ATHENS – ATHENS – A scheme to help Greek farmers with advice and marketplace to sell their goods, which got investments, including locally, has also drawn 5 million euros ($5.37 million) from a German venture capitalist effort, Point Nine, in Berlin.
In a report, the site Sifted noted it came after a pre-seed round in 2022 for Wikifarmer, which was cofounded by Ilias Sousis, who previously headed up Google in Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
Sousis got several well-known venture “angels” to earlier put money into the project, including the founders of Workable and Treatwell, Sophia Bendz and Mathias Kamprad, the son of the founder of IKEA and Medallion, in Athens.
Sousis’ cofounder, Petros Sagos, is an agronomist who initially wrote the content but it’s now supplied by agronomists from around the world, and Wikifarmer’s users, said the report.
Wikifarmer also works to help farmers sell their produce, in a country where there are almost daily local street markets for vegetables, fruits, legumes, rice, fish and other foodstuffs.
“The farmer produces the most important part of the value chain, but gets the least money,” Sousis told the site, adding that Wikifarmer aims to cut out those middlemen, bringing greater returns to the farmers, like Fair Trade.
Farmers can get up to 40 percent more when they use the platform, Sousis said, adding that some have seen returns of up to 300 percent, bringing money they can reinvest in their farms even faster.
Wikifarmer also functions as a credit facility for farmers, which means they can investment in growing crops before they sell, the interest abroad seen being a sign that Greek eco-companies, which draw little venture capital, will get more.
“There’s more interest from both VCs and private equity,” said 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.”
Point Nine official Louis Coppey also told the site that, “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.”