Norwegian TrustBuddy, the only company of Peer-to-Peer Lending in the world to be listed on the stock market, has entered into an agreement to acquire Italian Prestiamoci, a leading long-term Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lender, for a total of EUR 5.3 million in order to strengthen its offering of business loans to small and medium-sized enterprises and consumer credit in most European countries.
This operation comes together with the acquisition of the dutch P2P lending platform Geldvoorelkaar.
Jens Glasø, TrustBuddy CEO, commented:
“At TrustBuddy, we strive for increased access to European P2P consumer and SME lending markets in order to accelerate future revenue growth. The proposed acquisitions of Prestiamoci and Geldvoorelkaar are clearly in line with this strategy. By implementing our brand new proprietary lending platform for fast, easy and secure lending, TrustBuddy is strengthening its position in highly attractive and rapid growing markets. The acquisitions also bring with them experienced management which complement our existing team’s skills.”
Prestiamoci was valued for over €5.3 million that will be paid in cash and buyer equity. The binding offer is subject to due diligence and to authority approval.
TrustBuddy chose Prestiamoci for the proprietary technology platform and the model built in Italy – underlined Digital Magics – which TrustBuddy wants to replicate in other European countries. After the acquisition of Prestiamoci, the Norwegian company will enter the Italian market through a finance company regulated by the Bank of Italy and will aim to accelerate its development of long-term loans on the Internet, further consolidating its leadership in Europe, as well as internationally.
The deal has been announced today in Italy by Digital Magics, the Italian venture incubator of digital startups listed on the AIM Italia market of the Italian Stock Exchange, as their seventh exit.
Enrico Gasperini, Digital Magics Founder and President, said: “We are extremely pleased with the agreement that started acquisition process of Prestiamoci by a company as important as TrustBuddy. This is the seventh exit for Digital Magics. This great achievement, considering the initial state of the ecosystem of venture capital in Italy, shows how our incubator and the ‘Digital Magics Angel Network’ are really able to move on the international level to find and engage sponsors and buyers of digital startups, in which we invest and believe.”
In September 2014, Prestiamoci raised financing of €450,000 and, in October 2013, a previous capital increase of €550,000 from Digital Magics and members of Digital Magics Angel Network.
Last years history of Prestiamoci is an excellent example of the value added by Digital Magics – said the organization – starting with a business model that is disruptive and innovative, and records growth rates in double figures in the rest of the world, Prestiamoci obtained, in the relaunch phase, the strategic and managerial support of the venture incubator Digital Magics. In less than a year, the incubator and the management team Daniele Loro, Michele Novelli, Stefano Miari and Federico Provinciali were able to relaunch and reorganise the company, until it becomes so successful as to attract the attention of major international investors and to sign the agreement with TrustBuddy.
Michele Novelli, Digital Magics Partner and Prestiamoci Managing Director, said: “The interest that was closed towards the startup in recent months it’s really amazing. The relaunch managed by Digital Magics has increased the value of Prestiamoci very quickly, that proves once again that the ability to execute is crucial to business success. We can also declare very proudly that our business model and platform were considered scalables and replicables in other countries. Prestiamoci is going to be the main long-term P2P platform of new TrustBuddy group.”
TrustBuddy was established in Stockholm in 2009 and the first business to facilitate P2P lending in Scandinavia. Listed on NASDAQ OMX First North, TrustBuddy is the only publicly traded P2P company in the world. It has close to 100 employees, facilitated over SEK 1 billion in short term consumer loans and is operational in 9 European countries.
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