- The Greek seed-stage and technology-transfer VC fund Big Pi Ventures, announces the first closing of its second fund for deep tech local startups at €50M.
- Big Pi Ventures II is the first fund established through the new InnovateNow Fund-of-Funds program of the Hellenic Development Bank of Investment (HDBI) and features the additional participation of 25 private investors.
- It is expected that the new fund will invest in 20 deep-tech Greek startups over the next 5 years.
“Big Pi II will invest in early-stage technology companies. The companies have to have or create a substantial part of their business in Greece. This is our mandate as half of the funds for the first closing come from the Hellenic Development Bank of Investment (HDBI) and its InnovateNow program. We find this a very attractive proposition as the Greek talent, tax benefits, and lifestyle are second to none. We also like deep tech investments with defensible technologies that address a big market,” George Saliaris-Fasseas, Operating Partner at Big Pi Ventures, comments for The Recursive.
The new InnovateNow Fund-of-Funds program of HDBI has total public funding of €100M, and it aims to enable the establishment of VC funds with additional participation from private investors.
“We plan to invest in 20 companies. Our initial ticket will be €1-3M and we will reserve for follow-on investments in the successful companies that achieve their milestones. We would like to be the lead investor and help the companies in all possible ways. Our investment period is 5 years. However, as we currently have a big and quality deal flow, we will know next year how this plans out,” George Saliaris-Fasseas adds.
Focus on commercial deeptech, resiliency, and diaspora founders
Compared to Big Pi Ventures I, the amount of private funding for the second fund has increased. Big Pi Ventures II has attracted the additional support of 25 private investors, including institutions, big corporates, and entrepreneurs.
“Our focus is similar to Big Pi I, but we will probably invest in slightly later-stage companies which have a clear commercial path. We found that people and the resilience and persistence of the founders are vital for their companies’ success. We will test this hypothesis much harder in Big Pi II. We are also looking to re-patriate Greeks who live abroad and have the global experience to create global businesses,” George Saliaris-Fasseas explains.
The technology focus areas of Big Pi Ventures II will be data analytics/databases, IoT, hardware, and materials, while the target markets remain health, business process, media, and hardware products.
Founded in 2018, the investment firm has so far invested in 23 Greek tech companies. Startups in the portfolio of the first fund of Big Pi Ventures include the proptech platform Prosperty, the database startup TileDB, and the music-tech platform Orfium.