AZ Eltif ALICrowd, the first venture capital Eltif launched by Azimut, will co-invest one million euros in the equity crowdfunding campaign on the Italian portal Mamacrowd of the footwear startup Fessura. Thanks to the investment of AZ Eltif ALIcrowd, Fessura’s campaign, with a minimum fundraising target of $595,700 (€500,000) and a maximum of $1.8 million (€1.5 million), went into overfunding, raising $1.35 million (€1.13 million) from 56 investors. The company has a pre-money valuation of $5.96 million (€5 million).
Founded in 2013 by the Vecchiola brothers, with a strong family footwear tradition behind them, Fessura is based in the footwear district of the Marche region. Since its founding, it has developed and marketed 3 lines of shoes, with several patented technologies including the Reflex line, which uses the plantar reflexology system to give a massage while walking and improve a person’s psycho-physical well-being. The company closed 2020 with revenues of $1.5 million (€1.26 million) and a profit of $16,700 (€14,000).
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Eltif ALICrowd, launched last March by Azimut Investments SA and managed under delegation by Azimut Libera Impresa sgr spa, has a duration of 8 years and an endowment of $29.8 million (€25 million)
The vehicle can support crowdfunding with an average investment of $595,000 (€500,000) on each selected company and can be subscribed through Azimut’s network of 1,800 financial advisors, with a minimum investment threshold of $12,000 (€10,000). Eltif enjoys the tax benefits for investments in innovative start-ups and SMEs (up to 50% tax deduction), in addition to all the benefits reserved for alternative IPRs. The partnership between Azimut and SiamoSoci (manager of the Mamacrowd portal and 25% owned by the Azimut Group itself), provides that ALIcrowd will use the crowdfunding portal to search for companies to be invested in thanks to the campaign (call for action) for innovative startups and SMEs “Mama Fund & Crowd”, to which companies can apply until the end of the month.
Dario Giudici, CEO of Mamacrowd, said: “In just two months we have received numerous applications, our team of analysts has carefully screened them and submitted, those considered in line with the interests of investors, to the committee of ALICrowd. Fessura is the first reality to go into collection with a starting investment of one million. We are already working with ALICrowd on the evaluation of another 7 startups, which may soon find a positive opinion.”
Marco Belletti, CEO of Azimut Libera Impresa sgr, explained: “With ALICrowd we are further strengthening our offer of venture capital investment solutions for the benefit of Azimut Group customers and in support of innovative startups and SMEs that are key players in the technological, industrial and digital development of Made in Italy, which can thus count on the support of new financial and human capital, thanks to which they can build their future growth.”
With the first investment by AliCrowd, Azimut, therefore, accelerates the development of the synthetic bank project announced last January with the aim of providing funding to Italian SMEs for $1.43 billion (€1.2 billion) in the period 2021-2025, thanks to the development of the range of alternative credit products. The project is part of the trend of the proposal of illiquid investments to private customers by private banking and traditional asset managers. Recall that the Azimut group had announced in September 2019 a major turning point in its industrial strategy, with the aim of investing in private assets at least $12 billion (€10 billion) in the next 5 years, launching a series of investment vehicles largely dedicated also to the retail public.
Azimut’s investments in the real economy
The Luxembourg-based Azimuth Investments sa in July 2020 launched on the Italian market the first AZ Eltif Ophelia sub-fund, a private equity Eltif that aims to raise $238 million (€200 million). In September 2020, the second sub-fund AZ Eltif Capital Solution was launched, a debt investment vehicle dedicated to companies in difficulty, which has a funding target of $238 million (€200 million) and conducts selected investments in European syndicated bank loans.
Then, last January, Azimut and the Peninsula fund jointly launched a new private equity sub-fund, named AZ Eltif Peninsula Tactical Opportunities, which has a funding target of $178 million (€150 million) and conducts strategic investments in significant minority shareholdings and majority shareholdings in listed or unlisted European companies, but with primary focus on Italy.
Last February, the Digital Lending sub-fund was also launched, a strategy focused on state-guaranteed loans and commercial credits, invested through fintech platforms (loans and invoice financing), which will use Artificial Intelligence algorithms and Big Data Analysis for continuous risk monitoring, allowing an effective and efficient analysis of the evolution of portfolio quality. The sub-fund has a funding target of $297 million (€250 million).
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