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December 1, 2023

Greek Unicorns, Soonicorns, and the Titans of Startup Innovation

Delve into Greece's thriving startup landscape, featuring unicorns, soonicorns, and the largest players reshaping the country's entrepreneurial future


Startups are an important driving force in the world’s economy. Creativity, innovative research, and job creation: startups are essential for economic growth, and they impact locally as well as globally. In Greece, it is no different. Funding for Greek startups hit over €500 million in 2021. In addition, a special group of startups gained much attention: the unicorns and soonicorns.

Greek startup ecosystem overview

Known as a popular summer holiday destination rich in culture and with paradisiac beaches, Greece is also catching up with the European economic market. After getting through the financial crisis in 2008, Greece has been busy rebranding itself and undergoing significant changes in terms of entrepreneurship, opportunity, and innovation.

Besides being the home of democracy and philosophy, Greece has a rich history of science and technology. Over the last ten years, the country has become a hub for startups in different sectors, including AI, transportation, energy, and tourism, attracting investors from all over. Greek startups are becoming major players in the world’s innovation scene. That’s not only due to its network of incubators and accelerators, but also to the amazing governmental support. Initiatives such as funding programs and tax incentives are some of the policies implemented by the government to incentivize entrepreneurship. Another favorable condition is access to funding, given the growing number of investors and crowdfunding.

These factors contribute to many of Greece’s unicorns and soonicorns in the country’s startup scene. Unicorns are privately-held companies valued at over $1 billion by venture capitalists. Soonicorns, as the name suggests, are startups soon-to-be unicorns.  You can read more about soonicorns, minicorns, and unicorns here.

Below, we show you a list of the top 15 most successful Greek unicorns and soonicorns startups.

Greek startups: unicorns and soonicorns

Greek startups: unicorns and soonicorns

Viva Wallet is a tech startup that provides digital payment solutions. Present in 24 European countries, the startup is the first neobank in the continent to be completely cloud-based. The company is also a premier member of Visa and Mastercard, the world’s largest payment card networks.

Their platform enables businesses to manage transactions efficiently and offers a range of financial services, contributing to seamless and secure payment processes.

Founded in 2005, Skroutz is Greece's fourth most visited ecommerce platform, behind only Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

The startup began as a price comparison platform, and is now one of the most successful marketplace companies in Greece. Their platform aggregates product information, reviews, and prices, assisting consumers in making informed purchasing decisions and providing a marketplace for various retailers. Sellers can sell their products without needing an e-shop, for example.

This startup is an Athens-based gaming, lottery, and sports betting company. Besides being the top gaming corporation in Greece, OPAP is also known worldwide. They focus on developing and implementing technological solutions to enhance the gaming experience and optimize operational efficiency.

The company was privatized in 2013 but has existed since 1958 as Greece’s national lottery.

Beat is a ride-hailing and urban mobility platform. The company is the fastest-growing ride-sharing provider in Greece. Launched in 2011, Beat changed the urban mobility scene.

More recently, the startup was acquired by Damler, a vehicle manufacturer, and formed a joint venture with BMW. The platform is currently called Free Now, and it is present in more than ten European countries.

Athens-based Green Panda is an online lending platform that contributes to the development of the circular economy. The company focuses on helping customers commercialize their mobile phones in a faster, easier, and safer way.

Forgotten, used, and old phones don’t need to be stored in a drawer, accumulating and occupying unnecessary space. Green Panda goes through all the steps, from checking the state of the apparatus to helping people sell them.

This startup is like Airbnb. However, Blueground offers apartments, and housing for leisure or work travelers for a longer term. People can rent properties for over a month in several locations worldwide.

Besides allowing people to rent, Blueground also helps those renting their properties to others, offering services including interior design and marketing. Their platform provides a convenient and comfortable housing solution, combining the benefits of home and hotel accommodations.

As the name suggests, Bibe Coffee offers users the opportunity to monitor and administer their coffee makers, reduce repair costs, and gather insightful data. Coffee company workers can make use of the Bibe Coffee app to keep an eye on the use and real-time operation of their coffee machines.

The app also allows users to monitor the machines remotely, reducing, for example, technician visit costs. The platform can connect with any model of super-automatic professional coffee machines.

According to the Financial Times, Hellas Direct was ranked in the top 1000 fastest growing companies in Europe in 2021. Hellas Direct is a digital insurance company revolutionizing the insurance industry in Greece.

Hellas Direct has provided roadside assistance for cars, and motorcycles as well as home insurance in both Greece and Cyprus for over five years now.

Welcome Pickups is a company that enhances the travel experience by providing personalized, in-destination services. The company offers services beyond regular transfers, including airport transfers, sightseeing tours, and local insights, aiming to make travelers feel welcomed and supported throughout their journey. The company was established in 2015, in Athens. Welcome is the first company to provide this kind of travel experience.

Workable is a recruitment software company that streamlines the hiring process. The company has a platform that administers and manages job ads, resumes, applicant tracking, and collaboration, facilitating efficient and effective talent acquisition, mainly hiring executives in small companies.

Nowadays, workable is the leading recruitment platform with over 20,000 companies using its services. The company was founded in 2012.

Finloup is a financial technology company, one of the first to use the method “buy now, pay later" (BNPL). With that, users can consume and pay within a longer-term period of time. BNPL is the most popular trend in e-commerce nowadays, although it can have some issues such as negative economic cycles. Finloup aims to provide innovative financial services, facilitating and democratizing credit and access to services.

Spotawheel is an online platform for buying and selling used cars. The company focuses on providing a transparent and hassle-free car-buying experience, using technology to simplify the process for buyers and sellers.

Spotawheel is leading in the used automobile industry in Europe, providing a safe and trustworthy marketplace for people to buy and sell vehicles. Another reason why Spotawheel stands out is that they select used cars based on quality, not profit.

Aisera is an Artificial Intelligence platform for IT service management, sales and customer support. Their intelligent automation solutions enhance efficiency by automating tasks and providing real-time support, improving overall service delivery. Aisera also focuses on enterprise GPT and generative AI solutions. The company was founded in 2017, and it’s one of the fastest-growing startups providing automated IT services.

Startup Woli is a company that focuses in helping children and teenagers manage their finances in a safe space. With that, people from an early age can learn about financial responsibilities securely.

This is how it works: Woli has an app, and users get a prepaid Mastercard. The app helps youngsters to manage their money responsibly, giving them some level of independence, teaching them about finances but at the same time allowing parental control.

Startup Omilia was founded in 2002 and focuses on using AI and machine learning. The company’s platform consists of a virtual chat assistant. to improve and accelerate customer services. Their technology enables natural language interactions in customer service, enhancing communication, providing efficient solutions for businesses, and improving overall communication in various industries.

Omilia wants to improve the relationship between humans and machines, especially when it comes to customer service.


Greece has shown great opportunities for growth, development, and innovation in the startup landscape. Governmental support and access to funding proved extremely important when creating business opportunities. Due to such initiatives and their significant history in science and technology, the country has become a hub for innovation in the last ten years. Not only that, but the country became a hub for several Greek soonicorns and Greek unicorns, companies that managed to achieve the rare success of being valued at over $1 billion.

However, Greece is not the only Southern European country with an exceptional startup scene. Italy, Portugal, and Spain are also crucial and essential parts of the startup ecosystem in Europe and the world.

Neil Hodgson Coyle
Neil Hodgson-Coyle
Editorial chief at TechNews180
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