Proptech in Greece is still in its nascent stage with only a few companies working dedicatedly in the domain. But the future looks bright. Greece is located in southeastern Europe and boats of a rich culture and history. It is a country full of thousands of islands, spread across the Aegean and Ionian seas. A tourist-loved destination, Greece is known for party resorts. These include Mykonos, black sands of Santorini, the historical capital city of Athens as well as its many stunning beaches. This democratic and developed country is one not just of beauty but also high living standard for its people. Ranking in the world’s top 20 countries, Greece is one of the world’s most loved tourist destinations and its real estate is made up of resorts, hotels, luxury living, tourist spots and residential housing.
While the GDP fell 26 per cent in the last decade, data by FT shows that the economy returned to growth, at 1.5 per cent in 2017, an estimated 2.1 per cent in 2018 and an IMF forecast of 2.4 per cent in 2019. This gives us interesting economic information to further discuss the scope of proptech here.
As a way to good economic health, Greece followed a long and strenuous reform route, one that worked well for them. This has given rise to increased innovation, expanding tourism, a buzzing entrepreneurial ecosystem and a flourishing technological transformation. These tools also help the country tackle their biggest challenge, which is unemployment. But before we get to discuss the scenario for proptech in Greece or its proptech space, it is interesting to see the real estate market and startup scenario of here.
Greek economy and real estate
Mainly driven by the drop in GDP per capita and rise in taxation, the Greek real estate market collapsed since 2009. However, things are improving as investors have come in since 2018. In 2019, Golden Horizon has expanded its presence in Greece with the recent purchase of 20 million euros’ worth of properties. According to BBC, The property market, once completely dead, is on the rise – house prices in Athens rose 3.7% in 2018.
Foreign investors are flowing in too. According to Enterprise Greece – a business promotion body – 9,756 residence permits for investors and their families were issued in 2018 up to the end of November – up from 6,205 in 2017 and 3,695 in 2016. Greece also provides the lowest threshold as compared to other European nations. As per BBC, Investors receive five-year residency after purchasing €250,000 of property, making the country a new hotspot for foreign buyers.
In 2019, the market scenario improved with an increase of 4%. According to bank data, compared to Q1 2018, prices for new apartments in the first quarter of 2019 are up by 4 percent and by 3.9 percent for older flats.
Foreign interest can only do little to help real estate market of Greece and the onus of making it a rich asset lies on the government and its correction of regulations. A correction in real estate will also open doors for proptech in Greece, or help the proptech sector prosper.
Entrepreneurship and its impact on Greek proptech
According to Forbes, April Equifund changed dramatically the picture of Greek startups ecosystem because it announced that nearly €500 million will be poured into new businesses in the next five years from 2018. For the Greek standards, it is seen as a huge leap considered the circumstances of the previous years.
The size of Greek startups is estimated around 2000 startups. According to AngelList, a social network for startups and investors there are recorded included 562 startups and 2807 investors.
The different industries that are witnessing an increased interest are in ICT, mobile apps and on-demand taxi travel to gaming and medical technology. There is an upcoming ecosystem of investors, venture capitalists, incubators and entrepreneurship programs at the university level that are looking to foster and support entrepreneurship in Greece. Dictated by its increasing youth segment, Greece boasts of a new and energized business climate that prides itself in innovation. This sets the stage for innovation in technology for real estate to provide a sound base for proptech development.
Greeks have a strong motivation towards entrepreneurship. According to NBG estimates (taking into account the value that private investment funds attribute to Greek startups), the value added of the IT sector may top €1.8 billion in 2020, offering circa 20,000 new jobs – the key growth vehicles being startups and cluster enterprises, which account for 3⁄4 of the increase.
Startups in Greece are experimenting with innovative technology to find renewed solutions to the local problems of here. Workable.com is working on providing a solution for the biggest challenge of here that is unemployment with a cloud based recruiting software and app. There are also interesting startups here in the space of green technology, interactive e-learning, 3D printed brain and skull avatar, cloud based processing of MRI’s as well as gaming.
Top proptech startups in Greece
Way forward for proptech in Greece
Greece is far behind in the proptech game as compared to other European countries. Due to the after effects of its economic slowdown, real estate is still not a big asset class. That being said, innovation and entrepreneurship here are on a rise and one can expect an innovative solution to a local problem, fuelled by technology.
Streamlined Naval Architects Ltd
Streamlined Naval Architects Ltd is a workgroup formed by Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, with a rich and diverse background of disciplines and experience in the maritime sector, ranging from shipbuilding contractors and shipping companies to classification societies and university institutes. Their vision is to offer expertise through their services, in an efficient and cost effective manner for the benefit of clients.
Sensorflare is an award winning platform, which helps you to control all of your smart devices. Even if they are produced by different manufacturers. Sensorflare simplifies your everyday intelligent living. Everyone is a wizard in a smart device world. The company was founded in 2014.
Spitogatos.gr is the first Greek online business that raised capital from a Venture Capital fund (in 2009) and since May 2014 has become part of Real Web SA, which owns Immobiliare.it, no.1 property website in Italy, as well as other online businesses in Europe. Spitogatos started managing the property website Spiti24.gr and, in March 2015, acquired the agents-only real estate vertical tospitimou.gr, hence creating the Spitogatos Network.