Bank of Attica launches Greek VC fund

The Bank of Attica and Taneo’s government-backed New Economy Development Fund have launched a €30m venture capital fund targeting opportunities in the Greek market. Bank of Attica has committed €15m and TANEO has allocated €14,999,900 to the fund which has been named Zaitech.

Attica Ventures, the venture capital subsidiary of Attica Bank will manage the fund. The team will be led by Giannis Papadopoulos. Konstantinos Stamoulis, president of Bank of Attica, said: “The fund will concentrate on investments in innovative small-to-medium and medium-sized enterprises active in high-tech sectors of the economy such as energy telecoms, IT, biotech. The fund will pay particular attention to internationally proven business concepts that are in the process of being transferred to the Greek market and as well, on investments that have the potential to become attractive acquisition targets for global players seeking to expand in South East Europe.”

Taneo last year raised €150m for a private equity fund-of-funds. The purpose of the fund is to help jump-start the Greek venture capital industry, which is currently a fraction of the size of the EU and US averages, with very few active local players. The fund-of-funds will invest in between ten and 12 venture capital funds operating in the Greek market, providing up to 50 per cent of the capital to each fund.

Greece is viewed as a country of untapped potential by many of the regional players. Its economy continues to converge towards EU norms and new funds raised in 2002 increased by 30% compared to the previous year.