Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding
Platforms
by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais


Promoted by the Italian Crowdfunding Ne...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Contents
Composition ...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Index of figures, tab...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Composition of Italia...
Analisi delle Piattaforme Italiane di Crowdfunding		 di Daniela Castrataro e Ivana Pais		

Ottobre 2013

their own definit...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Descriptive list of I...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

7. Foritaly - www.for...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

opportunity to sell t...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

23. Retedeldono - www...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Badalamenti, Fabrizio...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

the collection of ris...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Do It Yourself (DIY) ...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

The questionnaire
30 ...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Most of the platforms...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

self-productions. The...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Key figures of the It...
Analisi delle Piattaforme Italiane di Crowdfunding		 di Daniela Castrataro e Ivana Pais		

Ottobre 2013

Fig. 4 Total valu...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

see the priest as a c...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

The legal framework
T...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Regarding the expecta...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

What is crowdfunding?...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

friends) that what is...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

milano/

9) BERGAMO! ...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Conclusions
Italian c...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

Contacts and credits
...
Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms		

by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais			

October 2013

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Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Market (November 2013)

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Ivana Pais (Cattolica University) and Daniela Castrataro (twintangibles) wrote the updated edition of the “Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Market”, to date the most complete report on the sector.

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Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Market (November 2013)

  1. 1. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais  Promoted by the Italian Crowdfunding Network  www.italiancrowdfunding.org October 2013 This work is published under a Creative Commons cc by-nc-sa 3.0 Unported Licence
  2. 2. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Contents Composition of Italian Crowdfunding Market 4 Crowdfunding models in the Italian market 4 Descriptive list of Italian crowdfunding platforms 6 Active platforms 6 REWARD-BASED 6 DONATION-BASED 8 LENDING-BASED 9 Platforms in their launch phase 9 REWARD-BASED 9 EQUITY-BASED 10 Projects in Do It Yourself (DIY) Crowdfunding 12 Platforms offering DIY solutions 12 Inactive platforms 12 The questionnaire 13 History and Geography of Italian crowdfunding platforms 13 Genesis of Italian crowdfunding platforms: motivations and influences 14 Demographics 15 Legal form, partners and employees 15 Key figures of the Italian crowdfunding market 16 17 17 Main issues of the Italian crowdfunding market 18 Crowdfunding platforms: success fee and service offer Markets, target audience, competitors, collaboration networks The legal framework 19 What is crowdfunding? 21 Conclusions 24 Contacts and Credits 25 2
  3. 3. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Index of figures, tables and graphs Fig.1 Italian Crowdfunding platforms’ models (Active platforms) Fig.2 Crowdfunding platforms’ models (Active platforms/platforms in their launch phase) 5 Graph n.1 Italian crowdfunding platforms: Timeline 13 Fig. 3 Map of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms 14 Table n.1 Total value of funded projects divided by crowdfunding models 16 Fig. 4 Total value of funded projects divided by models 17 5 [*cover image: Election night crowd, Wellington. Raine, William Hall, 1892-1955 :Negatives of New Zealand towns and scenery, and Fiji. Ref: 1/2-066547-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22334852] 3
  4. 4. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Composition of Italian crowdfunding market In Italy there are 41 crowdfunding platforms. As of 18 October 2013, 27 are active platforms are, while 14 are in their launching phase. Furthermore, there is also an active platform that offers DIY crowdfunding1 solutions and one in its launching phase, which, however, we preferred not to include in the count of the platforms. 6 platforms are considered no longer active as there has been no activity for - at least – all 2012. Crowdfunding models in the Italian market We decided to classify the platforms by the models traditionally recognised in the field of crowdfunding2, in such a way as to allow a comparison with the global market. However, Italian platforms show a greater complexity of models: hybrid platforms continue to grow and some models are not easily reconciled to those standards. In the descriptive list of platforms we have described more in depth the characteristics of each platform, but for the purposes of this section, we categorised the platforms in the 4 typical models: »» Reward-based »» Donation-based »» Equity-based »» Lending-based Of the 27 active platforms, 15 belong to the reward-based model, 9 to the donation-based model and 3 to the lending–based model. There are no equity based platforms active as yet3. Regarding the platforms in their launching phase, 9 are equity-based (one of which is a hybrid platform, reward + equity) and 5 reward-based. To these, we can add another platform that offers DIY crowdfunding solutions. The dominant model is therefore the reward-based, representing more than 50% of current platforms. Together with the donation-based platforms these represent 89% of the platforms on the Italian crowdfunding market (see Fig. 1). This may change shortly. If we include the platforms in the process of being launched, then 22% of Italian platforms could offer the equity model, a change driven by the recent regulation issued by CONSOB on July 124 (fig. 2). Many platforms do not classify themselves in the traditional forms of crowdfunding and propose 1 DIY or Do It Yourself Crowdfunding is a rapidly emerging trend in the crowdfunding sector. In this model the crowdfunder decides not to use a third party or popular crowdfunding platform and chooses instead to run the entire project themselves. 