Symbid and Gruppo Banca Sella Create New Italian Investment Platform, Symbid Italia

New equity crowdfunding platform launched by Dutch financial technology brand and major Italian banking group

10 MARCH 2015, ROTTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS AND NEW YORK, NY
Summary
Symbid, one of the first investment crowdfunding platforms worldwide and now The Funding Network™, today announced the launch of Symbid Italia S.p.A. in partnership with Gruppo Banca Sella. Marco Bicocchi Pichi, Italian Business Angel of the Year 2014, will undertake the role of Managing Director. The collaboration sees Symbid leverage Banca Sella’s payment solutions, banking services and network to offer its innovative B2B and B2C funding portfolio in Italy as of second quarter 2015. Symbid Italia represents the first stage of a European roll-out of the investment crowdfunding platform operated by Symbid, The Funding Network™.

“We’ve built a community of 29,000 investors around our crowdfunding platform in the Netherlands and, as our core business grows exponentially, we believe the time is right to expand,” said Korstiaan Zandvliet, co-founder and CEO of Symbid Corp. “This partnership kicks off a European roll-out which, with the launch of The Funding Network™ in the Netherlands, strengthens our position as a leader in online funding. Through the combination of Banca Sella’s expertise and investor clientele, our financial technology and, of course, the crowd, we’re making efficient online funding a reality for Italian investors and entrepreneurs.”

“This new Company is an international project with strong Italian roots,” said Managing Director of Symbid Italia, Marco Bicocchi Pichi. “We will offer an innovative combination of services to entrepreneurs, start-ups, established companies and investors seeking growth. We’re excited to start working on improving access to finance for Italian small businesses.”

Symbid Italia aims to digitalize financial services for Italian small business with a new online funding platform based on Symbid’s validated crowdfunding technology and Banca Sella’s banking expertise and local market knowledge. This partnership combines traditional and alternative finance, enabling Symbid Italia to enter the market with a potential user base of accredited investors.[1] Small businesses contribute 68% of Italy’s total added value (EU average is 57%) but can experience difficulties in accessing finance.[2] Symbid Italia will provide an efficient, transparent and market-friendly solution for Italian small businesses in search of funding.

The long-term vision is to establish Symbid as the leading equity crowdfunding platform in Italy with Gruppo Banca Sella as its strategic partner. The Company will operate in the emerging Italian equity crowdfunding market following its registration as manager of a crowdfunding platform for the collection of risk capital via online portals as determined by the CONSOB. The Company’s operation is subject to verification by the TUF (Testo Unico della Finanza) in accordance with CONSOB resolution no. 18592 (adopted June 26 2013). The platform will function according to MiFID regulations regarding the size of investments.


[1] Current Italian crowdfunding legislation (as determined by CONSOB) requires 5% of the total funding amount to be raised from accredited investors

[2] European Commission: Enterprise and Industry, ‘2013 SBA Fact Sheet: Italy’ (November 2013) [Online] http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sme/facts-figures-analysis/performance-review/files/countries-sheets/2013/italy_en.pdf

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About Symbid

About Symbid

Founded in April 2011 as one of the first investment crowdfunding platforms worldwide, Symbid is The Funding Network™, where companies get funded and grow. As a leading online funding portal for small- and medium-sized enterprises, Symbid gives entrepreneurs direct access to traditional and alternative forms of finance, while offering investors full transparency on the potential risks and returns of their portfolio. Advanced investing, monitoring and data tools ensure companies connecting to The Funding Network™ are financed in the most efficient way possible. Built around cutting-edge technology and expert financial advice, The Funding Network™ by Symbid is the go-to platform for entrepreneurs in search of funding and investors in search of exciting opportunities. As of March 2015, Symbid (www.symbid.com) has successfully funded 70 small businesses for a total capital sum of $7.5 million. With over 40 funding partners already connected – including banks, venture capital, angel investors and 30,000 private (crowdfunding) investors – the total transaction volume of The Funding Network™ in 2015 is estimated at $800 million. Symbid Corp. is a U.S. publicly listed company (OTCQB:SBID). For investor relations, please visit www.symbidcorp.com.

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