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Dismal performance by Greece in Venture Capital investments; second last in EU

In an international survey about venture capital funds, Greece ranked 31st among 32 countries in 2020, despite efforts to "warm up" investments in start-ups.

Greece is in second last position on a list ranking the financing of start-ups from Venture Capital (VC) funds, according to data put together by Angular Ventures, indicating the need for bigger and bolder changes to place the country on the European map of high-tech companies.

Greece ranks in 31st position in a ranking of 32 EU countries showing venture capital investment in start-ups in Europe and Israel for 2020, beating only Albania.

Figures show that in 2020 VC spending per capita in Greece amounted to $2.28, while in Israel (which is in first place) the amount reached $ 1,113.03. Second on the list is Estonia ($ 532.52), followed by Sweden ($389.13) and Finland ($ 205.30).

Cyprus leads the race in southern Europe, which is in 20th place with ($30.32) that is followed by Spain, Portugal and Italy.

VC funds usually invest in advanced start-ups and help them financially expand (scale up), taking on the relevant risk. VC Funds normally come from large companies, subsidiaries of investment banks, pension funds and insurance companies, and are the main source of funding for start-ups.

Pumping money into start-ups are also Angel Investors. However, they are usually experienced investors who use their own funds, mostly small amounts, in projects that are still at a very early stage.

Angular Ventures data show that Greece is virtually non-existent in VC financing of start-ups internationally despite comments from various government officials, who claim the opposite.

Although there are examples of start-ups Greece producing excellent results, at home and abroad, the growth of VC financing remains stagnant.

Risk appetite in Greece is significantly lower than in other countries with many arguing that changes needed to support a start-up culture in the country go beyond any tax benefits and require shift in education to a freer and forward-looking thinking.

Since 2017, growth of VC investments in Greece (as a percentage of GDP) amounted to 0.1 percent, in line with Albania and Slovenia. In other EU countries it mainly ranged from 0.16 percent to 2.64 percent.

The new trends emerging in the start-up sector are also interesting. There is a decline in emphasis in consumer-focused projects and an increase in businesses operating in deep tech and enterprise.

In 2020, there were 250 rounds of deep tech and enterprise financing by VC companies in the United Kingdom, while in Greece there were only 2, Angular Ventures added.

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