2 See 2013CF, Crowdfunding Industry Report, Massolution, April 2013 (http://research.crowdsourcing.org/2013cf-crowdfundingindustry- report). 3 In last year’s report, we included two platforms in the Equity-Based category, specifically SiamoSoci and wearestarting. However, in light of the new regulation, the equity-based crowdfunding platforms in Italy are now defined by Consob (see p. 19), and therefore at present no active platforms can be considered as such. In the paragraph “Descriptive list of Italian crowdfunding platforms” we will list all those platforms that define themselves as “equity-based” and are waiting for the approval in the CONSOB register, including wearestarting, which we had already listed in April 2013 report. As for SiamoSoci, which defines itself as a “marketplace for ventures,” we are not aware of any intention of the portal to apply for inclusion in the CONSOB register and we have therefore decided to exclude it from this year’s report. 4 See pf. “Legal Framework”, p. 19 4
  5. 5. Analisi delle Piattaforme Italiane di Crowdfunding di Daniela Castrataro e Ivana Pais Ottobre 2013 their own definition: ProduzioniDalBasso does “folk funding”, Retedeldono does “personal fundraising” for non-profit and TerzoValore does “crowd / social banking.” Fig. 1 - Italian Crowdfunding platforms’ models (Active platforms) 15 3 55.6% Reward-based 33.3% Donation-based 11.1% Lending-based 9 Fig. 2 - Crowdfunding platforms’ models (Active platforms/platforms in their launch phase) 20 48.8% Reward-based 9 22% Donation-based 3 7.3% Lending-based 22% Equity-based 9 5
  6. 6. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Descriptive list of Italian Crowdfunding platforms Active platforms REWARD-BASED 1. Com-Unity - www.com-unity.it (mixed model: Reward / Donation) Com-Unity is a generalist crowdfunding platform, mixed donation-reward model, owned by Banca Interprovinciale Spa, developed together with Studio SCOA, a consulting firm, and launched in March 2013. It features projects of many kinds with particular reference to humanitarian, social, cultural and scientific areas. COM-Unity is composed of three independent entities: an Ethics Committee, which evaluates projects verifying their legality; the Tutor, who expresses a binding opinion on the relevance and feasibility of projects and assists project holders across the publication of the draft and the fundraising phase; and the Bank, which manages the money donated to individual projects. 2. Crowdfunding-Italia - www.crowdfunding-italia.com Crowdfunding-Italia is a generalist crowdfunding platform, founded in October 2012. Registration on Crowdfunding Italia is free and it does charge any commission on funds raised. 3. De Rev - www.derev.com (mixed model: Reward / Donation / Petitions) DeRev is “a platform that allows you to turn your best ideas into Revolutions in order to concretely improve the world we live in.” The platform hosts crowdfunding campaigns as well as petitions and signature collections for projects and initiatives of common interest. Founded by Roberto Esposito, the platform was launched in November 2012. 4. Distribuzioni dal basso - www.distribuzionidalbasso.com (Sector specific: CINEMA) Launched in April 2013, the goal of the editorial project is to support the circulation of independent films and documentaries made ​​ y the new generation of freelance, born in the b wake of the phenomenon of Creative Commons and the new mechanisms of production-based crowdfunding. All films and documentaries included in the portal meet the need to build a new way of making films and information. You can request titles through an economic mechanism of donation, which will at the same time support the management of the portal and give the right value to the works included in it. 5. Eppela - www.eppela.com Eppela is a reward-based crowdfunding platform founded in the second half of 2011 by Nicola Lencioni. It allows the financing of innovative and creative projects in the fields of art, technology, film, design, music, comics, social innovation, writing, fashion, non-profit. 6. Finanziami il tuo futuro - www.finanziamiiltuofuturo.it (Local: Valle d’Itria - Apulia) Finanziami il tuo futuro is a local crowdfunding platform, operating in Valle d’Itria in the Southern Italian region Apulia, for the promotion and dissemination of new projects for the development of the territory. The platform was launched at the beginning of 2013 “from the need to integrate and revitalise the productive sectors of the local economy through innovation and the creativity of young people of the region”. It is aimed at people aged between 18 and 35 years old, living in the municipalities Alberobello (Ba), Cisternino (Br), Locorotondo (Ba), Martina Franca (Ta), Noci ( Ba ) and Putignano (Ba). Project holders can submit a request to raise a fixed amount of E10,000 and for the realisation of projects of a maximum duration of 12 months. 6
  7. 7. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 7. Foritaly - www.foritaly.org (Sector specific: ART) For Italy was created to “help protect the beauty that our country holds, a fragile beauty that is likely to be overwhelmed by lack of attention or lack of resources.” It is a crowdfunding platform dedicated to raising funds for the arts. 8. IdeaGinger - www.ideaginger.wordpress.com (Local: Emilia Romagna) GINGER is a web platform aimed at creatives, companies and public institutions in Emilia Romagna to reduce the gap existing between these 3 players in the current world of work. The platform allows project holders to give visibility to their projects and products, and at the same time create a network of supporters and collaborations. 9. Kapipal - www.kapipal.com Kapipal was founded by Alberto Falossi in 2009 and defines itself as a site to collect money online. This is a generic platform that allows you to fund any project, especially personal projects, such as a birthday or a wedding list. Kapipal also defines itself as the first international platform to support personal crowdfunding. It does not charge any fees on projects. In July 2013 it was acquired by the international group GrowVC. 10. Kendoo - www.kendoo.it  (Local: Province of Bergamo) Kendoo is a crowdfunding platform that operates in the province of Bergamo, sponsored by Media on (of the Bergamo-based group Sesaab, which publishes the local newspaper “L’Eco di Bergamo”). It can be used to design, create and fund projects, according to the all-or-nothing model. The platform was launched in early 2013. 