BUSINESS

Stelios invests in local startup

DESPINA KONTI

TAGS: Business, Technology, Tourism

While the tourism sector is reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, local startup Ferryhopper has managed to raise 2.6 million euros as it sets its sights on expanding to Europe and creating new jobs.

About a week ago the second round of the company’s financing was completed, with the participation of Bulgarian fund LAUNCHub Ventures as the main investor, alongside the Greek venture capital firm Metavallon, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup, and other private investors. Metavallon and easyGroup also took part in the previous round of funding (worth €600 million) and have renewed their support.

Ferryhopper has been active in the travel tech sector since 2017, aspiring to upgrade coastal shipping ticket booking services. On top of that, the company’s platform is the only one that allows for combined routes to islands that do not have a direct ferry connection. Ferryhopper has sold over 800,000 tickets through its website, serving over 300 destinations across the Mediterranean, and last year it launched the easyFerry service in cooperation with easyGroup.

“In a particularly difficult period for travel companies internationally, I continue to invest in a software company with a targeted presence, ready to utilize the return to travel normality to the maximum,” Sir Stelios tells Kathimerini. He adds that “easyFerry.com, a member of the easy family in Greece, will be the prime choice with the help of Ferryhopper for travelers seeking the best choices for ferry tickets, within and outside of Greece.”

“Anyone seeking to understand how the new routes are shaping up in the post-Covid-19 era and looking for the best ticket rates will trust easyFerry.com,” says Sir Stelios, predicting that, “as a large part of the market concerns domestic ferry routes to the Greek islands, our bookings will recover faster than international travel options.”

“This round of financing will help us meet our targets. Consolidation in the Greek market, expansion on the European level and the constant development of new products and technologies remain our priorities,” Ferryhopper co-founder and chief executive Christos Spatharakis tells Kathimerini, stressing that from its current staff of 37, the company is aiming to to employ 50 people by the end of the year.

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