The Italian start-up Prestiamoci, a company that has been recognized by the Bank of Italy as a finance company for the management of a private lending platform on the Internet, is now ready to merge with TrustBuddy International AB, a Norwegian group specialized in peer-to-peer lending. Already active in seven different European locations (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Estonia and Poland), and with more than 300,000 registered users, TrustBuddy is the largest brokerage platform in the provision of short-term loans.
This move represents the seventh exit process coordinated by the Italian incubator Digital Magics, a certified venture incubator of innovative digital start-ups offering content and services of high technological value.
The transaction allows the purchase of 100% of the shares of Agata S.p.A, the company that currently owns and manages the Prestiamoci brand, whose value has been estimated in € 5.3 million. €1.5 million will be paid in cash and €3.8 million in shares of TrustBuddy, according to an evaluation of the market that will be established shortly before the closing. In addition, the shareholders of Prestiamoci will receive 10 million of purchase options of the shares of TrustBuddy, with an exchange ratio of 1 option to 1 share by 2018 and a strike price equal to 160% of the price near the closing. The operation is subject to due diligence and to authority approval and the closing will be two weeks from delivery of that approval.
Through this transaction, Digital Magics and the other investors of Prestiamoci, many of whom belong to the Digital Magics Angel Network, will become important shareholders of TrustBuddy.
The history of Prestiamoci is an excellent example of how a network such as Digital Magics can help Italian small start-up: 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. As confirmed by TrustBuddy Ceo Jens Glasø, “Prestiamoci and TrustBuddy is a great match: Prestiamoci will help product acceleration and further diversify TrustBuddy’s product offering. This acquisition is part of TrustBuddy’s long term strategy of being the most diversified P2P operator in the world, and we look forward to working closely with our new colleagues who will strengthen the TrustBuddy Group management.”