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Start-up success: Moneyfarm has secured investment from the Italian postal service


Milan showsfintech flair M


MILAN HAS BECOME A MAGNET FOR FINTECH START-UPS IN ITALY. PAOLOASTONE REPORTS


ilan’s fintechlandscape has been grow- ing consistently in recent years. The city nowboasts some 150 fintech start-


ups, up from 32 in 2017, according to figures fromthe Fintech District hub. Milan ranked 47th in the Global Fintech


Index 2020 produced by research company Findexable, and 16th in Europe. Rome, the next Italian city in the ranking, ranked 115th glob- ally, making Milan, to a great degree, the main centre for fintech activity in the country. “It may seem that Milan is still far from


the European and global fintech leaders. However, we can see that Milan rose by 10 positions in 2020, telling a story of a great growth,” says Alessandro Longoni, head of Milan’s fintech district. Italian fintechs have been attracting signif-


icant levels of venture capital (VC) funding, even during the Covid-19 pandemic. They raised $57.3m across seven deals in the first half of 2020, against $34.4m in 14 deals in the whole of 2019, according to PitchBook data. Milan alone accounted for 41 out of a national total of 69 VC deals in the fintech vertical between 2015 through June 2020, PitchBook figures show. Moneyfarm, led by co-founders Paolo Galvani and Giovanni Daprà, is one of the start-


THE RISKS OF FINTECHS ARE VERY WELL BALANCED WITH THE OPPORTUNITIES, ESPECIALLY AS FINTECHSMEAN MOREFINANCIAL INCLUSION


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ups in Milan’s fintech district network to have had success in its latest funding rounds. Poste Italiane S.p.a, the Italian postal service, is its main investor, according to Crunchbase.


Challengesandopportunities The rapidly changing financial landscape, as it transitions from physical to digital interac- tion, offers a variety of opportunities for finan- cial institutions in Italy – but it will also pose some challenges. “The model proposed to make fintech and


traditional financial institutions coexist is one of co-operation, thus promoting a collaborative model between the old and the new,” says Mr Longoni. “However, I think that the risks of fin- techs are very well balanced with the opportu- nities, especially as fintechs mean more finan- cial inclusion.” The central bank has also stressed the need


for greater financial inclusion. Alessandra Perrazzelli, deputy governor of the Bank of Italy, says: “During the pandemic, we learned that we need to expand technological innova- tion more, as a great portion of people do not have access to online services yet, making it a massive issue of inclusion. This can be achieved through a wider financial and digital educa- tion, which I believe should be a number one objective on everyone’s agenda.” Another issue that will test Italian institu-


tions’ readiness for the new digital wave of finance is the regulatory systemaround fintech, which needs to be revised to incorporate current developments. Italy needs “to have a regulatory systemwhich is not only adapted to the digital world, but that understands it and is able to accompany, anticipateandpromote the develop- ment of fintechrealities,” addsMsPerrazzelli.■


www.fDiIntelligence.com August/September 2020


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