11. Microcreditartistique - www.microcreditartistique.com (Sector specific: ART) The mission of the platform “is to help those who have an idea for contemporary art and wants to achieve it.” Micro Crédit Artistique emerged from an idea of Mauro Defrancesco and focuses exclusively on contemporary art. 12. Musicraiser - www.musicraiser.com (Sector specific: Music Projects) Musicraiser is a reward-based crowdfunding platform exclusively dedicated to music. Founded by band Marta Sui Tubi’s vocalist, Giovanni Gulino, and his partner DJ and producer Tania Varuni, the platform was launched in October 2012 and accepts fundraising projects for disks, promotional tours, music videos, concerts, and all music related projects. 13. Produzioni dal Basso PdB - www.produzionidalbasso.com PdB was the first crowdfunding platform in Italy, founded in 2005 by Angelo Rindone. The purpose of the platform is to “provide a space for all those who want to propose their own project through the system of bottom-up production.” Produzioni dal basso is free and every proposal is managed independently and without any intermediation. 14. Starteed - www.starteed.com Starteed was founded in late 2011 by Claudio Bedino. The platform, launched in September 2012, is a crowdfunding site that helps people to finance their ideas with the financial and social support of the Starteed community. The platform integrates the crowdfunding campaign with all the subsequent stages of the development and sale of the product, giving the creator the 7
  8. 8. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 opportunity to sell their product on the platform itself and then put in place the royalty model. 15. TakeOff Crowdfunding - www.takeoffcrowdfunding.com TakeOff is an Italian crowdfunding platform that helps develop and realise entrepreneurial ideas, thanks to the financial and social support of TakeOff community. Active platforms DONATION-BASED 16. BuonaCausa - www.buonacausa.org (Donation/Reward) BuonaCausa is the “ethic network dedicated to good causes and projects that require support.” The platform allows associations, testimonials, companies, donors and activists to collaborate on initiatives and projects of social value. 17. Commoon - www.commoon.it Commoon is a crowdfunding platform targeted primarily at the third sector and non-profit organisations, “ideal for micro-enterprises, social cooperatives, non-governmental organisations, and micro-credit projects.” 18. Iodono - www.iodono.com Iodono is a personal fundraising site founded in the first half of 2010, and is the brainchild of Direct Channel, a Milan-based company leader in database management in the publishing industry and on the non-profit sector. The goal is to allow people to donate online to raise money for nonprofits and the causes closest to them. 19. Let’s donation - www.letsdonation.com Let’s donation defines itself as a solidarity social network: a platform for Profit and Non-Profits to collaborate on the same project. Social Initiatives and crowdfunding are the underlying mechanisms to do this. 20. Leevia - www.leevia.com Leevia is a crowdfunding platform devoted to charity where companies sponsor projects initiated by non-profit. 21. Oboli - www.oboli.org Oboli.org is a crowdfunding platform for non-profit projects conceived and promoted by the nonprofit organisation Oboli. The fundraiser takes place in Oboli currency, credits are converted into euro at the date of expiration of the projects and are donated to non-profit organisations. 22. Pubblico Bene - www.pubblicobene.it Pubblico Bene is an experimental project of investigative journalism funded by the readers. It was born in December 2011, thanks to the contribution of the GECO project, funded by Emilia Romagna. The platform promotes “a new model for independent information, on a local basis, modelled on community funded reporting”. 8
  9. 9. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 23. Retedeldono - www.retedeldono.it Retedeldono is a web platform for the collection of donations towards socially useful projects, designed and managed by non-profit organisations. Founded in 2011 by Anna Maria Siccardi and Valeria Vitali, it aims to spread the practice of personal fundraising across the Italian culture. 24. ShinyNote - www.shinynote.com ShinyNote was founded in 2009 from an idea of ​​ oberto Basso and Fabrizio Trentin, in Brescia. R The official launch of the platform was in March 2011. ShinyNote is rooted in the idea and the purpose of “meeting the needs of individuals to find a shared space of affective and emotional expression.” The platform is a shared space between non-profit organisations and ordinary citizens/users, who tell positive stories about ordinary people and fund solidarity projects. Active platforms LENDING-BASED 25. Prestiamoci - www.prestiamoci.com Prestiamoci, Italian P2P platform, was founded in 2010 by Mariano Carozzi , Paolo Galvani and Giovanni Tarditi, entrepreneurs with important national and international experiences in the world of banking and finance. “Prestiamoci aims to promote the exchange of money between individuals, without the intermediation of banks or other lending institutions.” The platform activity is currently suspended. 26. Smartika – www.smartika.it Smartika arrived in Italy in 2007 as Zopa Italy. After a few years, Zopa and Zopa Italy ended the franchise agreement which allowed Zopa Italy to use the Zopa branding. In 2012, Zopa Italy’s operations rebranded under the name Smartika. Managed by Maurizio Sella and the rest of the team that brought Zopa to Italy, it offers the opportunity to do social lending in Italy, as regulated and supervised by the Bank of Italy in order to protect users. 27. Terzo Valore - www.terzovalore.com (Social Banking - Lending / Donation) The platform defines itself as Social banking, but it is included in this group for the purposes of this report, as the services it offers fall mostly in this area. Terzo Valore is a service of Banca Prossima, the Bank of Intesa Sanpaolo Group dedicated to the Third Sector. It is a crowdfunding service through which individuals (resident in Italy) and legal entities (with registered office in Italy) can lend or donate directly to non-profit organisations who are clients of Banca Prossima. The Bank selects the projects and finances at least 33% of each selected one plus the difference that is not collected through crowdfunding. Project holders set an interest rate, but lenders can reduce it, cancel it or decide to donate the sum. Loan repayment is guaranteed by the bank itself. Platforms being launched REWARD-BASED 1. Cineama - www.cineama.it (Sector specific: film projects) Cineama is a platform and a community dedicated to cinema and open to professionals, creatives and film fans. The platform - founded in 2011 by Tania Innamorati, Federico Bo, Antonio 9
