Greek innovation sector draws foreign investment, marks new milestone
Greece’s fast-developing innovation sector continues to draw major international investors, recently marking a new milestone with the emergence of Greece’s first startup unicorn and confirming Greece’s growing role as a hub for innovation and technology.
In the last few weeks, U.S. investment bank JPMorgan acquired a 49% stake in privately-held Greek fintech Viva Wallet, valuing the company at a reputed $2 billion. Bank officials also revealed plans for a new research and technology hub in Greece, focusing on cryptography and Artificial Intelligence, among other areas. Separately, Facebook parent company Meta acquired Greek startup Accusonus, a maker of audio and video editing software, while U.S.-based marketing and consumer insights platform Prodege bought Greek market research firm Pollfish.
Once a laggard in the tech sector, Greece is emerging as a hub even as Europe itself is becoming a new frontier for technology development. According to a recent estimate by European venture capital firm Atomico, Europe last year attracted more than $100 billion in financing for tech startups – roughly a threefold increase from 2020.
At the same time, Greece has seen growing interest in tech-related infrastructure, as a site for research & development, and in its life sciences sector. Major tech players ranging from Microsoft to Amazon to Digital Realty have all recently announced deals in Greece.
Committed to boosting innovation, the Greek government has launched a series of initiatives to support hi-tech startups, including the public-private EquiFund program and a new national registry, Elevate Greece, to better channel financing to innovative new companies. Enterprise Greece has created the new Thriving Global Silicon Valley Program to help Greek tech companies grow in the global marketplace, is collaborating with e-commerce giant eBay in an e-exports academy, and is co-sponsoring the Hellenic International Business Angels Summit in Athens that is scheduled for late June.