A sample of the maturity of startups and a natural consequence of the development of an innovation ecosystem, market players characterize the acquisitions – investments made by Greek startups, which acquire other companies either to enter new markets or to add new products or customers or, even more often, to hire new human talent – know-how.
Recently, companies such as Blueground, Skroutz, Orfium have made investments or acquisitions of other technology companies, while others, such as Hellas Direct, Epignosis and others are considering additional investments in the sector in which they operate.
“It is well known now that Greek technology and innovation companies attract international investors, capital and attention,” Panagiotis Karabinis, CEO of Endeavor Greece, an organisation that supports fast-growing companies, tells “What is not so well known is that many Greek tech companies have started investing and acquiring other companies internationally, at a rate that is dramatically increasing.”
Recently, property operator Blueground led a $14 million funding round for Brazilian property rental company Tabas, a move that allowed it to enter the Latin American market. Indeed, its plans include investing in or even acquiring other companies. The investment in Tabas was made through Blueground’s latest $180 million funding round, with the CEO and co-founder of the company Alexandros Hadjieftheriou stating that “growing in a non-organic way, i.e. through investments or acquisitions, is a great way for a company to enter a new market.”
In addition to Blueground, similar investments were made by Skroutz, which acquired SendX in 2021, “putting its foot down” in last mile delivery, an area that emerged as the biggest e-commerce pathogen during the pandemic.
A few days ago, Orfium acquired Japan’s Breaker, a content marketing company that will help it penetrate this market more easily. Orfium is looking at new acquisitions, with a focus on technologies, teams or solutions from around the world, including Greece. Moreover, Hellas Direct, an online insurance company, sees many deals in Greece and the Balkans, acquisitions (total or partial) and joint ventures that will help it grow in these markets.
Also, Epignosis has already invested in one company and is looking at others in the HR space in Europe. Epignosis, which in 2017-2018 raised around $57 million from PeakSpan Capital and Insight Partners, which also recently invested in Learn Worlds, continues to grow.
As Karabinis says, “Greek startups have already started to acquire and invest internationally and in the coming years we can expect many investments from scale up companies such as Blueground, Workable, Hellas Direct, Orfium, Instashop, VivaWallet, Epignosis, Omilia, ActionIQ, Persado, Skroutz, LifeBit, Hack The Box, Spotawheel, TileDB, Zoe, Schoox, Causaly, Plum and others.”
Obviously, the growth of Greek technological innovation did not happen overnight and would have manifested itself earlier if the country had not been swept away first by the debt crisis and then by the pandemic. “Looking ahead, one thing I think we really need to focus on is developing our reputation as an outward-looking innovation hub,” Karabinis says “If we want to attract international capital, we need more international talent in Greece”. On the other hand, local startups need to think outside the Greek market. Currently, many Greek founders are choosing to either launch their startup abroad or move their headquarters and part of their operations abroad for the first three to four years. The number one destination for them is the US, followed by the UK. So I think that’s why we see a lot of deal flow from the US and a lot of investors coming to Greece from the US. At some point in the future, I expect the same from UK companies and investors.”
Our office has been successfully representing high net worth individuals and companies initiating such investment projects. We are therefore confident in undertaking the whole procedure of your investment in the Greek technological innovation sector, step by step.
At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their investment projects. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customised to their specific needs.
We have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece, as well as Greeks spreading their wings for the international markets. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, currency exchange experts, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you through the ways to properly protect your investments.
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Athens, April 2022