  10. 10. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Badalamenti, Fabrizio Mosca and Savina Neirotti - combines crowdsourcing, and will soon include crowdfunding. It directly involves cinema lovers in the early stages of creation, production, promotion and distribution of films, documentaries, short films, and web series. 2. Mabita - www.mabita.it (Sector specific: Crafts Made in Italy) Conceived in early 2013, it is expected to launch by December 2013. It defines itself as the first crowdfunding platform dedicated to crafts made ​​ Italy. in 3. Polisfund - www.polisfund.altervista.org (Civic Crowdfunding) Founded in June 2013, it is expected to launch in November 2013. It is a site of civic crowdsourcing and crowdfunding and the brainchild of Damiano Oberoffer, a young local administrator in Piemonte, with the same desire shared by many: do something useful for their own community. 4. Schoolraising - www.schoolraising.it (Sector specific: School) The first crowdfunding platform for Italian schools. 5. WeRealize - www.werealize.it (Sector specific: Design) Werealize.it is a crowdfunding platform that allows designers and makers to launch innovative and original products, never traded before.  Platforms being launched EQUITY-BASED 6. Agis.co (ex SiliconVeneto) - www.agis.co It is a platform that allows you to design and develop startup incubators according to new methods. Among the steps, it includes equity-based crowdfunding as a financing method. 7. CrowdfundMe – www.crowdfundme.it Crowdfundme.it is a portal of equity-based crowdfunding, waiting to be included in the CONSOB register of operators. CrowdFundMe will facilitate the encounter and dialogue between entrepreneur and investor. 8. Fundera - www.fundera.it Fundera is the first Italian crowdfunding platform dedicated to renewable energy efficiency and sustainable mobility. Founded in March 2013, it is expected to launch in March 2014. 9. Opsidea - www.opsidea.it (mixed model: Equity / Reward) Founded in April 2013, it is expected to launch at the end of 2013. It is a platform that offers both the reward model, and the equity. Initiatives published on the platform relate mainly to the promotion of a specific area of Southern Italy. 10. Starsup - www.starsup.it Designed at the end of 2012, the launch is scheduled for the end of 2013. It is an online portal for 10
  11. 11. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 the collection of risk capital by innovative or social vocation start-ups. It was the first operator to be included in the CONSOB register. 11. Startify - www.startify.it Startify.it is a platform for equity crowdfunding projects aimed at entrepreneurial startups. 12. Startzai - www.startzai.com Startzai is a startup that deals with Crowdfunding for innovative startups in the region of Marche. It is part of a larger project (WeVenture) that also includes the Caspital portal for cultural, social and artistic initiatives. 13. Unicaseed - (website not available) It is the equity-based crowdfunding portal of the financial intermediary UNICASIM, based in Genoa and portal manager “by law” according to CONSOB Regulation, the first one to be included in the special register of CONSOB. Launch is scheduled for December 2013. 14. We Are Starting - www.wearestarting.com We are starting is an Equity-based Crowdfunding platform founded in March 2013, with “the goal of giving visibility to entrepreneurs with bright ideas.” It is in the analysis phase of the process of inclusion in the CONSOB register. 11
  12. 12. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Do It Yourself (DIY) Crowdfunding Projects DIY Crowdfunding has also begun to establish itself in Italy. In the previous section we mentioned two examples of platforms that offer white-label solutions for crowdfunding portals. In this section we include instead crowdfunding projects carried out on their own websites rather than on a public crowdfunding platform. Below we listed the most significant projects of recent months that completed successfully Acquista con noi un pezzo di Storia (Buy with us a piece of History) - Palazzo Madama (Torino) www.palazzomadamatorino.it/crowdfunding The campaign was carried out by Palazzo Madama in Turin in 2 months and it raised €89,409.49, surpassing the target of €80,000. Its aim was to bring back to Turin a porcelain service which belonged to the d’Azeglio family. It was a reward-based crowdfunding campaign: in return for their offers, backers received their rewards (tickets to the museum, acknowledgments , etc.). viceversa - Italian Pavilion at the 55. International Art Exhibition - Venice Biennale www.viceversa2013.org/it/crowdfunding-artisti-opere-arte This was a fundraiser to support the production of the works of the artists featured in the exhibition “vice versa”, at the 55th Venice Biennale. The fundraiser, organised as a reward-based campaign, had a total duration of 90 days, and completed in May 2012 having raised €178.562. Platforms offering DIY solutions Starteed Platform - www.platform.starteed.com Crowdfunding Lab - www.crowdfundinglab.it (not launched) Inactive platforms Boober - www.boober.it Boomstarter - www.boomstarter.com h2raise - (site not available) Fund For Culture - www.fundforculture.org FundTo - (site not available) youcapital - www.youcapital.it 12
  13. 13. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 The questionnaire 30 platforms, 21 of which are active and 9 are being launched, responded to our questionnaire, sent out in October 2013. History and geography of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms Crowdfunding in Italy began in 2005 with Produzioni dal Basso. Whilst other pioneering projects followed its real growth occurred in 2011 when 10 portals were launched with a further 5 in 2012. But the real peak was recorded over the past year: since January 2013, 24 new platforms have been born and Do It Yourself projects have become popular. Graph 1: Italian crowdfunding platforms: Timeline 13
  14. 14. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Most of the platforms have their headquarters in northern Italy, but not necessarily in large cities. Compared to the geographical spread of 2012, we note the emergence of some platforms in southern Italy. One platform is based in London, where the founder lives. Fig. 3 Map of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms https://mapsengine.google.com/map/edit?mid=zqNLwfXXtVsA.ky63pyptYYx4 Genesis of Italian crowdfunding platforms: motivations and influences The idea of opening a platform came mainly from the growing awareness of the foreign experience (mostly American, but also European in the last year) and the desire to replicate them in our country. Platform holders’ answers included: “From an idea of a collaborative platform around ideas and projects, I discovered American crowdfunding and I was fascinated by it. I immediately realised that it could be a revolution, made possible thanks to the evolution of social networks, which could also make many developments possible in the Old Continent”, “Italian platforms are not well-known and are not free. [Our platform] was born exclusively for charitable purposes and it’s free”; “an experience as the first social lending in the world”, “studying a foreign platform.” Some were founded with precise goals such as “the need on the non-profits part to make their projects financially sustainable and to engage their supporters in a new and loyal way.” ProduzioniDalBasso is a bit different, in that it was founded much earlier than the rest of national and global platforms, “observing the first changes in informatics and self-production.” “In 2005 the term crowdfunding didn’t exist, so I came up with the idea of a horizontal system to support 14
