Greek Prime Minister moves putting Greece on world business startups map

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Greek Prime Minister moves putting Greece on world business startups mapForeign investor interest is turning keener, especially in technology-driven fields

With Greece set to pull back COVID-19 health restrictions more and turning its attention toward accelerating economic recovery, foreign investor interest is turning keener, especially in technology-driven fields.

That’s paying dividends for Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reaching out to them, and business deals tying Greek startups and companies to major international players seeing big opportunities coming.

In a feature, the Reuters news agency reported on Greece is becoming an investor lure, citing JP Morgan’s acquisition of a minority stake in the financial tech services Viva Wallet, a $2 billion value.

That’s expected to be followed up by Facebook owner Meta’s acquisition of Accusonus, a startup founded by a pair of engineers and amateur musicians whose audio software is used by the likes of Bob Dylan and Shakira, the report noted.

Reuters, citing a person familiar with negotiations, who was not named and the newspaper Kathimerini reported there were advanced talks on the purchase of Accusonos that develops software for music production and performance and audio repair.

The company was started by Alexandros Tsilfidis, Elias Kokkinis, and Michael Tzannes, and has as shareholders Big Pi Ventures, co-founded by Marco Veremis, whose enterprise value is between 70-100 million euros ($79-113 million) said Kathimerini. It has offices in Athens and Patras and is based in Lexington, Mass.

Funding for Greece-based tech startups jumped to almost $1 billion in the second year of the pandemic in 2021, said a report by Marathon Venture Capital, more than double in 2020 and nearly 10 times that raised in 2015, when Greece was on the edge of bankruptcy and almost leaving the Eurozone.

The deals, said Reuters, have bolstered Mitsotakis’ New Democracy government that’s taken hits over its handling of wildfires, a snowstorm, and handling of the pandemic, mostly from the major opposition SYRIZA.

But the Leftists sniping hasn’t helped them in polls and Mitsotakis has made much of his rivals being notoriously unfriendly to business and foreign investors stymied under their 4 ½ year rule when Alexis Tsipras was premier.

Mitsotakis has help from the European Union and other funding measures directed at trying to make the economy rely on more than its stalwarts: tourism and the essentially tax-free shipping industry.

DIGITAL MEETS ABACUS

“Greece is not just a country that relies on tourism and its wonderful beaches,” he said as he toured Viva’s, adding the government was optimistic that technology would be an “increasing part” of the country’s GDP.

There are obstacles though, especially the slow Internet that has confounded users and been a source of complaint and could also deter more skilled digital nomads from making Greece their base.

The Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) has estimated the startup sector overall stands at 6 billion euros ($6.83 billion) or some 3 percent of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 175.86 billion euros ($200.3 billion.)

The government wants that to hit 10 percent within the next 10 years, said Markos Markos Veremis, co-chair of the innovation committee, said, but for all those hopes and efforts, Greece is still lagging in prime fields for investors.

That includes being near the bottom of the European Commission’s 2021 Digital Economy and Society Index, scoring low on connectivity, Internet use and digital public services, despite repeated promises for improvements.

What Greece has in abundance though is smarts, especially among young entrepreneurs who’ve been stifled for generations by a clientelist style that rewards the politically connected and hacks and not a genius.

But the entrepreneurs are making their marks in a number of technological areas that have highlighted the country’s talent after many fled to other countries during a devastating eight-year economic and austerity crisis.

“What started as an underground movement of small nerdy communities is now front and center in Greek society,” George Tziralis, partner at Athens-based Marathon, who sees technology growing to match shipping’s 7 percent contribution to the economy over the next few decades.

“There is a great deal of momentum for the burgeoning Greek economy and Greek startups ought to take advantage,” Makis Antypas, Viva Wallet’s co-founder and Chief Information Officer, also told the news agency.

Successful Greece-based startups now range from taxi-hailing app Beat, e-commerce platform Skroutz, and market research startup Pollfish.

Greece had “raised generations of people who dreamed of working in government, or declaring themselves successful entrepreneurs by squandering public money,” said Panos Zamanis, Vice-Chairman of the Hellenic Startups Association.

He added: “We are not yet in the position we deserve … but we must not forget that our country was slow to enter the map of innovation and suffered from a dramatic economic crisis.”

