Filippo Maria Capitanio, 27, from Rome, Italy, has an ambitious project: He and his co-founder Giorgio Isabella want to create the first digital district of the artisanal luxury Made in Italy. He answered our questions and told us the origins of his startup, Lux Made In.
FinSMEs: Hello Filippo, Can you tell me a little bit more about you?
Filippo: I’ve a kind of background in the Internet industry, always working across profit and not-for-profit activities linked to the digital world. I started up my own digital company, McPowel and then I had the opportunity to attend an international MBA at the Link Campus University in Rome. Most people see an MBA just as a new title to advance the career ladder. On the contrary, I took the MBA chance to improve my entrepreneurial skills and, hopefully, find the right business partner. There, I started sharing my vision with Giorgio Isabella: combining the digital world with manufacture. Digital + Real economy. That was our perfect mix, our best recipe.
FinSMEs: Let’s speak about Lux Made In. What is it?
Filippo: Lux Made In brilliantly combines the two dimensions: digital and real. Lux Made In is the first Digital District of the Artisanal Luxury Made in Italy: a social commerce platform entirely dedicated to Jewelry, Watches and Accessories that enhances local craftsmanship.
Giovani Gioiellieri d’Italia, the Association I founded in 2012 with Giorgio, carefully selects, cherry-picks and endorse the partners that join its qualified network. The certified members of Giovani Gioiellieri d’Italia have the opportunity to showcase and sell their hand-made products, without any intermediary and zero cost. The micro-entrepreneurs, craftsmen and goldsmiths belonging to the Association can benefit from a Central Coordination made by Lux Made In on Payments, Shipping, Customer Care and Digital Marketing. The end consumer, entering Lux Made In, can start a journey through the charming world of the Italian craftsmanship.
FinSMEs: What’s your business model?
Filippo: Lux Made In leverages on the Transaction Fee business model. We keep a 5% to 10% variable fee on the transactions generated. In addition, we have an extra-revenues model generated by Shipping fees and extras, Branded Corners, DB & Marketing intelligence, Digital Consulting.
FinSMEs: The company. Who are your team members?
Filippo: The whole team of Lux Made In is under 30. The IT developers of the social commerce platform are Agostino De Girolamo and Stefano Franco, two passionate geeks that translated our business vision into a fascinating and reliable experience. Riccardo Volpi, a visionary graphic illustrator, took care of the Design of the platform. Hellen Chilelli acts as a Customer Service Manager and Irina Zukhova helped us in defining the business plan to enter the Russian market. Giorgio, the co-founder, has always been looking for excellence in his life and he his conveying the same passion to Lux Made In.
FinSMEs: Are you seeking capital right now? What can you tell me?
Filippo: Thanks to a first investor, we have developed the beta version of Lux Made In and we are hard-working on the launch into the European Market. At this stage, we are concretely looking for a second round investment to boost our international expansion project. We have deeply explored the potential of our business idea into our MBA thesis and we see a clear market opportunity.
Italy owns an asset that can’t be imitated: its artisanal expertise, the “genius loci”, the savoir-faire of the artisans that pass it on to the second generations. We rely on them and we will do our best, together, to make this heritage more appealing than ever, finding and matching the rising demand for made in Italy in the international markets.
Filippo: Giorgio and I have always thought of Lux Made In as a replicable platform to enhance local craftsmanship. We have more than an idea to stretch the same business model to other categories in which the Italian manufacture stands out.