There are now 278 Fintech firms in Italy, which is 49 more than when Big Four auditing firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), released its previous report on the financial technology sector in the European nation.
PwC’s extensive 96-page report reveals that Italy now has an emerging real estate segment, which is supported by lending and equity crowdfunding platforms. The nation’s digital asset sector has also grown in the past year.
PwC’s research reveals that the overall turnover of the country’s Fintech sector reached €373 million in 2018, with a significant 40% growth on the previous year.
However, these figures are “only relative to 64%” of the firms responding to a survey. This, as several Italian companies with head offices located abroad, certain non-profit entities, and newly launched projects were excluded from the study.
Italian Fintechs secured €154 million in capital last year, a 23% decline from 2018.
Most or 60% of Fintech businesses in the country are less than five years old. Around 70% of Italian Fintechs are quite small, as they only employ 10 (or fewer) workers.
However, revenue is growing steadily for Fintechs at an average rate of 40%, PwC’s report reveals.
It claims that Milan is “the core” of the nation’s Fintech landscape, as 45% of all financial technology companies are based in the global capital of fashion and design.
Approximately 8% of Italy’s Fintechs maintain their head offices abroad, the report noted.
“[Overall,] Italy is weak [in terms of Fintech activity.] In the internation context, the Italian position about Fintech has been so far weak (in 24th place in the world according to Findexable) and the low investments play a dominant role in this ranking”
Investments in Italy’s Fintech sector dropped considerably from €197 million in 2018 to €154 million last year.
Notably, Italian investments in the Fintech space are merely 3.1% compared to the leading UK market. But PwC argues that crowdfunding could potentially “represent an important alternative to fill the gap but it’s still in its infancy.”
The full report is available here.