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Satispay becomes Italy’s second unicorn after Lee Fixel leads €320m Series D

You’ve not got déjà vu — the country’s first billion-dollar company was called Scalapay

By Amy O'Brien

Satispay’s cofounders Alberto Dalmasso, Samuele Pinta and Dario Brignone

Mobile payments provider Satispay has become Italy’s second unicorn created since the dotcom boom, after raising a mammoth €320m Series D round from big-name international investors. 

It brings the total amount raised by Satispay to date to €450m, and its valuation to over €1bn (and, crucially, $1bn). 

The round was led by new investor Addition, the young US VC firm headed up by Lee Fixel — the investor who previously made Tiger Global a mint with his bet on Peloton.

Existing investors also participated in the round, including:

  • China’s Tencent (who led Scalapay’s unicorn-minting Series B in February); 
  • Jack Dorsey’s firm Block (previously Square), which first backed Satispay in its 2020 Series C;
  • Greyhound Capital, who first backed Satispay in 2018 and counts Revolut and N26 in its portfolio;
  • US fund Coatue, whose European picks have included Monzo, N26 and Checkout.com;
  • Lightrock, whose portfolio includes MessageBird and wefox;
  • Mediolanum Gestione Fondi, an Italian investment firm.

It’s a huge deal for the Italian startup ecosystem, which has been slow to gain attention among global investors. 

What does Satispay do?

Satispay was founded in 2013 and launched its payments systems in 2015. It’s more than doubled its users since its last raise to 3m, and the company tells Sifted it’s also doubled revenue year-on-year. 

It’s grown to be Italy’s largest mobile payments provider, used by more than 200k merchants including Esselunga, Carrefour, Boggi, Eataly and Benetton. 

Rather than using debit and credit card networks, Satispay is a bank account-enabled platform that offers in-store and online payments as well as peer-to-peer payments, savings and, thanks to a recent partnership with Italian rising star Young Platform, payments within Young’s crypto app.

The giant in Italy is Nexi, which went public in 2019 and is Europe’s biggest payments company by volume. Nexi requires a card, and has over 30m cardholders in Europe and is used by around 900k merchants. 

Perhaps the best — and most Italian — recent Satispay news nugget was its divine intervention in the country’s church collections last week. Churchgoers across Italy can now donate to the church collection with a single tap of their mobile phone using Satispay, thanks to the fintech spotting a gap in the market with pious under-30s who never carried cash on them.

What’s next for Satispay? 

Satispay’s founders had originally penned in 2022 for an IPO — and while a float may still be the long-term plan, this latest funding round is a clear indication that this has been postponed. 

The fintech plans to continue growing its consumer and merchant base in Italy, as well as accelerating its international expansion. 

Satispay is also planning to doubling its headcount from 300 to 600 in the next 18 months, hiring across all four of its office locations (Milan, Berlin, Luxembourg and France).

The company also tells Sifted it’s on the prowl for acquisition targets that will help it increase its services efficiently. 

Satispay’s mammoth round comes a month after we tipped it as likely to reach a billion-dollar price tag soon. Find out which other Italian companies we think are “soonicorns” here.

“In the last two years, we have experienced exceptional growth, more than doubling our customer base and launching in three new markets,” said Alberto Dalmasso, cofounder and CEO of Satispay.

“We have also been able to bring in a lot of additional talent to our teams, helping us transform Satispay into a bigger, more structured competitive reality.” 

Amy O’Brien is a reporter at Sifted. She tweets from @Amy_EOBrien and writes our fintech newsletter — you can sign up here

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