Mature startups buy others

Mature startups buy others

Mature Greek startups have taken on the role of buyer or investor in order to either enter new markets, strengthen their team (acqui-hiring) or add new technologies – a trend that has only recently expanded.

Market players emphasize that the flow of acquisitions includes mainly developed (scale-up) companies, such as Blueground, Skroutz, Orfium, Hellas Direct etc – i.e. companies that are a significant player in the market in which they operate – at the same time estimating that the acquisition is a sign of their maturation and a natural consequence of the development of an innovation ecosystem that emerged during the financial crisis.

“Exits, sales of startups, are important news as they return money to investors, strengthen the team etc. However, it is equally important for scale-up companies to acquire other companies, gather technology and have a footprint in the Greek ecosystem,” says Panagiotis Karampinis, managing director of Endeavor Greece.

His company, along with another seven Greek startups, participates in one of the biggest maritime events in the world, the 17th Singapore Maritime Week. He estimates that at least seven Greek scale-up or startup companies have made some kind of acquisition, explaining that it is important that the technology of the acquired companies comes under the control of a Greek entrepreneur and that the employees, Greek or foreign, are now employed by a Greek company.

Recently, real estate operator Blueground acquired two companies, the Brazilian Tabas, through which it has expanded into Latin America, and the American Travelers Haven, to offer services to customers who want to rent apartments outside of the big urban centers. Orfium, which develops software to detect copyright evasion in the use of musical tracks, has added another acquisition to its portfolio, acquiring UK-based Soundmouse this year after acquiring Japanese company Breaker in 2022.

Skroutz, Hellas Direct and Viva Wallet have also made acquisitions, while recently Adam Markakis’ electric bicycle and skate rental subscription service Kineo was acquired by the Greek startup instacar.

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