Safo’s origins date back to 1981, when Safo Ss (Simple Partnership) by Valfranco Fortuni was founded. A small IT company that began working with one of the first rental companies operating at the time in Italy. 

In 1990, the founding partners Valfranco Fortuni and Franca Sacchi, decided to transform the company into a Srl (Private Limited Company). The new company took the name Safo Sistemi Srl, a company that still exists today and is part of the group. 

In 2004, Safo Sistemi, after achieving a fair amount of growth, faced a moment of significant crisis due to the loss of important clients. 

First evolution

In 2005, Safo reached a situation of business unsustainability, and the loss of motivation in the current shareholders led to the attempt to place the company on the market. 

It was then that the current major shareholder, Elpidio Sacchi, linked by family ties to the founders, decided to take over the shares of the company. 

As of 2005, a reorganization process was initiated, which in 2007 led the company back to a situation of economic equilibrium. 

In the same year, it was decided to start a process of internationalization and the business was launched in Romania.  

The company Safo Group Spa (Public Limited Company) was established, with the aim of creating a holding company for the group, and it was assigned the purpose of holding and managing the corporate shareholdings of the future Italian and foreign branches. 

The beginning of internationalization

In 2008, a medium-to-long-term strategic plan was launched, which included the penetration of the European market by marketing the flagship product, fine management. The plan stipulated that, in parallel with internationalization, new products for the Italian market would be developed. 

The objective of the plan was to reach a situation where Safo was present in the most significant European fleet markets and, at that point, to launch a business plan, having as its object the proposition of the new products developed in Italy to the same market. 

In the same year, Safo UK Ltd was established, which would not become operational until 2012. 

The critical situation generated in the world financial market prompted a slowdown in the development process in Europe, which, however, proceeded unabated, albeit at a slower pace than envisaged in the strategic plan. 

Market leader in europe

As of 2017, the group has also a presence in France, where it has significantly launched its activities. 

Also in 2017, Safo signed a partnership agreement with a fine management market operator active in Spain and Portugal, in order to guarantee its clients, the extension of its offer to the Iberian Peninsula. 

In 2019, Safo Deutschland GmbH was established to ensure Safo’s presence in the most important European market. The German branch was established under the banner of a partnership with the Kroschke Group, a leading company in Europe for motor vehicle services. 

Also in the same year, Kroschke Italia Srl, a subsidiary of the Kroschke Group, was established with the aim of bringing Italian clients the know-how on digital management of motor vehicle services developed in the German market. 

During the pandemic period, the target market suffered a sharp contraction resulting in a considerable reduction in the group’s volume of business. However, in order to bear the weight of the economic crisis and prepare the development for what would have been the post-pandemic recovery, Safo implemented two important actions: to accelerate the acquisition of new customers in foreign markets, so as to compensate for the drop in volume; and to initiate the enhancement and development of new services also in the Fleet Operations. 

Toward the global market

Today, thanks to its tenacity, the group is again experiencing a phase of consolidation and rapid growth. 

Its positioning in France and Germany has been significantly consolidated. In these two countries as well, Safo has managed to gain a leading position in fine management. 

In 2022, once again in partnership with the Kroschke Group, the company Kroschke UK Limited was established, with the intention of bringing the know-how on motor vehicle services to British professional clients as well. 

In early 2023, Safo established Safo US Inc, with the intention of bringing its knowledge to the country representing the largest potential market in the world regarding the automotive sector. 

Also, during 2023, services for Austrian customers are planned to be activated by the German branch. 

Safo’s next goal toward international development, in addition to its consolidation in the U.S. market, is the activation of the services in South America, planned with an initial presence in Brazil in the years 2024-2025.