  15. 15. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 self-productions. The idea originated in the Italian hacking environment”, as the founder said. Some platforms originated from a careful analysis of the market and target audience, but most were moved by the desire to offer an alternative to traditional financial institutions; a solution to the economic crisis, the credit crunch from banks to businesses; the consequent difficulty of finding public and private funding; the uncertainties on the tax credit; the unfavourable situation for startups and innovation in Italy. Another motivation is to try and do something useful for the community. For some financial professionals now active in crowdfunding, it is about escaping from the normal canons of traditional financial business. Demographics Founders and members are between 30 and 50 year-old, although the average age falls when it comes to reward-based platforms, where more than half of the members are younger than 35. The founders have gained professional experience in the areas of activity of their platforms or, to a lesser extent, in communication. Over 70% have a degree equivalent or higher to graduate. The presence of women is on the rise: they are among the partners in half of the platforms and two platforms were set up only by women. Legal form, partners and employees Of the 9 soon to launch platforms interviewed, 4 have not a legal form yet, while three are already a Srl (equivalent of an Ltd., NT), one is currently managed by a limited company, and one is a financial intermediary that will manage its equity-based platform. The expected and planned legal form for most new platforms is Srl. As for the active platforms surveyed, 7 platforms do not have a legal status as a business, and their owners are VAT registered as sole traders, 3 platforms are being managed by another company (a private limited company and two banks), 7 Srl, 2 Spa or corporation (lending-based), 1 Limited Company based in the UK. One platform did not responded to this question. Srl is the prevailing form, but almost one third of the active platforms have chosen not to register with the companies register. The number of platforms managed by other companies has dropped in comparison to last year. As for the 6 equity-based platforms that answered to the questionnaire, 3 said they had applied to CONSOB to be included in the register of operators (see paragraph “The legal framework”), while 3 said they had only just begun looking into this process. As for the number of business partners, not taking into account the platforms managed by banks or financial intermediaries, the average is around 5 partners per platform. There are 3 platforms with only 1 partner, therefore sole businesses, and only three platforms with a number of members equal to or greater than 10, one of which has as many as 30. As for permanent employees, current or foreseen by the platforms being launched, the average is about 3 per platform, but almost half of the platforms have only one employee. In many cases, the founders themselves work full-time on the platform. Fixed employees are on average 1.7, while the average of temporary employees is 1.5. However, half of the platforms surveyed did not have any employees. 15
  16. 16. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Key figures of the Italian Crowdfunding Market Pending the arrival of equity crowdfunding in Italy, this section only includes Reward, donation and lending models” Some 52,000 projects received have been launched since crowdfunding emerged in Italy, of which 66% were received by lending-based platforms, 30% by reward-based and only 4% by donation-based platforms. Of those 15,000 have been approved/published: 58% of published projects are reward-based, 30% are lending-based and donation-based projects reach a 12%. The number of projects in Italy is therefore increasing but still limited, especially considering the high number of active platforms. The offer seems to grow faster than the demand. The success rate is 54% in lending-based projects, 44% in donation-based and 24% in reward-based. According to Massolution data, in 2012 $2,7 billion was raised worldwide through crowdfunding platforms. The European total for 2012 was $945 million. In Italy, the total value of projects funded through the platforms surveyed amounted to almost €23 million ($ 31,687,100), of which more than €11 million ($ 15,149,200) have been collected over the last twelve months (October 2012 - October 2013), and to which lending-based platforms significantly contributed (80%). Social lending platforms also have the highest growth rates, in line with international trends. Lending-based crowdfunding records the highest average value of financed projects (€7,892, more than the double of the world average, €3,433) pushed up by lending initiatives promoted by non-profit associations. Reward-based projects collect on average €1,636 (similar to the world average of €1,680), while donation-based projects win the international comparison with €1,501 (vs. €1,023). Table n.1 Total value of funded projects divided by crowdfunding models Total raised Total raised in the last year 24% € 3.340.178 € 2.613.473 € 1.636 1.768 44% € 1.164.400 € 919.400 € 1.501 34.747 4.311 54% € 18.443.000 € 8.138.500 € 7.892 52.074 14.612 € 22.947.578 € 11.671.373 Proposed projects Published projects Reward-based 15.390 8.533 Donation 1.937 Lending-based TOTAL Model % success average Average project value 16
