Saturday, September 26, 2015

DoveConviene raises €10M Series C Funding from Highland Capital Partners Europe

Do you like leaflets? I would say yes, and I bet that, on this days, before to go shopping you always throw an eye on the leaflet of your supermarket. After all, when it comes to an important purchase to do, such as a notebook or a smartphone it is always better to consult a leaflet, whether in paper or electronic can't miss the opportunity, especially when you can save a bunch of money. Try to think about all the leaflets which are left into your postbox, the majority of which you end up throwing away because not interesting for you personal purchase decisions. What if there would be a digital platform just gathering together all these leaflets out there, which you could just find the best offers based on your ZIP code, being able to consult all the offers of the shops which are in your surroundings and, on top of that, you could even receive an e-mail alert which informs you about the best offers just based on your preferences. Even better if it is available via app directly on your Apple or Android device.

Well all the above described, is not an utopia, but just a smart idea, or better said, a good business model which has attracted the interest of one of Europe's leading VC funds. 

Indeed, DoveConviene a Milan, Italy-based the digital platform driving users around the globe to shop by saving money through offers and leaflets presented in a "georeferenced" manner, has raised €10M in Series C funding from Highland Capital Partners Europe, which represents one of the highest investments ever made by a foreign VC operator in an Italian  startup in the digital space.

The investment round was led by Highland Capital Partners Europe, which joins the existing investors Principia SGR, 360 Capital Partners and Merifin Capital. Back in 2013 DoveConviene raised €3.5 million in a Series A funding round from Principia IIthe closed-end fund managed by Principia SGR, representing at that time the most important investment among those made by Principia SGR, followed by the €5.2M Series B financing round of last December 2014 led 360 Capital Partners and Merifin Capital which rendered more solid the development plan both in the italian as well as international markets. The new investment round provides a further boost to the growth plan of the Italian company - which has so far raised €20M in total funding -, which aims to deploy the raised funds to expand in Italy and abroad, increasing its workforce to 200 employees and being present in 10 countries by the end of 2016.

Based on the new development plan, the company has decides
to reinforce the management team by distributing the powers between its two CEOs: Alessandro Palmieri, CEO of the company since its foundation in 2010, will focus on marketing and technology while Stefano Portu - with a past at Gruppo Espresso, will focus on business and product. Stefano Portu brings along with him 15 years of experience in the national (italian) and international digital market, having fulfilled different directive marketing roles in the multinational company Buongiorno Spa, - where he took part to its startup in the late 90s - and later at Gruppo Editoriale l'Espresso where since 2007 onwards he was Director of the Offer Digital Premium, Mobile & Tablet.

According to market information, the phenomenon of purchases in shops preceded by research and online information is worth 4 times the e-commerce in all principal western markets and DoveConviene represents an answer to the rising need of consumers to render cheaper and smarter the shopping in shops located around their houses. The retail sector is strategic, and is undergoing a deep transformation. 

The board of directors, actually composed by Dr. Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffè, professor of strategy at the Bocconi University in Mila, by Mr. Pietro De Nardis, B2B Executive Director and Co-Founder of Buongiorno, and by Marco Magnacavallo, Venture Partner at Principia Sgr. since May 2013 on the president of the company is Michele Costabile, professor of Marketing and Management at LUISS University in Rome as well as vice president of Principia SGRThe board of the company will also add Anthony Zappalà, partner at Highland Capital Partners Europe.

The new governance will focus on reinforcing the geographic coverage of the business model on which is based the company success: indeed DoveConviene represents a communication tool of great attraction for retailers, which promote the skimming through of catalogues and leaflets by a profiled and georeferenced audience, made up for more the 90% by purchase responsibles. The average reading time for each leaflet is considered around three minutes e roughly 90% of readers decides to go to the sale point after having consulted the service, available on the web and on the go.

Founded five years ago - in Sardinia (Sestu) - and led by active managers in the digital space, with the clear target to digitalize the national leaflets' market (market value estimate around one billion euro), the company has reached 13 million users around the globe and it is thinking to scale up its business model at international level. DoveConviene operates with a team of over 50 professionals in three locations in Italy: Cagliari, Bologna and Milan.

Leader in Italy with more than 5 million users and active partnerships with over 100 top retailers and brands, the company is already present in the US, Brazil, Mexico and Spain with dedicated brands in each market and international team to follow the product. Top10 among apps for smartphones and tablets: launched on the AppStore in mid-2011, DoveConviene ranked already 5 times #1 absolute among applications for iPad and iPhone, as well as on Google Play (formerly Android Market), in the  Shopping categoryThe service, available on all digital platforms, helps consumers to discover all the offers of the best store around the corner, providing geo information to reach offers and buy them.

Remarkable are the numbers of last year: the audience went up by 40% and 200 top brands have invested to be present and browsable in the platform. Same results also abroad, where the audience has tripled in 12 months collecting 6 million users spread across Mexico, Brazil, Spain, United States and Indonesia, areas where the company operates through different brands (from DondeloCompro to AondeConvem) collected under the container ShopFullly Group.