An increasing number of local scientists and IT experts are attracting the interest of foreign tech companies that are continuing to invest in the quality and know-how human resources in Greece can supply them with despite the crisis caused by the pandemic.
While corporate giants such as Microsoft hardly ever turned to young aspiring Greek developers in the past, their preference for domestic talent, including startups, is unmistakable today.
Besides the biggest names in the global tech community, Europe and America are gradually seeing the emergence of successful startups which – bucking the main trend – were first set up abroad and then decided to create research and development centers in Greece.
One such example is Orfium, which may have started in Los Angeles but now has over 50% of its staff working in Greece; its local team recently moved into the old offices of fellow Greek startup Softomotive, the company Microsoft bought out a month ago.
Aiming to strengthen its identity in Greece, Orfium recently drew funding of $2 million from local venture capital fund Big Pi Ventures, with the intention of increasing its staff from 80 to over 100 people by the end of the year. “The high quality, the low cost and the permanence of employees at companies for a long period are the reasons enterprises choose Greece and Greek scientists,” says Markos Veremis, chairman of Upstream and partner at Big Pi Ventures.
Big names in the technology sector such as Samsung and Microsoft, as well as up-and-coming companies such as American corporation Applied Materials and Japanese peer Nidec, with capitalizations of near $55 billion and $38 billion respectively, have also hit upon the rare combination of quality with credibility and low cost and invested through acquisitions in Greek scientists active from the robotics sector to robotic process automation (RPA).
Therefore Innoetics, which developed text-to-speech technology, was bought out by Samsung in 2017, Roboteq came into the portfolio of Nidec, and Nasdaq-listed Applied Materials recently acquired Patra-based Think Silicon. The latest Greek startup to join this list was RPA pioneer Softomotive, which Microsoft acquired a few weeks ago.