AideXa, an Italian challenger bank for SMEs, has been granted a full banking licence from the European Central Bank.
Founded by Roberto Nicastro, former general manager of Unicredit, Banca AideXa intends to use a combination of AI and Open Banking to target the seven million businesses in Italy with a turnover of less than €10 million.
The firm in November last year raised €45 million in seed financing from the Generali Group, Banca Sella, IFIS, and from VCs, family offices, trade associations and angel investors.
The startup, which plans to recruit approximately 100 staff in the coming months has set a goal of breaking even within three years and landing 100,000 customers in five.
Launched during the height of the pandemic, Banca AideXa is coming to market as businesses begin to face new capital requirements and post-lockdown recovery costs.
AideXa's first product is 'X-Instant', a digital short-term credit facility that guarantees an approval or rejection within ten minutes.