Freedome, Italy's leading innovative start-up and marketplace for outdoor experiences, announced the closing of a Series A round with a total raise of €2.5 million and assumes the status of a 'Benefit Company'.
The lead investor is Opes Italia SICAF EuVECA, a venture capital fund that supports the development and growth of innovative social impact start-ups. Alongside Opes, numerous partners took part in the operation, including SocialFare Seed, Bios Line Holding and Premiaweb, which decided to reinvest as further confirmation of the validity of the growth strategy pursued - in recent years - by the startup, several Business Angels and new investors such as EGG SRL, LP Holding and Ad.Astra Fund.
Growth Capital, leading advisor in extraordinary finance transactions for start-ups and scale-ups, coordinated the transaction as financial advisor. Studio SZA, with a team coordinated by Marco Cristiano Petrassi, supported Freedome as legal advisor.
The funding operation is part of a larger growth plan and includes the first investment tranche of €300,000, completed by Freedome in 2022 through a convertible instrument, within the scope of the second batch of the A-Road acceleration and fundraising programme.
This funding will enable the company to further consolidate its presence in Italy, start international expansion, expand the catalogue of available activities, and integrate the offer with increasingly innovative and quality services. With this operation, Freedome reached the milestone of €3.5 million raised since the company's foundation.
The company's Board of Directors was renewed and expanded from 3 to 5 members. Reconfirmed as directors are founders Michele Mezzanzanica and Manuel Siclari, as well as Alfredo Lovati, CEO of Beta 80 SPA. Elena Casolari, CEO of Opes Italia, and Riccardo Zagaria, CEO of Doc Generici, were appointed anew.
The start-up, founded in 2019 in Legnano by Michele Mezzanzanica, Manuel Siclari and Simone Ferlisi, and incubated in I3P, the Innovative Companies Incubator of the Politecnico di Torino, has developed a platform that aggregates and makes the best outdoor activities easily accessible. Today, it is positioned as one of the reference realities for outdoor sports and recreational activities: Freedome is in fact the vertical outdoor service with the most comprehensive catalogue in Italy, ranging from hiking on mountain trails to horseback riding in the woods, from climbing on icy walls to rafting, and then diving, kayaking, kitesurfing, ebikes, paragliding, hot-air ballooning, ziplines, boat trips, snowshoeing, skiing, snowboarding and much more.
The project also has a strong social impact: on the one hand, it supports small local operators, who often operate in rural areas of our country and who, without such an innovative digital showcase, would have considerably less potential for visibility and growth. On the other hand, it promotes proximity tourism through local experiences, enhancing the country's natural heritage and reducing environmental impact. Furthermore, Freedome contributes to the dissemination of an active, healthy and socially-oriented lifestyle through the promotion of sports, recreational or tourist experiences, carried out in groups and in contact with nature. Consistent with its social vocation, in the context of the funding round Freedome therefore acquired the status of a 'Benefit Society'.
"This funding will allow us to further strengthen Freedome's positioning in Italy and accelerate our development strategy. Being supported by such authoritative investors confirms the validity of our solution, which aims both to innovate a sector such as the outdoor industry, a market with great potential that is often not exploited due to the lack of up-to-date solutions, and to promote a new concept of tourism and leisure, more responsible, sustainable and of quality," said Michele Mezzanzanica, co-CEO and Founder of Freedome.
"We will continue to support small, local outdoor operators, particularly in Southern Italy and the inland areas of the country, before expanding into international markets at the European level. We will continue to work towards realising our vision: to enable everyone to make the most of their free time by experiencing unforgettable adventures," commented Manuel Siclari, co-CEO and Founder of Freedome.
"We have seen in Freedome the solidity of a cohesive and passionate team that has distinguished itself through mature and courageous choices and, the potential to impact on the problem of polarisation of opportunities in inland areas that represent almost 60% of the entire country. We believe that Freedome's proposal in promoting a slower style of tourism in harmony with nature can position the company as a leader in the sector," said Elena Casolari, CEO of Opes Italia.