If a Greek information technology boom is coming down the pike, Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants to be first in line to reap the rewards. The managing director of NBG Venture Capital (NBG VC), which is launching its first technology-oriented fund this fall, sees strong upside to the IT market in Greece.
Although the fund hasn?t officially been marketed yet, the firm has already received 60 million euros (approx. $53.3 million) in soft commitments. Its parent, the National Bank of Greece (NBG), will invest 30 million euros. Additionally, General Bank is contributing 10 million euros and the European Investment Fund is committing 20 million euros. Targeted at 70 million euros, the fund is slated to close in late September.
“Technology firms in Greece have not had the access to venture capital until now,” Mitsotakis said.
In many ways, the current technology environment in Greece is similar to Israel?s before its massive technological transformation, he added. Moreover, telecommunications deregulation in Greece has given the country the freedom to further its privatization efforts, which also creates a potential window of opportunity for NBG VC.
Unlike its two predecessors, whose strategies were more generally focused, Fund III will invest in Series A technology deals “across the board,” Mitsotakis said. As such, the firm is currently looking at funding two companies in the semiconductor and wireless sectors.
The NBG VC Technology Fund will likely be invested over the next four to five years, Mitsotakis said.