e have been making waves with our recent €15M investment round and launch in the Italian market. Now, we’re executing our commitment to international expansion: today, we announce the full, all-stock acquisition deal of EatsReady, the most innovative digital-only meal solution in Italy.
By leveraging our leading position in the Italian employee benefits market, we aim to accelerate the development of our fast-growing offering, catering to the increasing demand from companies that seek to enhance their employees' loyalty, motivation, and purchasing power. With a user-friendly app and card experience, our wide range of benefits promises to offer Italian workers a seamless and flexible experience that caters to their individual needs.
This is our fourth acquisition since we stepped foot in the market in 2021, and the first one in Italy. Chiara Bassi, leading Coverflex in Italy, says: "Knowledge of the industry, the solid commercial and institutional relationships created over the years and the credibility of the EatsReady brand have been fundamental for a "gentle" but effective rooting of Coverflex in the Italian market”.
EatsReady: the innovative Italian buoni pasto & welfare platform
EatsReady has been transforming the meal voucher market in Italy since its launch in 2017, thanks to the efforts of Olivia Burgio and Micaela Illy, as well as CEO Nicola Faedi and the rest of the team. It has more than 50 active corporate clients, such as Treatwell, Klarna and Telepass, using an active merchant network of more than 2,000 independent restaurants, restaurant chains, supermarket chains and online delivery services, including Esselunga, Poke House and Deliveroo. With this acquisition, EatsReady becomes fully integrated in Coverflex’s operations, and we are now part of the exclusive group of only 10 companies in Italy that can operate in the buoni pasto market. During 2023, Coverflex will migrate all EatsReady clients to its own welfare platform.
“This acquisition represents a key milestone for our team and a major turning point in our journey” - says Olivia Burgio, co-founder of EatsReady and now Head of M&A & Integrations at Coverflex. “Over the last few years we have built a solid platform which represents a strategic entry point for Coverflex’s development in the Italian market. As an entrepreneur, I recognise the potential to join forces with an international and fast-growing team by pooling strengths, skills and market knowledge. We are thrilled with this reciprocal opportunity and are already working to leverage synergies and explore new avenues of growth. This transaction also represents how the Italian startup ecosystem can attract interest from international players to unlock new market opportunities. I am proud of the results achieved by the EatsReady team and am looking forward to sharing our future endeavours within Coverflex”.
Michele Giordani, Chief of Strategy, Clients and Ecosystems of GELLIFY, who - together with Copernion and Timelock Ventures - became a shareholder of Coverflex as a consequence of this transaction, adds: ”It is a project that is at a turning point: the relationship with the companies will be decisive in bringing value to all the players in the ecosystem up to the final customer, demonstrating the fact that B2B relationships hide a great potential for innovation, which is still untapped”.
Italy and corporate welfare: great potential, need to push on digital and flexibility
The decision to choose Italy as the first step in the internationalisation path of Coverflex was driven by the country's potential as a fertile market, which currently needs more flexibility and digitalisation in managing benefits for employees. Many companies have to engage with different intermediaries to offer employee benefits, which results in obstacles and extended lead times. We intend to fill this gap and position ourselves as a self-service, innovative, and 100% digital solution for managing benefits, discounts, and meal vouchers.