Equity crowdfunding platforms: a demographic and operational performance analysis of the Italian scenario


innovative financial tools

How to Cite

Modaffari, G., & Paoloni, P. (2023). Equity crowdfunding platforms: a demographic and operational performance analysis of the Italian scenario. Piccola Impresa Small Business, (3). https://doi.org/10.14596/pisb.3886
Received 2023-06-04
Accepted 2023-12-07
Published 2023-12-31


Purpose. The paper aims to investigate Italian equity crowdfunding platforms and their role in supporting innovative SMEs, as a junction between enterprises and investors.

Nowadays, platforms represent one of the many facets of innovative and digital entrepreneurial phenomenon that support the development of SMEs through innovative financial tools. For this reason, the present study tries to clarify the systematic role of these digital entities in the Italian context.

Design/methodology/approach . The exploratory descriptive qualitative (EDQ) research method supports the paper. To reach the declared goal, an explorative analysis of the 51 Italian equity crowdfunding platforms was conducted, extracting the information on platforms from CONSOB (Italian acronym of “Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa”) ordinary records and implementing it with financial and non-financial data from AIDA database. Finally, a comparation per year with the total of equity crowdfunding volume was made.

Findings. The research highlights an irregular platforms’ distribution with a concentration in northern Italy, particularly in the province of Milan (RQ1). Focusing on performance (RQ2), only a residual part of the platforms show positive results (35% of the sample). Referring to the relationship with total equity raised per year (RQ3), it is possible to confirm that only a few players run the equity crowdfunding market. While the official data shows an increase in raised volumes, only a few platforms reach positive performance. In this way, SMEs seem to prefer only certain platforms for promoting their equity crowdfunding campaigns. Furthermore, another significant finding is about the cost-opportunity of losing the CONSOB authorisation that it is greater than the negative performance of each year

Practical and Social implications. The present research can be useful in twofold. On one hand, it can help public authorities, such as CONSOB. with monitoring the equity crowdfunding phenomenon. On the other hand, it can guide practitioners in supporting innovative small businesses toward platforms that perform better and therefore, help them to stand a better chance of success in raising capital.

Originality of the study. The present paper enriches the literature on innovative small-medium enterprises and innovative financial tools. Several aspects of the workings of the innovative equity financial market for SMEs have been treated, and several topics theorized by scholars on equity crowdfunding platforms have been checked within this empirical study.



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