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report



Tornos
  1. 21/02 19:47

    Twistic and WeavAIR startups clinch the UN Tourism Hospitality Challenge

  2. 21/02 18:34

    Greece's key aim is enhancing relations with India

  3. 21/02 18:13

    Traffic in Athens returning to normal after tractors depart from the Greek capital

  4. 21/02 13:01

    Greek Tourism Minister in Belgrade for International Exhibition

  5. 21/02 00:55

    Resilience through diversity and investments the aim of UN Tourism visit to Jamaica

  6. 20/02 23:38

    Rally concludes with farmer tractors leaving Athens on Wednesday morning

  7. 20/02 20:43

    Greek Prime Minister on official visit to India as of Wednesday

  8. 20/02 16:51

    Minister: Greece wants to become India's gateway to the European Union

  9. 19/02 21:19

    DEFEA Conference to be held at Stavros Niarchos Foundation in Athens on May 15

  10. 19/02 19:06

    Traffic restrictions for farmers' rally in central Athens on Tuesday

  11. 19/02 18:11

    Greece wins top tourist destination award at Grand Travel Awards in Sweden

  12. 19/02 14:23

    Health Minister: Option of afternoon surgeries at public hospitals start in Greece

  13. 19/02 13:29

    Deputy Foreign Minister to visit India with delegation of 70 Greek firms

  14. 19/02 13:24

    20th EAST MED MULTIHULL & YACHT CHARTER SHOW - EMMYS

  15. 16/02 16:03

    Greek Migration and Asylum Minister meets Ukrainian Minister of the Cabinet

  16. 16/02 15:54

    Orthodox Metropolitan of Patras praises Greek-American community

  17. 16/02 15:47

    EU forecasts Greece 2024 growth at 2.3%, Eurozone’s fourth-highest rate

  18. 16/02 15:43

    ACCI actively supports the economic collaboration between Greece and Ukraine

  19. 16/02 13:50

    28 foreign embassies welcome law for marriage of same-sex couples in Greece

  20. 15/02 22:58

    High-level political and economic officials meet in Athens on Greece-Ukraine cooperation

  21. 15/02 22:50

    AP: Greek farmers decide to take their protests to Athens

  22. 15/02 22:47

    Yale University students visit The Εllinikon Experience Center in Greece

  23. 15/02 21:39

    Parnithos Avenue closed down to traffic from the cable car area due to snow

  24. 15/02 18:42

    Ancient Greek Fyli Fortress stays on Mount Parnitha to be supported and restored

  25. 15/02 18:16

    United Nations Tourism marks heritage and culture on official visit to Iran

  26. 14/02 22:06

    Greece doubles capacity of renewable energy sources during four years

  27. 14/02 21:56

    AEGEAN concludes transfer of stake in Animawings to Memento Group

  28. 14/02 19:36

    Ambassador: Italgas' new identities for Greek firms prove commitment to Greece

  29. 14/02 13:27

    Greek tax service AADE launches updated website new section on expatriates

  30. 13/02 22:53

    European Commission: Greece assumes command of Red Sea maritime operation

  31. 13/02 22:47

    Greek minister talks migration cooperation with State Department officials

  32. 13/02 22:41

    Hellenic-American Cultural Foundation presents lecture with US University President

  33. 13/02 19:27

    Greek kiosk wins 'Best Decoration Award' at Mumbai tourism fair

  34. 13/02 15:37

    Greek supermarkets record rise in value and decline in volume of FMCG sales

  35. 13/02 03:10

    Saint Thomas Hellenic School organizes Parent Teacher Organization Fundraiser

  36. 13/02 00:39

    Prime Minister: Greece is Serbia's most stable ally in its European prospect

  37. 13/02 00:34

    Pan-Rhodian Society holds NY ‘Artoklasia’ and Vasilopita at Island Park Panaghia

  38. 12/02 21:20

    Greek Tourism Minister concludes meetings with luxury travel officials in New York

  39. 12/02 00:43

    Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy on business missions agenda

  40. 12/02 00:27

    Greek Deputy Tourism Minister: Sharp rise in travel revenues

  41. 10/02 14:07

    Media: Carnegie Hall Concert raises $100,000 for Greek education in America

  42. 10/02 14:02

    Winners of 2022-2023 UN Tourism Students’ League Grand Final Announced

  43. 10/02 13:55

    State Department: Greece's accession to “Artemis” space cooperation deals inked

  44. 10/02 13:52

    Report: School of St. Nectarios of Roslindale, a Beacon of Greek language and heritage

  45. 10/02 13:39

    Greek Prime Minister: "We aim to create 200,000 new job positions"

  46. 09/02 00:33

    UNWTO offers new tool to promote cooperation among Best Tourism Villages

  47. 08/02 22:16

    Lloyd's and top Greek shipowners launch Maritime Emissions Reduction Center in Athens

  48. 08/02 20:21

    Patras Society of New York organizes its annual cutting of the Vasilopita

  49. 08/02 15:26

    Foreign Minister visiting Washington DC for Greece-US strategic dialogue

  50. 08/02 13:36

    Minister of National Economy: The environment in Greece is friendly for investments

  51. 07/02 21:20

    Hellenic Congress of America organized its cutting of the Vasilopita in Astoria

  52. 07/02 20:17

    Athens taxis to go on strike on February 27-28

  53. 07/02 16:29

    Education minister reveals draft bill for non-state, non-profit universities in Greece

