The 2012/04/16 at 05:40
“Many of our private investors are now choosing the real economy, they are turning away from their stock market experience," comments Benoît Bazzocchi, President and Founder of SmartAngels.fr, an online investment platform launched in January 2012. The trend has become the hobbyhorse of this financial investment adviser accredited by the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers or French Financial Market Authority). His role is to single out the requests of the most promising SMEs, then set up fundraising operations in colaboration with the entrepreneurs in question. "It may take one to three months to set up the application, depending on the case. Then you need to expect another three months for the fundraising," explains the company head.
The concept fills in a gap. SMEs that are turning towards the Smart Angels have financing needs that are too low to interest investment funds, while also being too high to be supported by "love money", in other words the private investment of close friends and family in young companies. Benoît Bazzocchi targets demands between 200,000 and one million euros. "Mainly second and third rounds of financing," specifies the young President. As far as private investors go, no minimum capital entrance sum is required. The platform takes a one-off commission of 100 euros during the fundraising process. "We are interested in persons with capital to invest and who wish to diversify. In general, they are already involved in the economy. The typical profile of our investor is the business angel too active to have time to do research, to negotiate shareholder pacts, etc.," adds Benoît Bazzocchi.
Smart Angels takes care of the whole procedure. The platform then sets up web tools: "this is a social platform. There is real interaction between investors and entrepreneurs," states Frédéric Assémat. This entrepreneur and his partners launched, at the start of February, "a social network on fashion allowing users to exchange and sell clothing by creating a look," he continues. Instead of presenting single items for sale, dress-me.com promotes styles: the purchaser can buy everything, from top to toe, from hat to socks. Launched with an initial investment of 50,000 euros, the project is embarking on its commercialisation phase and needs to raise around 400,000 euros by mid-July. "For the moment, we're far off the mark. But it's not easy during the election period," admits Frédéric Assémat, who has chosen to rely on Smart Angels. "Investors are waiting."