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Tifosy raises GBP1m from ‘fanfunders’

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Tifosy, a fully licensed sports crowdfunding business, has successfully raised GBP1 million in equity through its own platform.

Co-founded by former player and manager Gianluca Vialli and former investment banker Fausto Zanetton, Tifosy allows supporters to invest in leading clubs. More than 10,000 fans have already invested through the platform and Tifosy has worked with more than 15 clubs in England and Italy. Now, it is now scaling up to extend its operations across other European markets and into other sports, including rugby and cricket.
 
Tifosy has reached its GBP1m target in just six weeks – more than three weeks ahead of its 10 November deadline. So far it has issued over 4000 shares in the company, which has a pre-money valuation of GBP9.2 million. 
 
However, due to the overwhelming demand from investors, additional shares are now being issued and the offer will remain open until 10 November. A minimum GBP1,000 investment is required.
 
Tifosy is a unique online platform connecting clubs with a global community of fans and investors. In August it launched English football’s first mini-bond and next month is due to launch a EUR1 million mini-bond for the Italian Serie B club Frosinone. It plans to launch equity-based campaigns, giving supporters the chance to buy shares in their favourite clubs and providing clubs with a one-stop service, guiding them professionally through the capital raise.
 
Tifosy’s platform is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, with a licence valid across Europe, allowing it to sell equity and debt on behalf of clubs. It plans to expand into France, Germany and other European markets and will then explore opportunities in China and the US.
 
Tifosy aims to runs campaigns which will raise several million pounds for the club concerned, transforming the financing of the sports industry and creating a new asset class. Its long-term goal is to connect clubs worldwide to a global fan and investor base. As its community of sports investors grows, it will be able to scale up its projects while keeping costs low and operating a standardised and efficient investment process.
 
Tifosy has an established track record, having raised more than £1m for football clubs through its initial rewards-based campaigns on behalf of renowned clubs, including Portsmouth FC, Fulham and Bradford City, funded training ground and stadium improvements and similar projects.
 
It is now launching bigger financial crowdfunding campaigns, allowing clubs to invest for the future. Its pilot project, launched in August, was English football’s first mini-bond, which raised £600,000 in just six weeks for EFL League Two club Stevenage FC to build a new North Stand. Two hundred and forty fans invested between £500 and £25,000, choosing either 4% cash interest or 8% club credit interest per annum and receiving unique club-related privileges.
 
Tifosy founder & CEO Zanetton says: “We believe this pivotal moment in Tifosy’s short history is an excellent opportunity to bring on board the first wave of our very own Fanfunders. We have been developing relationships with clubs for the last three years and are having conversations with major sports clubs in England, Italy and other European markets.
 
“Our proposition is proving incredibly popular because we understand the challenges facing sports clubs operating in a fiercely competitive marketplace. We can provide them with new sources of funding by connecting them with their fanbase, domestically and internationally, deepening the engagement with supporters and allowing them to invest in their club’s future”.
 
Co-founder Vialli says: “I believe we have created a revolutionary tool which allows clubs to work with their fans to build something sustainable together. It is simple and transparent. I am proud to be involved. I would love Fanfunding to become the norm for all clubs so their supporters become partners instead of being treated like customers.”

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