After 12 years, Alberto Bassi leaves BackToWork , an Italian platform specializing in equity crowdfunding, including real estate, of which he was co-founder together with his brother Carlo in 2012, and CEO since 2015. The news was communicated by himself with an email addressed to a limited number of contacts.
Reached by phone, the person concerned preferred not to add any further details, reserving the right to leave further developments in his professional life to subsequent communications. Having said this, it is likely that at least in the immediate future Bassi will focus on the activity of Eighteen Investments , a company that organizes investments in club deals of real estate assets, of which Bassi is CEO and partner.
Interestingly, BeBeez has collected rumors about a possible corporate reorganization of BacktoWork, which currently sees Intesa Sanpaolo as the first shareholder, with 30% , which had taken over the share in 2020 from Neva Finventures , then the corporate venture capital arm of the banking group, which later evolved into Neva sgr. Bassi, on the other hand, owns around 29% between direct and indirect shareholdings.
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BackToWork had been the subject of a reverse merger
BacktoWork, founded in 2012 as a vehicle specializing in bringing together companies looking for capital with manager-investors, then came under the control of the Il Sole 24 Ore group , which subsequently resold all its shares to the founders, i.e. the Bassi family (through IPB Holding ), which had acquired since 24 Or and 90% of the capital that it did not yet possess.
In August 2018, the BacktoWork founders decided to merge the platform with Equinvest srl, the company that managed the equity crowdfunding platform of the same name, founded by Fabio Bancalà with four other partners. In detail, BackToWork24 had been the subject of a reverse merger: the company had in fact been acquired by Equivest srl which was then renamed BackToWork24.
The new BacktoWork24 was therefore controlled with 30% each by Alberto Bassi and Fabio Bancalà , while the rest of the capital was distributed for 15% between the managers of Equinvest and BackToWork24 and the rest among the other shareholders-investors of Equinvest.
Then, in June 2019, Neva Finventures had invested 4 million euros in a capital increase for a minority share of BacktoWork and just over a year later, in September 2020, the bank, as mentioned, had directly acquired the share of BacktoWork, considering it an industrial shareholding and therefore deeming it more appropriate to bring it within the scope of the parent company rather than keeping it in Neva.
The close bond with the Intesa Sanpaolo group is reflected in the collection numbers. From 2016 to today, BacktoWork has in fact raised 38.4 million euros in 139 equity crowdfunding campaigns, placing it in fourth place behind Mamacrowd, Crowdfundme and Opstart, according to data from CrowdfundingBuzz.
But of that figure, a third is represented by the two individual campaigns in which Intesa Sanpaolo Sanpaolo Private Banking customers participated , i.e. the one for WeRoa d, a company that organizes group travel online, which in October 2021 raised 4 million of euros on the platform, as part of a larger round of 13.5 million and that for Fin-Novia , an investment vehicle set up specifically to underwrite part of the bond issue of e-Novia , a factory of innovative startups. Fin-Novia raised almost 7.7 million in a campaign that ended in March 2020.
The story must be read within the framework of the process of concentration and evolution of business models that is affecting the crowdfunding sector in Italy following the entry into force of EU Regulation 1503/2020. A process that had already started in the summer of 2022, when it was not yet known that the entry into force of the Regulation would be postponed until November 2023, with the card-for-card acquisition of Trusters, a real estate lending crowdfunding portal from part of Crowdfundme, the platform led by Tommaso Baldissera Pacchetti which in December of the past year did an encore by forming an alliance with the Fundera platform to accelerate debt activity.
The trend then crossed the Italian borders with the cash acquisition, last November, of the French Lymo Finance , a platform with 52 million euros of funding in 2023, by Walliance , the leading Italian portal in real estate equity crowdfunding , launched in 2013 by brothers Gianluca and Giacomo Bertoldi.
At the same time , Opstart , now owned by Banca Valsabbina and Warrant Hub, had already extended its activity to debt crowdfunding in recent years, through loans and the issuing of securities, which at the end of 2023 came to weigh for 27% of all the collection carried out so far by the platform led by Giovanpaolo Arioldi , it had already begun to collect debt in 2021 (through both loans and minibonds), which in 2023 represented 63% of all the activity. Overall, real estate lending crowdfunding saw overall volumes grow by 50% in 2023, from 91 to 137 million euros.
A tendency to extend towards debt and the real estate sector from which BackToWork had remained substantially extraneous, confining itself almost exclusively to equity crowdfunding, a segment which in the past year saw activity contract by more than a third, from 90 to 57 million, and moreover polarized on the two leaders of the segment, namely Mamacrowd and the aforementioned Crowdfundme. In 2023 BackToWork raised no more than 2.8 million, but still secured authorization to operate at a European level on the basis of the new Regulation.
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First published in Be Beez. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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