  17. 17. Analisi delle Piattaforme Italiane di Crowdfunding di Daniela Castrataro e Ivana Pais Ottobre 2013 Fig. 4 Total value of funded projects divided by models 14.6% 5.1% 80.4% €18.443.000 Lending-based €3.340.178 Reward-based €1.164.400 Donation-based Crowdfunding platforms: success fees and service offer Over a quarter of respondent platforms offer their services for free, i.e. they do not take any percentage off successful projects nor impose a fee for publishing the project. The remaining platforms ask for a success fee that on average is equal to 6.5% of the total raised, from a minimum of 2.5 % up to touch peaks of 10-15%. At present the majority of platforms do not offer any additional service fee, but many plan to do so in the coming months. The platforms operated by banks or financial institutions handle all transactions for collection of offers and loans, repayment of loans to individual providers, and taxation. Typical services offered by the platforms, which in some cases attract fees, include private Q&A area for users and backers, forums that bring donors and project holders together; tutoring and mentoring before, during and after the crowdfunding campaign (incl. advice on producing a video and promotional materials, communication management, events with the physical presence of staff during the fundraiser); crowdsourcing; signature collection/petitions; apps using Facebook and Twitter to promote the project and showing trends in real time on such networks. Markets, target audience, competitors, collaboration networks The target market is predominantly domestic, with the exception of four platforms that also target the European market and two the market outside Europe. All platforms are aimed at individuals, who can publish their projects. Over 60% of the portals are also targeted to businesses and associations, 36% to PA. Most platforms consider other platforms as key competitors be they at a national (50%) or international level (30 %), but also in banks and financial intermediaries (20%). Only 30% of platforms see international platforms as competitors. The vast majority sees other national platforms as competitors and, in the case of equity and lending, also venture capitalists and banks and financial institutions. A donation platform, without too much irony, answered that they 17
  18. 18. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 see the priest as a competitor. Collaborative networks between participants in the sector are very diverse. Just over half of the platforms have established informal partnerships with other organizations/companies, particularly law firms, companies active in the sector of activity of the platform itself, startups associations, universities, municipalities, incubators, banks, radio or TV stations, consultancies. The exchanges relate mainly to customer information, market information, information technology, financial resources, technology, institutional partnerships and, in a few cases, communication and staff. Less than a third of platforms have entered into formal cooperation agreements. In addition to the exchange of information (about customers, markets, technology and enterprise management), these agreements are aimed at the acquisition of financial resources. Main issues in the Italian Crowdfunding market According to the platforms the main problems are related to the absence of a culture of crowdfunding in Italy, both at the level of donors and of project holders (especially in the nonprofit sector). The platforms, by comparison to last year, are much more active in addressing this problem by organising events, conferences, media campaigns, gathering in networks and associations, all aimed at spreading the culture of crowdfunding at a national level. Some platforms work particularly closely with project holders and organise events and meetings, online and offline; provide materials on their platform and in general do awareness-raising activities on the subject. The most recently launched platforms are more sensitive to this problem and more active in attempting to solve it. More latterly, the inability to distinguish between reward and equity based models arose as a result of the extensive media exposure that the latter has had at the expense of the first. The lack of confidence of potential investors in the crowdfunding system is still an issue. Furthermore, there are structural problems such as the Italian digital divide, especially in peripheral areas. It has also been reported a problem at a cultural level that seems to be specific of Italy, the excessive individualism present in the territory, “probably a cultural heritage that limits the openness to sharing and cooperation” commented one of the platform owners, and the reluctance to donate unless there is an economic return. In fact, some platforms are concerned about being able to find projects that can provide attractive returns to give people reasons to donate or invest that go beyond enthusiasm and participation. Much like last year, the issue of payment services on the site and the monopoly of Paypal is still present. Many platforms are finding that the relative low number of projects results in low revenues from fees and consequently many are unable to make the preferred level of investment, and many platform operators have, by necessity, alternative income sources.” Among the issues that are more specific to certain models of crowdfunding, Equity based platforms’ owner are finding it more difficult than expected to find the legally required financial intermediary service providers to operate according to the requirements of CONSOB Regulation. 18
  19. 19. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 The legal framework The only crowdfunding model currently regulated by Italian law is equity-based crowdfunding. Crowdfunding legislation has been included in the Law Decree 179 of 18 October 2012 (known as Growth Decree 2.0), specifically in Articles 50 - 100-ter of the Consolidated Law on Finance, which govern, respectively, the “Management of portals for raising capital for innovative startups” and the “Offers through online portals for raising capital” and it has delegated the CONSOB to adopt the implementing provisions. On 29/03/2013 the CONSOB, after little more than the 90 days provided for the implementation of the provision of the decree, published the Regulation implementing art. 30 of the Law Decree n. 179/2012, which introduced equity-based crowdfunding (“the widespread collection of venture capital through online portals”) in the Italian Financial Services Act. After a period of public consultation, the regulation on the “Collection of venture capital for innovative start-ups through online portals” (equity crowdfunding) was published on 12 July 2013 and entered into force on 27 July 2013. Italy is the first country in Europe to adopt such legislation. The Regulation, which consists of 25 articles, is divided into three parts dealing respectively with: general provisions; registration and discipline of portal managers; and the discipline of offers through portals. Attached to the text are: the instructions for submitting the application for inclusion in the register of operators; scheme of the report on corporate and organisational structure, template for the publication of “Information on individual offers” that include, among other things, a warning, information on the risks, the issuer, financial instruments and supply. The following are the main points of the Regulation: »» The portals will allow the collection of capital up to €5 million. »» It is only for innovative startups, as defined in the same decree. »» It is only for risk capital and not debt capital, therefore equities, but