BUSINESS

Angel investors eye startups

Angel investors eye startups

So-called “angel investors” are showing a growing appetite for risk by investing in Greek startups, usually in the early stages of their development. In their own jargon, they describe their strategy as “spray and pray.”

“We usually place small amounts of money in a large number of companies and pray some of them will perform well,” one startup founder tells Kathimerini. He recently began investing in Greek tech firms at fairly early stages in their development.

Although typically rather subdued in Greece, that form of investment has recently started picking up, with private investors discovering innovative companies in the local startup market.

“There are various types of angel investors: There are the diaspora Greeks with cash in their hands, Greek entrepreneurs with family offices investing in startups as angel investors and founders of successful startups that have joined forces with a major player or have already been taken over,” Endeavor Greece Chief Executive Panagiotis Karabinis tells Kathimerini. “There is significant interest among angel investors in the technology sector. Several are trying directly or via venture capitals to snatch opportunities created by the technology industry,” he adds.

One of these angel investors is Marios Stavropoulos, RPA director general at Microsoft and co-founder of Softomotive, a tech firm that in 2020 entered the global giant’s embrace. “I have invested in some tech startups in their early stages. What personally attracts me is the idea and the team, even if I do not know for sure whether it will be a successful venture. For me, angel investing is more like a vote of confidence, even though at first there are no safe indications a company will perform well,” he explains.

Stavropoulos argues that “there is a new generation of entrepreneurs being created in the tech sector, who now are eager to operate as angel investors in startups.”

Although there are no official figures for this category of investor, some estimates by Endeavor point to a huge increase, possibly by over 200%, in their number and the sums they invest, with some 150 active players at least.