BUSINESS

UK fund invests 87 mln euros in small Greek technology firm

VANGELIS MANDRAVELIS

TAGS: Business, Technology

Up until a few days ago Softomotive was a small Greek software producer. Its turnover last year was just over 3 million euros. However, a few weeks ago the firm was priced at $100 million, or some 87 million euros, a value comparable with that of several current and former technology champions in Greece.

This small enterprise, which remains a limited liability company, has received $25 million (21.7 million euros) in growth capital from Grafton Capital: This investment company set up in Great Britain in 2014 has already invested some 100 million euros in small enterprises, mainly in the tech sector, in various countries around the world.

Its investment in Softomotive was conducted via a share capital increase; in return it has acquired 25 percent of the firm’s shares, with the other 75 percent remaining with its founders, Marios Stavropoulos and Argyris Kaninis.

According to Stavropoulos, all of the fresh capital is to be spent on Softomotive’s development, with the priority being its expansion and consolidation in foreign markets, particularly the US and Asian countries. The firm already has offices in London, New York and Bangalore: India was chosen because the firm’s clients have major installations there, explains Stavropoulos. They include multinationals such as IBM, JP Morgan, Siemens, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Xerox and Teva, among others.

Softomotive is not a startup anymore. It was set up in 2005, but took off after 2013, when robotic process automation (RPA) started to gain popularity.

As in most such cases, the firm will need to relocate its corporate domicile to Great Britain in order to expand further. Its stakeholders have agreed on creating a London-based holding vehicle to undertake all existing activities. “The ‘production’ will remain in Greece,” assures Stavropoulos, “and will be further developed,” while the objective is to grow its staff from 80 today to 200 by the end of 2019.

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