBuddy is the largest brokerage platform in granting short-term loans loans in the world and since 2011 the only company in the world of social lending to be listed on Nasdaq OMX First North, the multilateral trading facility (MTF) of the stock exchange in Stockholm.

Digital Magics is a certified venture incubator of innovative digital startups, offering content and services with high technological value. Digital Magics is listed on AIM Italia, the Alternative Capital Market for small and medium-sized Italian companies with high growth potential, organized and managed by the Italian Stock Exchange, Borsa Italiana. Digital Magics builds and develops Internet startup alongside founders, investing its own capital and providing acceleration services. It starts from talents and ideas, turning them into successful disruptive businesses in the Italian and international digital space. The incubator promotes the culture of entrepreneurship and risk, thus contributing to economic growth and employment for young people. Digital Magics offers services to support innovation, the birth and development of digital startups, and supports the search for new private and public investors, Italian and international, to fund the next phases of development. The Digital Magics model is unique in Italy and is based on the Digital Magics LAB: the team identifies, analyzes and launches new initiatives, providing innovative startups with acceleration services of digital businesses and for the development of the company. Digital Magics has in its portfolio 40 investments in startups. It has made 6 exit, and only 4 write-offs. The incubator has so far invested approximately €14.8M, of which €5M as proceeds from the realized exits. Currently the average investment is about €300k.

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