(Adds details and background)
ROME, Feb 23 (Reuters) – Italy has given Square Inc,the mobile payments firm of Twitter co-founder JackDorsey, and China’s Tencent a conditional green lightto invest in Italian start-up Satispay, a source close to thematter told Reuters.
Satispay said in November that new investors would providefresh funds by subscribing to a 68 million-euro ($82.57million)capital increase and acquiring a minority stake for 25million euros.
Square and Tencent, which plan to invest 15 million euroseach in Satispay, needed Rome’s backing as the government hasthe right to block unwanted bids in strategic industries such asbanking, telecoms and health.
The cabinet approved the deal on Feb. 22, the source saidwithout giving details on the conditions that were imposed.
The digital payments sector has boomed during the pandemic,with more homebound consumers turning to online shopping andseeking to reduce contagion risks in shops by making contactlesspayments.
Founded in 2013, Satispay provides a mobile app that allowsusers to pay in stores, exchange money with friends and payfines. Satispay said in November it had a value of 248 millioneuros after the new share sale.
New investors in Satispay will also include U.S. company LGTLightstone and TIM Ventures, the venture arm of Italian phonegroup Telecom Italia. Both have said they would invest20 million euros each in the payments startup.
($1 = 0.8236 euros)(Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte in Rome and Elisa Anzolin inMilan; editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)