The Greek ecosystem is leaving 2021 with a positive sign. In addition to the record amount of 494.7 million euros, a significant achievement is the growing confidence shown by VCs abroad in the face of Greek Startups,which, as the ecosystem grows, are beginning to become a constant attraction for foreign venture capital. In 2021, dozens of VCs – mostly American and European – participated in the financing of Greek Startups, complementing the funds that came from EquiFund’s VCs and other private investors.
Startupper presents some of the biggest “names” that gave a “vote of confidence” to Greek startups along with the Greek funds this year .
Those who deal with the global ecosystem of startups, has undoubtedly heard of 500 Global. For over a decade, Silicon Valley-based international venture capital has developed a vast network of partnerships with startups from from all over the world. It is worth mentioning that since 2010, when it was founded, 500 Global has invested capital in more than 2,000 startups and has also made 313 exits. Indicatively, just some of the well-known Startups that 500 Global has funded are Credit Karma, SendGrid, Grab, GitLab, Bukalapak, Canva, Udemy, TalkDesk, Intercom and Ipsy. In addition to the investments, 500 Global contributes significantly to the creation of sustainable ecosystems, educational programs and events supporting the global ecosystem. 500 Global participated this year in Plum’s Series A funding round, which raised 20.5 million euros.
Silicon Valley Bank
Silicon Valley Bank is one of the engines of global innovation. The investment bank finances, among others, Startups operating in the field of technology, life science and cleantech. Silicon Valley Bank, headquartered in the Santa Clara region of California, has made more than 700 investments, 284 exits as well as 3 acquisitions, while in total it has supported more than 30,000 Startups worldwide.Silicon Valley Bank is among the top banking institutions in the U.S. with a total of 85 billion dollars in assets and recently participated in Blueground’s record financing, through a loan of 40 million dollars.
Index Ventures, with a total asset worth 2 billion euros, is among the top European venture capitals. The San Francisco-based company invests primarily in technology companies with an emphasis on the e-commerce sectors, fintech, mobility and gaming. Since its establishment in 1996, Index Ventures has implemented 997 investments and 219 exits. This year Index Ventures participated in the Series A funding round of the Greek Causaly, totaling 14.3 million euros. Index Ventures has invested in the past with big names in technology such as Facebook, Skype, Patreon, Revolut and Robinhood.
One of the key “players” in the field of early stage investors is the American VC General Catalyst. The Massachusetts-based investment giant and CEO Nikos Bonatsos, specializes in providing development funds that are channeled as an accelerator for the emerging companies in which it invests.Since 2000, when it began its action, General Catalyst has made 992 investments and 168 exits internationally, while among the companies it financed this year, is the Greek Seafair, which raised 4.9 million euros in Series A funding round. Airbnb, Stripe and Canva are some of the companies that have been supported by General Catalyst.
The multinational technology company does not need any special recommendations. The Chinese giant is consistently one of the world’s largest suppliers of video games, as well as one of the world’s largest venture capital and investment companies. Tencent has invested huge amounts in a large number of technology companies worldwide, while at the same time it has made more than 644 investments as well as 22 acquisitions. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Tencent has been involved in business with almost all internationally recognized brands, especially in the field of technology. In recent years, China’s investment giant has enetered dynamically the startup sector, having invested more than 12 billion dollars in startups, only in 2020. Tencent has already given a “vote of confidence” to the Greek ecosystem, participating jointly with Breyer Capital and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the last round of Viva Wallet funding, amounting to 66.3 million euros.
Endeavor Catalyst is an innovative, co-financing tool designed to support Endeavor Entrepreneurs with their funding cycles and contribute to Endeavor’s long-term sustainability. Following a disciplined, based on rules investment process, Endeavor Catalyst invests, along with venture capital and growth equity firms, in Endeavor entrepreneurs funding cycles. Starting in 2012, Endeavor Catalyst’s managed capital exceeded 250 million euros. To date, Endeavor Catalyst has made 233 investments. Endeavor Catalyst’s portfolio includes 37 companies with a total value of more than 1 billion dollars, including 29 unicorns. Endeavor Catalyst took part in the 32 million euros funding of Hellas Direct’s jointly with Portag3, the IFC (a member of the World Bank), and well-known family offices, including those of Jon Moulton and Lord O’ Neal.
Breyer Capital is an international private equity and venture capital company whose action focuses on highlighting promotion of the entrepreneurs who demonstrate innovative work in global business. Breyer Capital, headquartered in Silicon Valley, has been implementing, since 2006, strategic investments in the fields of social media, the media, digital health and fintechs, having completed, in 15 years, 103 investments and 11 exits. In 2021, Breyer Capital took part in the funding of 67.4 million euros of Viva Wallet, the second largest for the Greek ecosystem this year. Among others, Breyer Capital has invested in Facebook, Spotify, Epic Games, Oracle and Amazon Web Services.
Speedinvest has been in recent years one of the most active VCs in Europe. With 40 investors, 400 million euros in managed funds and offices in Berlin, London, Munich, Paris, Vienna and San Francisco, Speedinvest is a pillar of support for the ecosystem in the Old Continent.Venture capital, based in the Austrian capital, has already made 295 investments, while the focus of funding is on the new technologies sector, namely deep tech, fintech, industrial tech, digital health and subscriptions. Speedinvest has recently strengthened the Greek startup ecosystem, participating in the latest funding round for Seafair, which raised 4.9 million dollars.
Pentech Ventures is a venture capital fund that specializes in providing capital support to software companies that have the credentials to become the next market leaders, aiming to help founders develop their startup into an internationally successful organization. The fund, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, often works with leading VCs, companies and investment banks to develop new businesses. Pentech Ventures, which this year celebrates 20 years of presence in the market, has taken part in 74 investments and 17 exits, while in recent years it has been investing systematically in emerging companies, such as Lifebit, Monolith AI and Vauban, as well as in the Greek Causaly.
Seaya Ventures, since 2013, has been worthily representing the investment scene of the Iberian Peninsula. The Spanish VC invests in early and advanced technology companies in the regions of Europe and Latin America. Its goal is to transform small or larger Startups into leaders in the markets it addresses, and its portfolio proves to a large extent that it succeeds, as to date it has invested in dozens of emerging European Startups. With a vision to create the new generation of businesses in Europe and Latin America, Seaya Ventures took part in the recent landmark funding of the Greek FlexCar, leading a record round for the Greek scene. Among others,the VC has invested in Cabify, Glovo, Wallbox and Spotahome, four big names with significant international course.
The American fund of Dimitris Mallios “stepped” on Greece and has already made its first investment in Brooqly while other Greek Startups and not only are under way.