in-Lire, the Italian complementary money network that now has more than 1,600 companies and over 2,000 operational in-Lire accounts, has made a new acquisition, just over a year after that of the Tibex network, which was initially active in the Lazio region. It is the Umbrex network, a branch of Link 3C Società Cooperativa, a circuit with 300 SMEs operating in the Umbria region under its belt.
Already in October, the fintech company had exceeded €34 million transacted since it began operations in 2018, and according to managers’ forecasts, by the end of the year it will exceed €15 million in 2022 alone. Thanks to this second m&a transaction and the organic growth of the network, the circuit has grown by more than 1,000 firms in the past 12 months, a network of businesses and self-employed individuals who continuously match for trade of all kinds and sizes.
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The business is based, in practice, on the use of trade credit
Founded in Turin in 2017 by Romi Fuke and Marco Negro, in-Lire began its activities as mentioned in mid-2018 in Lombardy, with the aim of supporting small and medium-sized businesses to network through the tool of compensatory credit. Through an annual subscription, registered companies have credit available to finance current expenses and investments that can then be “repaid” through the offer of their goods and services to other companies in the circuit.
The business is based, in practice, on the use of trade credit, which is used as currency to pay for goods and services among the companies in the circuit. In this way, a virtuous circle is created that can support businesses and help them at any time of crisis: in fact, the mutual credit between these businesses is born under conditions of strong trust, and is generated by the growth of the participants’ turnover, and performs precisely the function of a complementary currency, which flanks but does not replace the euro. The startup had cashed in its first round in August 2019, underwritten by a club deal led by incubator BeMyCompany, founded by Antonio Quintino Chieffo.
In July 2020 In-Lire was transformed into a joint-stock company, and in September of the same year it announced the imminent launch of a €500,000 equity crowdfunding campaign on the We Are Starting platform, preparatory to the listing, but then the operation had not started.
In July 2021 In-Lire became a benefit company
And in December of the same year, as mentioned, it acquired Tibex, which was established in 2013 when Sardex (now SardexPay), after developing the concept of a complementary credit and currency network in Sardinia, had begun to apply it to other Italian regions Tibex originally covered the territory of Lazio. Subsequently, Tibex became independent in 2020 and was headed by a group of entrepreneurs’ groups united in Gestione 3C srl.
President Romi Fuke said, “This transaction on the one hand demonstrates the solidity and attractiveness of our business model, given that many realities similar to ours admit to seeing us as a virtuous market reference, and on the other, it strengthens us in the Central-Southern regions, confirming our national vocation.”
The sector of complementary currencies is gaining more and more relevance, also depending on a period when there is less and less liquidity for small and medium-sized enterprises. If there were crises in the traditional banking and monetary system, these systems would play a key role in the social and economic stability of the territories where they operate. To date, the most established complementary currency is the Swiss banking WIR, which has reached a size that allows it to have a macroeconomic impact. Germany’s Chiemgauer complementary currency generates 0.2 percent of Bavaria’s GDP.
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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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