also - an absolute novelty in the rules of the Italian Civil Code – shares in Srl companies (Italian equivalent of Ltd’s). »» It includes a set of rules and requisites for online platforms managers, in order to reduce operational and legal risks, and the risk of litigation and fraud. In this regard, it has been established a register for portal managers, which includes a special section reserved for managers by law (banks and financial operators). Banks and financial intermediaries can manage online portal without registration, however they have an obligation to inform CONSOB and they will be included in a special section of the register for the purpose of transparency. »» It introduces the constraint of the presence of professional investors who must sign at least 5% of the offer. »» The operator must transmit orders to banks and investment firms that operate in relation to investors in compliance with the applicable provisions of Part II of the Act and its implementing regulations (MiFID). The rule mentioned above does not apply if the investment is less than € 500 and €1000 per year for investments made by individuals, and €5000 and €10000 per annum for legal entities. Reward and donation based crowdfunding fall under the legislation for donations. Social lending platforms are recognised and regulated by the Bank of Italy. 19
  20. 20. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Regarding the expectations and concerns about the implementing rules for crowdfunding in Italy, a fairly widespread fear among platforms managers is that the rules will become too tight constraints and the bureaucracy will stifle a system that by its nature should be lean (although of course protected and transparent). According to some platforms, the role assigned to the intermediaries and the requirements of integrity and professionalism of those who perform administrative tasks, management and control of risk “will transform crowdfunding in a mere segment of the financial market and not in a new market with new partners”. “It must be open to new subjects and not to the same system that caused the economic and social crisis of our country. Crowdfunding should be conceived as an alternative to the current credit system and not as an innovative revival of it”, declared one of the platform owners. In addition, platforms are sensitive to the problems of governance of companies that raise funds using equity crowdfunding, and to the low limits of annual investment, “beyond which MiFID checks must be performed, with the involvement of banks or investment firms that could burden the investment process within the portals, which would need extreme fluidity to work at their best.” Many people hope that equity crowdfunding will be extended to all kinds of companies and projects, not just to innovative startups and as participatory tools to venture capital, and that the investment thresholds exempt from MiFID will be raised. In particular, they wish for the facilitation of SRL equities’ exchange. Crowdfunding owners wish for a review of the current legislation relating to crowdfunding so that it can be applied to all other entities that are not innovative startups. Some platform owners wish for further tax breaks for those who invest in projects belonging to certain categories or those who favour them (e.g. awards to municipalities that promote civic crowdfunding) or in general tax-deductibility for donations made by companies and individuals. Someone calls for the establishment of a register to protect users, or forms of certification. Some platform owners consider it appropriate “to prohibit the development of crowdfunding platforms managed by banks, so facilitating effective competition on the credit market.” “More than a regulation, the market would require a deregulation”, declared one of the respondents. Specifically for the social lending, platforms urge for: »» the elimination of tax penalties for lenders who, although making a socially useful action, are taxed on the interests at an IRPEF (personal income tax, TN) rate with mandatory inclusion in the tax return (“if not favoured, it would already be acceptable a withholding tax of 20% like it happens for other financial investments”). »» ability for legal entities to lend, as it is happening in social lending around the world. This would favour the satisfaction of the demand for loans, which at times cannot be paid because of lack of funds1. 1 It has been brought to our attention that on Terzo Valore legal entities can lend money up to a “global loan portfolio” of €50,000. 20
  21. 21. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 What is crowdfunding? We asked those who filled out the questionnaire to give us a concise definition of crowdfunding. Here are the answers: »» It is that activity that, through the typical tools of social networking, can transform a donor in a promoter of a real fundraising. »» A bottom-up approach to financing projects. »» The voice of the networks. »» For the non-profit sector, crowdfunding is an opportunity to present themselves in an innovative way by focusing on the emotions and being able to expand their network of donors. »» Opportunities for growth and development. »» An ideal model to fund ideas and to stimulate the desire to do business. »» Equity crowdfunding represents a paradigm shift in the world of corporate finance, which becomes transparent, accessible to anyone, diverse and meritocratic. »» Crowdfunding is like a boat show: all the goods on display have the word “boat” in common, then it’s down to you to figure out if a boat and a ship actually have something in common. »» Collecting money to fund individuals, projects, products or economic activities through contributions from a large number of sources. »» In a finance-oriented era (perhaps not for long), it’s an opportunity to rediscover the real economy through the digital world. »» An alternative to traditional financing channels. Supporting an idea with many small contributions that together make the difference. »» Minimalist fundraising, market testing, community management, regional development, communication. »» Financing system that uses the Web as a tool to share projects and integrate donations for the realisation of them. »» A transparent and direct participatory tool to enhance and guide the funding of projects and innovative ideas or with a strong emotional impact by designing and directly to lenders the idea and the wished results of a project. A tool to bring out the best ideas or to strengthen the sense of community and mutuality both within local networks and the global ones. »» Promotion of the raising of financial resources directly related to the purpose of the funding itself. »» The ability for individuals to contribute to the implementation of projects through the provision of sums of money that can also be remunerated and returned at a point in time. »» New financial dynamic for the sponsorship of projects. »» A superstructure of social networking. »» We do crowdfunding as if it were a two-dimensional fundraising: the web, which is virtual, says to the reality (through public presentation of the proposal, chat with 21
