At least 10 startups with Greek colors are close to becoming unicorns, ie companies valued at more than 1 billion dollars, proving that the Greek ecosystem is now starting to add value as it matures.
In 2020 there was a significant increase in capital invested in companies launched more than 10 years ago, with main examples being Viva Wallet and Skroutz that have attracted strong international interest. In fact, according to sources, Viva is said to be close to a deal with JP Morgan, which will value it at more than 1 billion dollars, meaning that it could be the country’s first "Unicorn" from the startup scene.
10 Greek unicorn candidates
The Greek neobank is one of the leading Greek startups, providing financial and credit payment services to companies in 26 countries. It was founded in 2000 and in 2018 Deca Investments invested 15 million euros in the company. In addition to founder and CEO Haris Karonis and co-founders Makis Antipas and Panos Tsakos, the Latsis family and the Diorama Fund are also shareholders.
The child of Nikos Dandrakis, it was launched in May 2011 and changed urban mobility, raising the bar for the industry. It is the first Greek startup that really showed the Greek consumer the usefulness of a mobile app in everyday life, paving the way for the creation of today's startup ecosystem. Daimler then acquired Beat and formed a joint venture with BMW called Free Now, in which Beat is the flagship. Free Now is one of the leading urban platforms in Europe with a presence in over 10 countries and 100 cities
The idea of Giorgos Chatzigeorgiou, Vassilis Dimou and Giorgos Augoustidis, it started in 2005 as a price comparison website and is now one of the most successful companies in Greece that have forever changed the way Greek consumers shop. With the creation of Skroutz Marketplace, it also gave traders the opportunity to make the digital leap without having to have an e-shop and make large investments.
It started its short-term leases eight years ago with a few apartments in Athens, but is now one of the fastest growing companies in the world. The company of Alexandros Chatzieleftheriou, which is active in the field of management and rental of furnished apartments, has managed to attract about 258 million dollars, a record amount for a Greek startup. Citing market sources, Bloomberg has reported its value as having reached $750 million.
Hellas Direct, which started its course about 10 years ago in Greece, is a digital insurance company that in addition to Roadside Assistance and car and motorcycle insurance provides home insurance in Greece and Cyprus since 2018. It has also been ranked by the Financial Times as being one of the 1,000 fastest growing companies in Europe for 2021.
Workable was created in Greece in 2012 by Spyros Magiatis and Nikos Moraitakis, as a system for managing job ads and resumes for hiring executives in small businesses, and has today evolved into the leading recruitment platform worldwide with more than 20,000 companies using its services.
Aisera, founded in 2017, is the fourth startup started by Christos Tryfonas. The fast-growing startup is the first company to offer automated IT services for operations, sales and customer service through artificial intelligence applications. In April, in a third round of funding, it raised $ 40 million, raising the total amount it has received so far to $90 million.
Founded in 2012, by Thanos Papaggelis and Dimitris Tsigos, Epignosis, has created software through which companies provide distance education to their employees and has seen its turnover move higher in recent years.
The Cypriot company founded in 2002 deals with machine learning at a company level and has created a virtual assistant and a chat management system (chatboxes). With its technology, a company's customers can get in touch with "human intelligence" and "machine efficiency" when communicating with it, either by phone, chat, social media, SMS, email or an application.
Alexis Vratskidis' Persado was founded in 2012 and utilizes a huge database with a unique algorithm, creating artificial intelligence based application use to personalize content in advertising campaigns. It highlights the automated way of creating effective communication messages with consumers, boosting responses by up to 150%.