Athens is regarded as a very attractive destination for investments in local startups thanks to the talent available in the Greek capital.
More investments by foreign funds are expected within the coming months for Greek technology startups, with General Catalyst, a fund managing a total of $7.5 billion, telling Kathimerini that it is close to snapping up the lure presented by the burgeoning local startup industry and local talent. In fact, equity funds are already in a position to reap capital gains from their placements in several cases, as strategic investors swoop in, with interest very much focused on the Greek capital.
“It is only a matter of time before we at General Catalyst invest in a technological startup with a presence in Greece,” the Massachusetts-based investment fund’s managing director, Niko Bonatsos, tells Kathimerini. “This is even more likely now that we are more active than ever as far as investing in European technological companies is concerned.”
“The quality of Greek startups is the highest of all times,” adds Bonatsos.
Another investment fund with its antennas permanently turned to the Greek market is Grafton Capital Limited. The London-based company recently invested $20 million in Cypriot startup Omilia, while in 2018 it put 21.7 million euros on Softomotive, the Greek software startup recently acquired by Microsoft for more than $100 million.
“Our activity in Greece has been led by a search for capital-efficient, founder-owned companies that have patiently developed world-class products in the most valuable categories of enterprise software,” according to Oliver Glyn Thomas, managing partner at Grafton Capital.
Thomas notes that there is already significant talent to be found in Athens and expects more to come in the future. “Softomotive and Omilia are both led by visionary founders who have harnessed Athens’ great talent pool to build platforms that compete and win against some the largest technology vendors on the planet. I am sure there are others like them, and that there will be many more created in the years ahead,” he tells Kathimerini.
“I expect that these will be looked back on as the early days of the Greek ecosystem, with Omilia, Softomotive and others capable of building billions of dollars of shareholder value in the years ahead,” said the Grafton Capital executive.