CHINESE AND EUROPEAN FUNDS LEAD INVESTMENT IN STAMP, THE STARTUP THAT DISRUPTS TAX FREE SHOPPING.
ZhenFund, a leading Venture Capital fund in China, and btov Partners, a European Venture Capital fund and early backer of SumUp and Raisin, are joining forces in Stamp’s new investment round, the startup redefining the tax free shopping industry in Europe. Stamp, launched in 2018 in Italy by a group of managers previously at Uber, Airbnb and Suitsupply, totaled €1.7 million investments after a year of explosive growth, and now plans to expand in other EU countries starting with Austria.
Stamp innovates tax free shopping by turning city retailers into duty-free stores:
- It allows international clients to buy goods net of all VAT in the store, boosting sales.
- It improves the customer experience by cutting costs, paperwork and queues traditionally linked to tax refund procedures.
- It digitizes and streamlines the procedure through its platform or app
- In 1 year of activity it reached over 1000 partner stores and tens of thousands of customers who enjoyed the “duty free in town”. The service is currently available in Italy.
Tax Free Shopping exempts international visitors to pay the VAT on purchased goods. It is an essential asset for tourism and trade in every country where applicable, globally worth apprx. $60 billions annually. 80% of expenditure takes place in Europe.
ZhenFund, are investors in 800 startups between China and the US (including 21 “unicorns”), Stamp is the first ever investment in Europe. “We chose to invest in Europe because we believe in Stamp’s mission and in the strength of Chinese consumers. Today’s tax free shopping experience does not match the needs of Asian customers, especially millennials, but thanks to Stamp it can become a real leverage in the Euro-Chinese trade” says ZhenFund’s founder Bob Xu, ranked 11th in Forbes’ Midas List of the world’s most successful VCs and inspirer of a blockbuster movie in China.
btov Partners has been an early investor in companies like SumUp and Raisin. According to btov partner Jochen Gutbrod, “Stamp is building a new standard for tax free shopping, disrupting the old incumbents that force huge costs, paperwork and queues on customers. We were struck by this hassle-free and low rates solution, already widespread in Switzerland. The Chinese/European funds consortium can meaningfully support expanding the platform around the globe and bring shopping innovation to the next level”.
Michele Fontolan, Stamp CEO, comments: “We are honored to welcome such prestigious partners, Stamp is a perfect terrain for Euro-Sino collaboration. We will work together to turn our premium service in the new standard for international travellers, who keep up luxury retail, and for European merchants, who dramatically lack up-to-date services. Over 90% of our partner merchants say they experienced an increase in sales thanks to Stamp. This round will be dedicated to expand our reach in Europe, starting from Austria in the coming weeks, and launch an activation campaign of Chinese customers, who account for 40% of tax free shopping market”.
About btov Partners
btov Partners, founded in 2000, is a European venture capital firm founded and funded by serial entrepreneurs and business angels focussing on industrial technologies and digital leaders of the European economy. btov manages its own institutional funds, partner funds, and offers private investors and family offices access to direct investments, calling several of Europe’s most admired investors their advisors and co-investors. With offices in Berlin, Munich, St. Gallen and Luxembourg, the company manages assets of EUR 420 million through its three divisions and examines over 3,000 investment opportunities annually. The most renowned investments include Data Artisans, Blacklane, DeepL, Facebook, Foodspring, ORCAM, Raisin, SumUp, Volocopter and XING.
For more information visit www.btov.vc