  22. 22. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 friends) that what is virtual is true. »» Interestingly, the idea of planning occurs just as much as the idea of funding, with attention to the participatory processes that convey it. Finally, we asked the platforms to describe their most interesting project. We report a selection of them: 1) Completiamo La Città nella Città: un luogo di incontro tra persone (Let’s complete The City within the City: a meeting point for people), Terzo Valore. A project by Fondazione Cometa for a care and education space for young people and families. Total raised: €900,000 (of which €600,000 via crowdfunding). https://www.terzovalore.com/terzovalore/progetti/dettaglio?idProgetto=341 2) E fu sera e fu mattina, Produzioni dal basso. Film by Emanuele Caruso. Total raised: €70,000. http://www.produzionidalbasso.com/pdb_534.html 3) End Polio Now, Rete del Dono. A campaign by Rotary Foundation against polio. Total raised: €28,789.http://retedeldono.it/ progetti/rotary-international-distretto-2080/end-polio-now 4) Vdb23/nulla è andato perso, Musicraiser. Music project by Gianni Maraccolo with Claudio Rocchi. Total raised: €27,446. http://www.musicraiser.com/it/projects/427-vdb23nulla-e-andato-perso 5) Genovag8, Buona Causa. Fundraising for the people condemned for the G8 in Genoa. Total raised: €13,212. http://www.buonacausa.org/genovag8 6) Un giardino per la scuola di Medolla, Com-unity. (A Garden for Medolla School) Project for the realisation of a garden in the 0-6 year-old school in Medolla municipality, entirely built after the earthquake. Total raised: €11,010. http://www.com-unity.it/projects/un-giardino-per-la-scuola-di-medolla/ 7) Santiago non molla, Shinynote. Campaign for the reconstruction of the municipality of Sant’Agostino in the Ferrara province, after the earthquake of the 20th of May 2012. Total raised: €8,500. http://www.shinynote.com/story/santiago-non-molla-530 8) Social market di Milano, Crowdfunding Italia. Funding of 400 shops to start the social market in Milan. Total raised: €8,020. http://crowdfunding-italia.com/projects/400-spese-da-e-20-luna-per-aprire-il-primo-social-market-dii22
  23. 23. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 milano/ 9) BERGAMO! Save the globes, Kendoo. A project by the FAI in Bergamo for the restoration of the two Globes by Vincenzo Maria Coronelli conserved in the Civica Biblioteca Angelo Mai. Total raised: €6,000. http://www.kendoo.it/fondi/detail/126/ 10) Nicky’s team, Io Dono. Personal fundraising supporting the NGO Abbraccio. Total raised: €5,085. http://www.iodono.com/nicky’steam 11) H2A Amianto a chilometro zero, Pubblico Bene. Documentary on the presence of asbestos in the pipes of the city of Bologna. Total raised: €1,528. http://www.pubblicobene.it/pitches/32-h2a-amianto-a-chilometro-zero/details 23
  24. 24. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Conclusions Italian crowdfunding recorded a visible growth over the past year. The number of active platforms more than doubled in 2013 as did the total raised. But it is still a small sum by comparison to the total raised globally, indicating that the offer is perhaps outpacing demand in our country. There is a large imbalance in the models: over 80% of the total is collected by social lending platforms, while the donation-based and reward-based platforms share the rest, perhaps indicating that in Italy there is openness to these funding models but at the same time a certain reticence towards funding when you do not have a “tangible” reward. The high percentage of proposed projects that are turned down by platforms, particularly in the reward based model, would seem to indicate a mismatch between the expectations of platforms and the preparedness of project holders. Platforms continue to express concern at what they see as a lack of knowledge of crowdfunding on all levels. The good news is that this year, unlike last year, the platforms themselves, especially the younger ones, are very active in their educator role, organizing events, initiatives and providing resources of various types on their portals. The number of crowdfunding related events has increased significantly and crowdfunding in recent months has made ​​ n appearance on the radio and even on national TV, specifically on the a TG1 on 20 October 2013, a date that somehow marks the entrance of the word “crowdfunding” into Italian homes. However, there appears to be a greater volume of information available on the equity based models than others and this seems to be resulting in some confusion amongst the more novice users who can think no model other than equity crowdfunding is permitted in Italy. The CONSOB regulation and the consequent media visibility of the equity-based model have given rise to discordant positions on the nature of equity crowdfunding, and on the actual need for a regulation. Among the trends of crowdfunding in Italy there are the emergence of local and niche platforms, the development of hybrid platforms, offering more than one model of crowdfunding, and “ Do It Yourself “ crowdfunding is also beginning to spread. These trends, which are similar to global trends, have “taken root” well in Italy. Interestingly, in all these models (excluding hybrid platforms) the community element and the bond with the territory is very strong and this seems to be a necessary condition for any crowdfunding project, given the lack of confidence that Italians have in the web and their inclination to be very open and trusting towards people who are part of their immediate community. The CONSOB regulation has had the great merit to stimulate further debate on crowdfunding and especially to bring it to the attention of institutions and thus of the Italian media. Now we need to take advantage of the visibility of the tool to rebalance the knowledge, the discussion and the development of all crowdfunding models, each suitable for different situations and companies. 24
  25. 25. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 Contacts and credits The report was created and written by: Daniela Castrataro twintangibles daniela@twintangibles.co.uk www.twintangibles.co.uk www.crowdfuture.net @twintangibles @crowdfuture Ivana Pais Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore ivana.pais@unicatt.it www.laretechelavora.com @ivanapais The graphics of the report are curated by: Imke Bähr nois3 imke.baehr@nois3.it www.nois3.it www.crowdfuture.net @kruxxx @crowdfuture 25
  26. 26. Analysis of Italian Crowdfunding Platforms by Daniela Castrataro and Ivana Pais October 2013 26

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