Over the last few years, the Greek startup scene has been growing stronger, attracting a total of 116.5 million euros in capital investments in 2018, fostering a maturing ecosystem that will provide stable ground for more innovation, according to a study released this week by Found.ation and EIT Digital, in partnership with Velocity.Partners VC.
Of the 116.5 million euros invested in Greek innovation in 2018 (compared to 100 million in 2017), 70 percent went to three newly set up companies.
More specifically, according to the report, Greek startups that stood out in 2018 in terms of funding were Workable securing 43.83 million euros; Softomotive (21.75 million euros); and Viva Wallet (15 million euros). Βlueground, Ηellas Direct, Pollfish, Bolena, Μetis, Centaur Analytics and Home Μade completed the top 10 list securing funding after five years on the market.
Sectors attracting the most interest are life sciences (health tech, biotechnology, medical devices), lifestyle-social-entertainment and tourism and hospitality.
Travel tech startups gaining ground include Clio Muse Tours; Syncbnb; Stasher 24/7; Ferryhopper; Openichnos; SeaAround; Jack & JennySail; Discover Greek Culture; Grekaddict and Greeking.me, among many others.
At the same time, aware of the importance of supporting innovation, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) announced its CapsuleT initiative in spring, Greece’s first Travel – Hospitality Accelerator aiming through to 2021 to offer training, acceleration and financial support to 65 startups and provide guidance to over 300 young entrepreneurs participating in its programs.
In addition to startups aimed at travelers, a number of innovators have targeted tourism sector professionals. One such example is hospitality employment portal and recruiting company Workathlon, which won the Reload Greece Challenge startup competition in 2017 and the Judges Award at the RG Challenge17 Dragons’ Den final pitch.
According to Konstantinos Mavros, co-founder & partner Velocity.partners, Greece is gradually transforming into a favorable location for startup activity and investment. “In short: The time is now and the place is Greece. The country, the people and the timing are a solid bet,” he said.