HomeFundingPerugia-based fintech Cents bags €1.15 million pre-seed to pave the way for...

Perugia-based fintech Cents bags €1.15 million pre-seed to pave the way for Impact-as-a-Service in Italy

Cents, an early-stage fintech announced the closing of a €1.15 million pre-seed round led by SICI and also participated by 40Jemz Ventures, Apside, Fin+Tech, CDP Venture Capital and XEquity, under the advisory of FNDX, together with a large pool of business angels.

Founded in April 2021 by Riccardo Valobra and Alessio Mazzalupi, Cents is an innovative fintech startup that aims to redefine the approach to issues of responsibility and impact – both social and environmental – within corporate governance dynamics, making access to ESG frameworks and CSR practices immediate, traceable and accountable for e-commerce, banks, credit unions and financial institutions.

The funding will be used to launch the first European Impact-as-a-Service™ (IAAS) platform and to enhance a B2B (and B2B2C) offering that allows companies to seamlessly integrate social and environmental causes into their core business, connecting them with over 50 non-profit organisations.

Riccardo Valobra and Alessio Mazzalupi, Co-Founders, commented: “Cents stems from a clear idea: connecting companies and brands with third sector NGOs, so as to empower people to be agents of positive change in the world, even in their everyday lives. This is the starting point of our Vision: the aim to create an integrated digital ecosystem that generates impact through every single digital transaction, everywhere in the world. Today, thanks to the support of some of the biggest players on the Italian financial scene, we are in the ideal moment to pursue these goals. The growing attention of European consumers in assessing the impact of their purchases and the need for large companies to respond to this evolution in order to attract, engage and retain their customers, opens up promising avenues for rapid growth and expansion.”

Cents’ purpose, therefore, is to enable these realities, through digital transaction systems, an easy integration of sustainability, social impact and CSR – together with a liable development of their ESG – within their core activities, turning sales into vectors for doing good, amplifying community involvement and customer retention, enabling millions of people, in Italy and Europe, to make a daily impact on the world.

The capital raised will also allow for the consolidation and expansion of the internal team, with the hiring of young and talented managers. The perspective from now until 2025 is to achieve rapid growth in headcount, through the acquisition of strategic partners in Italy, aiming to achieve sufficient metrics to close a Seed Round within 24 months, so as to position the platform as a benchmark at European level.

Particular importance, finally, will be given to the expansion of the already dense group of NGOs adhering to the platform – including: Telethon, Save the Children, Oxfam Italy. In this process, transparency in the transfer of informative material on the projects supported through the service will be highlighted, in order to overcome any type of evaluative bias, allowing for an increasingly precise matching between initiatives and donors’ values.

Claudio Cardinale, Co-Founder and CTO, commented: “At Cents we are developing the entire platform framework from scratch, starting with the collection of big data, and then processing it through an artificial intelligence engine based on our in-house machine learning model. With our software we want to enable business partners to simplify back-office operations, donation processing and technical integrations with non-profit organisations and their projects, while optimising the ‘matching’ between donor and cause. All implemented on a cloud platform with serverless architecture, to guarantee scalability and flexibility even at a geographical level. This 

is an extremely demanding engineering project, involving extensive research work, which can be a game-changer for all the parties involved and which we are certain will give us great satisfaction.”

Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo is the Head of News at EU-Startups. He has been extensively covering startups, venture capital and innovation ecosystems, including contributions to numerous publications such as Sifted, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Through his work as an editor and writer, he continues to shape the narrative surrounding the best stories of the tech world.

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