The “big bang” of the Greek Startups ecosystem

Viva Wallet, Accusonus, Pollfish were at the heart of hundreds of millions of deals and there's more to come by the ecosystem of innovative Startups

The ecosystem of Startups is evolving into a “driving force” of the Greek economy. After the excellent previous year, Greek Startups seem to have not left their foot off the accelerator for a moment, continuing at an undiminished pace their investment moves, which not only enable Greek Startups to take the next step with greater comfort and dynamic, but at the same time put Greece on the global investment map for good.

Viva Wallet made the start of the investments, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, by completing the long-awaited deal with JP Morgan. The American banking giant acquired 49% of the Greek fintech. Regarding the majority shareholders and founders of Viva Wallet, Haris Karonis and Makis Antipas, the two founders will retain the remaining 51% of the shares as well as the management of the company.Through the strategic investment announced at the end of January, JP Morgan wants to expand in the field of payments for small and medium-sized enterprises, as the Greek company holds a banking license in 23 European countries, while Viva Wallet is gaining new momentum, with the company’s valuation now reaching 1.5 billion euros.

Just a few days after the deal between Viva Wallet and JP Morgan, the deal between Accusonus, one of the leading audio technology Startups, and Meta Platforms, Facebook’s parent company, followed.

Accusonus, with offices in Athens, Patras and headquartered in Massachusetts, sealed the deal with the social media giant that acquired 100% of the company’s shares founded in 2013 by Alexandros Tsilfidis, Elias Kokkinis and Michalis Tzannes. Accusonus is set to take on a key role in the Metaverse project, which, as Facebook’s new brand (Meta) proves, is expected to be at the heart of Mark Zuckerberg’s company in the coming years.

Apart from the acquisition of Accusonus, Meta, believing firmly in the potential and prospects of Greek entrepreneurship, which has been changing the game in recent years, is in advanced discussions with the Greek government for the establishment of a Greek subsidiary company.Meta’s double investment initiative comes on top of the long list of top tech companies that have recently invested in Greece, making the country a pole of attraction for other companies specializing in technology and fuelling the growth cycle of the last three years.

Follow up after Facebook’s investment

Of course, an agreement of such magnitude as the one between the banking giant and Viva Wallet could only have extensions beyond the boundaries of the ecosystem.
A few days after the announcement of the deal, the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had an official meeting with JPMorgan’s president and CEO Chase Jamie Dimon, on the occasion of the acquisition of the fintech company.Kyriakos Mitsotakis called JP Morgan’s decision to invest in Viva Wallet a “vote of confidence in the country and the economy”, while adding that the decision of the powerful banking institution “confirms the new Startup culture that has appeared in Greece.

In fact, the Prime Minister during an official visit to the headquarters of Viva Wallet welcomed both the deal with JPMorgan and the overall course of the online bank, making special mention of the implementation of the stock options model and the great benefits for the company’s employees.

The barrage of new deals for Greek Startups from the end of January continued with another impressive deal. The American Prodege proceeded with the acquisition of Pollfish, which operates in the field of online researc through an innovative SaaS platform. To date, Pollfish has raised 17 million dollars with the last funding being 6.3 million dollars in March 2018 by EBRD with the company funded by PJ Tech Catalyst and private investors.

The Startup counts more than 3,500 customers, including Spotify, Apple and Netflix.

According to the information so far, the price of the acquisition is between 70 million and 85 million dollars. “Through the strategic partnership with Prodege, we will gain access to the company’s resources, while at the same time Prodege will utilize the technology we have developed ourselves.Our goal is to offer more solutions to our common customers, so that they can gain access to a wider range of products.

The Minister of Digital Governance Kyriakos Pierrakakis is and will remain an important part for Pollfish, where we will continue to have an active presence,” Pollfish founder and CEO Yiannis Papadakis told STARTUPPER MAG on the occasion of its acquisition by the US company.

In fact, he also referred to the developments of the last weeks that took place in the Greek ecosystem. “The course of the ecosystem from 2012-2013 onwards will trigger young entrepreneurs to dare their dream. The announcements of the new acquisitions are good news. However, it is still early. Integration must be done correctly. It is very important to see how these acquisitions will evolve over the next five years,” added Pollfish’s CEO.

The impact on the Greek economy


The Minister of Digital Governance, Kyriakos Pierrakakis, referred to the importance and prospects of Greek Startup entrepreneurship on the occasion of the acquisitions of the last few days.

“The first step in attracting investors is to build credibility. This is what Greece has been doing since the very beginning of the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis. At the same time, in recent years, an innovation ecosystem has emerged in Greece, which is increasingly gaining an international footprint.The combined results become visible with investments such as that of JP Morgan in Viva Wallet. The country has exceptional potential and creates day by day all the conditions to become an investment hub in the field of technology. The state’s digital transformation projects, such as those included in the Recovery Fund, as well as mobility in terms of 5G and connectivity are expected to remove additional barriers and attract even more investments bringing Greece to the forefront,” the Minister of Digital Governance told STARTUPPER MAG.

Apart from the Minister of Digital Governance, the competent Deputy Minister of Development and Investments, Christos Dimas, also referred to the impressive deals: “The promotion and development of Startup entrepreneurship is one of our central priorities. Elevate Greece was created to record and map the ecosystem of Startups and implement public policies to their advantage, while mobilizing private initiative through the “official supporters” of Elevate Greece.

Indicative actions of the state are the establishment of tax incentives for investment angels, the tax incentives for the acquisition of stock options, the NSRF action to support businesses from the effects of the pandemic by providing working capital, the organization of innovation competitions by the official supporters of Elevate Greece, as well as through the National Awards for Startup Entrepreneurship.Through the recent Elevate Greece initiative, in combination with the financing of Startups initially through JEREMI, the EquiFund superfund and the Hellenic Development Bank of Investments, it is proved that the state is an active helper in the growth and maturation of the innovation ecosystem that is emerging and at the same time changing in Greece.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More