Greece has never seen much VC love. The country brought in just $415m in funding in 2022 — compared to $5.7bn in Sweden, a country with a similar population size.
The times could be changing. Wikifarmer, an Athens-based farming marketplace, has just raised €5m in seed funding — a sizable seed round for Greece, and the first Greek deal for Point Nine, the Berlin-based VC that led the round. The raise follows a pre-seed round in 2022.
Wikifarmer was cofounded by Ilias Sousis, who previously headed up Youtube for Google in Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
Sousis is well-connected in the Greek ecosystem — Wikifarmer’s been backed by several notable angels, including the founders of Workable and Treatwell, Sophia Bendz and Mathias Kamprad, the son of the founder of IKEA. Metavallon VC, based in Athens, also participated.
Greek tech is coming out of an age-old slumber and is ready to wrestle it's way up the European startup ladder. Peer into the country's success stories, rising stars and hidden gems in our Greek tech report
What does Wikifarmer do?
Wikifarmer does three things. First, it’s a directory of advice and content for farmers on growing techniques (hence the “Wikipedia for farmers” name). Sousis’ cofounder, Petros Sagos, is an agronomist — he initially wrote the content but it’s now supplied by agronomists from around the world, and Wikifarmer’s users.
Wikifarmer’s next function is a marketplace where farmers can sell their produce. Food typically changes hands numerous times before it gets to the end supplier — with each middleman taking a cut.
“The farmer produces the most important part of the value chain, but gets the least money,” says Sousis. Wikifarmer aims to cut out those middlemen, bringing greater returns to the farmers.
Farmers can get around 30-40% more for produce when they use the platform, Sousis says — and some have seen increases up to 300%. With greater returns, Sousis says farmers can put more money into more sustainable farming practices.
Wikifarmer’s third function is credit facilities for farmers — meaning they can invest in growing crops before they get returns on them.
Greek tech rising?
It makes sense that Wikifarmer has come out of Greece — the Mediterranean is home to a large number of Europe’s food growers.
But the company’s raise is also a sign that the Greek ecosystem is maturing and garnering more interest from international VCs.
“There’s more interest from both VCs and private equity,” says Sousis. “If I look back to Greece three or four years ago, there’s no way a fund like Point Nine would have been interested.”
Greece is now home to three unicorns, including Viva Wallet, which was backed by VCs like Tencent before JPMorgan took a controlling stake last year.
General Catalyst and Speedinvest invested in Greek-founded Seafair and Harbor Lab, respectively. They are both shipping companies, something Greece is particularly strong on.
VCs are interested, says Point Nine’s Louis Coppey, because of Greece’s potential to attract top tech talent, in a similar vein to Lisbon, and the effect that could have on local companies.
“I think there is a chance that with remote work becoming bigger, Athens becomes more and more attractive compared to other tech hubs — and if you're a fast-scaling startup there you can expand quickly using that talent.”