Greek startups blossomed in 2022 and their total value is estimated at eight billion euros ($8.5 billion), which is the second highest amount in the region of Southeastern Europe after Romania.
Deals of several million were made in the startup industry within 2022 and especially at the beginning of the year. Among the most emblematic transactions is the acquisition of the Greek technology company Accusonus by its parent Facebook, Meta, but also the acquisition of 48.5 percent of Viva Wallet by the American J.P. Morgan.
The deal meant that Viva Wallet, which identifies as “the first European entirely cloud-based Neobank,” became the first Greek “unicorn” startup, a term used in the venture capital industry to describe a private startup company with a value of over one billion dollars.
“Created to change the way businesses pay and get paid, we disrupt, innovate, and change the rules of the game within a fragmented financial ecosystem in Europe and the UK,” the startup explains on its website.
According to the recent Startups in Greece 2022/2023 report, which was compiled by the Found.ation team in collaboration with EIT Digital, a total of nineteen smaller or larger acquisitions of Greek startups by other Greek companies or by foreign multinationals were conducted during the year.
The report notes that 2022 was a year that put a brake on the leapfrog growth of the ecosystem seen last year, given the international circumstances. It adds, however, that “this was expected and does not overshadow the up-to-date upward trajectory of start-up entrepreneurship in Greece, leaving much hope for the future.”
The report also notes that in addition to acquisitions of Greek startups by other companies, the reverse was also observed during the year. Well-funded Greek start-ups have absorbed other technology companies in order to expand into new markets or add new services to their portfolio.
For example, Blueground acquired the Brazilian Tabas through which it can more easily expand to the Latin American markets and enter Mexico as well.
At the same time, Orfium which operates in the field of copyright management for music, acquired the Japanese Breaker, a content creation and marketing company.
Athens Stock Εxchange to create a startups market
The rapid expansion of the Greek startups led the CEO of Athens Exchange Group Yianos Kontopoulos to recently announce a new initiative that will strengthen startups and digital technology companies.
This is a hybrid corporate venture capital that the Athens Stock Εxchange will create. It will focus on the integration of the “next generation” digital solution fintech to the stock exchange environment in a way that will resolve problems of the listed companies, the members, and of clients in general.
Additionally, the ATHEX board believes that this project will help companies emerge with a view to getting listed on the Athens Stock Exchange.