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In the last six years, the Greek startup ecosystem has witnessed an impressive transformation. A report by Found.ation and EIT Digital indicates that venture capital (VC) funding soared from less than €50 million in 2018 to a peak of €670 million in 2021, showcasing remarkable growth in the trajectory of investment.


Although there was a subsequent moderation in funding, with 2023 figures amounting to €485 million compared to €632 million in 2022, the sustained interest in Greek startups indicates an appealing market despite broader economic uncertainties.

Investment trends and economic impact

The considerable increase in funding from 2018 to 2023 highlights a growing confidence in the Greek startup sector. This period saw a nine-fold increase in VC investments, reflecting a dynamic momentum within the ecosystem. The dip in funding post-2021 aligns with a broader European trend where after a period of intense growth, a slight decline occurred, suggesting a stabilisation of the market following rapid expansion phases.


In 2023, while overall funding decreased, the distribution of investments across different stages of startup maturity revealed significant insights. According to the above-mentioned report, early-stage funding, including pre-seed and seed rounds, experienced variability with a 97% increase in deal value for pre-seed rounds and a 53% decrease in seed funding. This fluctuation indicates a vibrant, though competitive, entry-level environment within the startup community.


Source: Startups in Greece 2023-2024: Venture Financing Report by Found.ation and EIT Digital


While funding for later stages such as Series A and B has seen a decrease from the peak year of 2021, the figures have not dropped to those of the earlier years. In 2023, Series A funding was recorded at €157.4 million and Series B at €258.7 million. Even though these amounts are less than the highest figures achieved, they still represent a significant level of investment, indicating continued investor support for startups advancing beyond their initial phases towards greater growth and expansion.

Government initiatives and regulatory support

The Greek government has been pivotal in fostering a conducive environment for startups through various initiatives. One of the most significant among them is the introduction of tax incentives for angel investors and the establishment of the National Startup Registry. These measures have not only mapped the startup landscape but also reduced investment risks and encouraged greater financial engagement from private investors.


Further legislative changes aimed at stimulating innovation have included income tax waivers for startups utilising internationally recognised patents and substantial subsidies for new small and medium-sized enterprises in non-hospitality sectors. These initiatives demonstrate a targeted approach to nurturing the startup ecosystem, facilitating both innovation and investment.

Challenges and the path forward

Despite the positive trends, the Greek startup ecosystem faces several challenges. Bureaucratic hurdles and a scarcity of female entrepreneurs have been identified as areas needing attention. Moreover, the lingering effects of the 2009 financial crisis have left a mark on investor confidence, which is only gradually recovering.


Addressing these issues requires a multi-faceted approach. Reducing bureaucracy can make Greece more attractive to both domestic and international entrepreneurs. Increasing the participation of women in the startup sector could be encouraged through dedicated support programs and networking opportunities.

Ecosystem resilience and long-term prospects

The resilience of the Greek startup ecosystem is evident from its ability to attract sustained investments despite economic fluctuations. The strategic deployment of capital towards growth-stage companies illustrates a maturing market where investors are increasingly willing to commit to more developed startups, ready for expansion and larger market integration.


The Greek startup environment seems set for continued growth. As Amy Lewineditor of Sifted, points out the implementation of supportive government policies, coupled with an influx of talent returning from abroad, builds a strong foundation for future development. This trend is supported by the new tech visa initiative, which aims to simplify the process for non-EU entrepreneurs and investors looking to engage with the Greek market, potentially increasing the international footprint of the startup ecosystem.


As Greece continues to evolve as a significant player in the Southeast European tech scene, the interplay of government support, investor confidence, and a skilled talent pool will be crucial in maintaining momentum. The growth trajectory of Greek startups, while subject to fluctuations, demonstrates a healthy, dynamic venture capital landscape capable of supporting a diverse range of entrepreneurial initiatives. Moving forward, the sustained focus on nurturing all stages of startup development will be essential to ensuring long-term sustainability and resilience in the face of evolving global economic conditions.


The Tech Tour South East 2024 Investment Programme is specifically tailored to support emerging companies from Southeastern Europe and Israel. This initiative will culminate in a signature event in Athens on 23 October 2024. Thirty of the most promising companies seeking significant seed and Series A investments will be selected from a large pool of applications by a Selection Panel of seasoned investors to present their innovative technologies at the event. Secure your pass HERE.


The Scaling100 Forum, which is the second Club Event of an exciting two-year journey for the EIC Scaling Club, will also take place in Athens on 21-22 October 2024. Amongst the club stakeholder members are the most active European VCs and corporates, high-level EIC representatives, visionary Mentors & Industry Experts, EU policymakers, and the 100 selected companies spanning across 10 groups. This event will serve as a platform for networking, facilitating meaningful conversations, and fostering connections among friends and colleagues. It is the starting point for an idea that could truly revolutionise the scale-up ecosystem in Europe.