  54. 07/02 14:09

    Athens International Airport makes spectacular debut on Athens Stock Exchange

  55. 07/02 00:38

    National Hellenic Museum announces extension of Hellenic Heads exhibition

  56. 06/02 22:47

    French defense company signs deals in Athens with Greek electronics and drones firms

  57. 06/02 20:52

    Greek Tourism minister and Swedish ambassador discuss promoting sustainable travel

  58. 06/02 18:33

    Investment expands Piraeus transport terminal adding space for another 5,100 cars

  59. 06/02 16:44

    Kyvernitis Travel Group chooses Sabre to streamline payment processes and automating routine tasks

  60. 06/02 01:40

    Greek Minister of Culture: Revenues from visitors to the Athens Acropolis rise in 2023

  61. 06/02 01:00

    Discussion on new agriculture sector bill begins at committee level on Tuesday

  62. 05/02 23:16

    Greek public sector federation ADEDY announces 24hr strike on February 28

  63. 05/02 22:36

    Sophia, most famous humanoid AI robot, tours Greek capital of Athens

  64. 05/02 21:33

    Hellenic Boston Businesses Unite marks 1st Annual Winter White Gala

  65. 04/02 20:41

    Metropolis of Boston Camp organizes winter programs focusing on Greek heritage

  66. 04/02 13:26

    Athens and Cairo plan Greek-Egypt cultural tourism year

  67. 03/02 20:54

    Positive trajectory in Greek-Turkish economic relations and especially tourism

  68. 03/02 17:48

    Farmers' rally at 30th Agrotica concludes in northern Greek city of Thessaloniki

  69. 03/02 01:29

    Greek Deputy Culture Minister and Indian ambassador talk cooperation in film sector

  70. 02/02 20:22

    Athens and Abu Dhabi ink memorandum for data center investments in Greece

  71. 02/02 15:51

    EXPOTROF-The Greek Fine Food Exhibition opens near Athens on Saturday

  72. 02/02 15:06

    Athens Airport IPO 12 times oversubscribed with offers surpassing 8 billion euros

  73. 02/02 15:03

    Saint Katherine HEC Paideia Preschool to organize Open House on February 7

  74. 02/02 12:56

    Two Ancient Greek antiquities returned from Switzerland

  75. 02/02 09:10

    30th Agrotica inauguration: Agriculture Minister issues invitation to farmers to sit at talks

  76. 01/02 22:37

    St. Thomas Hellenic Afternoon School marked the Feast Day of the Three Hierarchs

  77. 01/02 22:33

    Single Digital List of Surgeries goes into effect in Greece on Thursday

  78. 01/02 22:17

    Bard Gemini Pro, Google's largest AI model, now available in Greece

  79. 01/02 21:43

    January 2024 in Greece records highest temperature rates during a decade

  80. 01/02 00:39

    Global air cargo demand soars 10.8% in December

  81. 31/01 22:33

    UNWTO organizes first communication, media and tourism training in Africa

  82. 31/01 18:16

    Sailing from ports of Piraeus and Lavrio back to normal after high-velocity winds end

  83. 31/01 15:43

    Prime Minister inaugurates Aktio-Amvrakia motorway in Western Greece

  84. 31/01 15:21

    Greek business delegation headed by Deputy Foreign Minister to visit Istanbul

  85. 30/01 22:32

    Sudden cold in Greece gives olive oil producers hope for better crop

  86. 30/01 22:06

    New leadership of ‘Cretan Hospitality’ association in Staten Island sworn in

  87. 30/01 21:57

    Ships stay docked due to gale-force winds at Aegean Sea

  88. 30/01 20:01

    Greek PM meets IKEA, Fourlis over €70 mln investment for distribution center

  89. 30/01 13:29

    IPTO: Clean energy production rose to record levels in Greece during 2023

  90. 29/01 22:56

    Greek and Bulgarian ministers meet in Sofia over interconnectivity cooperation

  91. 29/01 22:50

    Ministers: Central Greece Road (E65) section to Kalabaka nearly complete

  92. 29/01 22:46

    Hellenic Film Society organizes traditional Vasilopita Cutting on January 28

  93. 29/01 22:36

    Three Hierarchs and the Day of Greek Letters celebrated in Wilmington, Delaware

  94. 29/01 17:42

    'Avgi' bad weather front affecting Greece

  95. 28/01 19:35

    Greek Parade of Boston and New England is scheduled for Sunday April 7

  96. 27/01 19:42

    United Nations Tourism marks high-level support after productive FITUR 2024

  97. 26/01 15:55

    American School of Classical Studie at Athens wins National Arts Club Medal of Honor in NY

  98. 26/01 15:32

    Foreign Minister has series of online meetings with heads of Greek embassies abroad

  99. 26/01 14:59

    Hellenic Parliament observes a minute's silence on Friday to commemorate Holocaust

  100. 26/01 10:36

    Digital assistant mAigov for Greek civil services info now available in 25 languages