Greek CEO sells Berlin-based startup for 90 mln euros

Greek CEO sells Berlin-based startup for 90 mln euros

Data analysis firm Data Artisans, a Berlin-based startup founded by Greece-born Kostas Tzoumas, has been acquired by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group.

The deal is reported to be worth around 90 million euros.

The transaction marks the first full takeover by a Chinese company on Berlin’s growing startup scene. In the last significant deal, Alibaba’s rival Tencent Holdings participated in a $160 million funding round for online bank N26 in March 2018.

Tzoumas, Data Artisans CEO, said Alibaba would also invest an undisclosed sum in the company to develop Apache Flink, its open-source software that can process large data volumes, and to expand into new business areas.

The price of the deal was reported to be 90 million euros in the media, including German newspaper Handelsblatt. Data Artisans declined to comment on the purchase price.

Alibaba, which competes with e-commerce group, has been a customer of Data Artisans since 2016. The German company, which was founded in 2014, also serves clients including Netflix and Uber.

“Typical use cases include live fraud detection, direct interaction with internet users and real-time financial transactions,” said Tzoumas.

Alibaba said it was deepening its partnership with Data Artisans and collaborating to develop software that can process large amounts of data.

Tzoumas, who is originally from the northwestern Greek town of Ioannina, graduated from the National Technical University of Athens’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2007. He received a PhD from Aalborg University in Denmark before moving to Berlin. [Reuters, Kathimerini]

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