“The latest data available are those of 2020, but they show a growth of lending of 75% on the previous year and also for 2021 the expectations are very high”. Roberto Ghilardini, founder of Investimento Digitale, a young lending crowdfunding portal born with a precise mission: to put businesses and lenders in contact to grow together.
“In 2017, lending crowdfunding in Italy had raised 19 million euros, in 2018 the millions were 51, in 2019 they were 70 and in 2020 over 185*. This is a sector that offers undoubted opportunities both to Italian SMEs that need to raise capital quickly, and to investors who have the possibility to diversify their portfolios.”
The advantages of lending crowdfunding
Lending means lending and crowdfunding means raising funds from the crowd. So, lending crowdfunding is basically a loan made to a company by an unspecified number of lenders through an authorized portal. Investimento Digitale, does just that: it helps Italian SMEs that need liquidity to finance their development to find the necessary funds. On the other hand, it allows lenders to offer their capital in exchange for interest. “The lending formula is very simple to understand and this is certainly one of the reasons for so much success: in practice, it is a loan of money.” Ghilardini explains. “Moreover, it has a very low access threshold. You can invest from as little as 250 euros. With 2,500 euros, for example, you can invest in 10 companies.” Unlike equity where the investor becomes a real partner, in lending the link is much less tight and the investment much more liquid, because it is bound by an online loan contract that defines the terms for the return of the invested amount and the related interest. Another advantage of lending crowdfunding concerns the annual gross rate of return that for this type of investment can reach up to 12%, on average higher than other types of classic investment.
Supporting the real economy
Investimento Digitale is an innovative startup that was created to support deserving SMEs and presents on its platform projects of Italian companies that need to receive financing with amounts between 50 thousand euros and 2.5 million euros. Depending on the project, the duration of the loan can vary from 6 to 48 months as well as the mode of repayment of capital and interest. “We only deal with development and growth projects, therefore, we do not finance the coverage of debts, losses and taxes. In addition, we have put in place a very rigid process for selecting companies for collection by defining a rating model that allows us to select only the best investment opportunities, assigning a degree of risk to each one, to allow the lending public to make independent analyses.” Ghilardini concludes.
Thanks to crowdfunding, today private individuals, instead of relying on traditional speculative financial instruments, can choose to split the capital to be invested and support small and medium-sized Italian companies, which represent the backbone of the country’s economy.
For companies, lending represents a fast and decidedly more straightforward way of financing compared to the articulated and often discouraging flow of a traditional banking institution.
At this moment, on Investimento Digitale there are the first two collection campaigns:
Franzini Srl, a company that deals with trucking and the supply of raw materials and fuels for cement and concrete production plants. Collection of 270 thousand euros for the purchase of two sweeping machines.
Efficient Farm Engineering, a company that develops and promotes innovative solutions in the field of animal husbandry based on the principles of energy saving and in particular waste to energy.
Raising 213 thousand euros to develop and market a compressed air motor for the energy efficiency of milking plants.
* Source: Italian Crowdinvesting Report of the Milan Polytechnic. Data extracted for the Lending Crowdfunding sector aimed at SMEs and the Real Estate sector.
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