Two new investments are in the pipeline for the Phaistos fund before it closes its first year of investment activity. The investment fund, which manages funds of more than 100 million euros, with the aim of strengthening the domestic 5G ecosystem, has already put the first two investments in their arsenal in the first half of the year. As revealed by the managing director of 5G Ventures, which manages the Phaistos Fund, Mr. Antonis Tzortzakakis, during a press briefing, there are currently five companies in the pipeline, three of which are Greek.

To date, the fund, which started its investment cycle last March, has seen a total of around 50 companies knocking on ita door exploring the possibilities of cooperation. 12 companies have officially submitted a file, of which two were approved. Currently, two more, from the cybersecurity and Internet of Things (IoT) sectors, are in the due diligence phase, while three more are in the pre-approval stage. Of these, two are in the retail industry (one Greek) and one is an American chip manufacturing company. The first news is expected in the next quarter.

A maximum of 20 investment rounds

The average investment of Phaistos, which has a lifetime of 10 years, of which 5 are the disinvestment time, amounts to 5-7 million euros, without being an actual cap. In total, the venture capital has a piggy bank of more than 100 million euros, of which 93 million came from the tender for the allocation of the spectrum for the development of 5th generation networks. According to a rough calculation, the fund has the ability to implement a maximum of 20 investment rounds, given that a company may need a second round.

Therefore, the leading anchor investor on behalf of the State is the Hellenic Development Investment Bank (EATE, formerly TANEO). Private funds of over 7 million euros have been contributed by the OTE/Deutsche Telekom Group, the Latsco family office of Mrs. Marianna Latsis and the family office of Mr. Dimitris Daskalopoulos.

“Our goal as an investment fund is twofold. On the one hand, generating revenue for the Greek State, as most of the funds we are investing come from the spectrum auction for 5G, but we have been given approval for the funds not to go towards the public debt. On the other hand, strengthening, but instead the Greek 5G ecosystem. That is why it is mandatory for the companies we support to gain a presence in Greece”, explained Mr. Tzortzakakis.

The first two investments

In the first months of its operation, Phaistos fund announced its first minority holdings. The beginning of the investments was made with Matternet, which provides services for transporting medical and biological material using drones. It is worth noting that it is the first company in the world to have received permission for drone flights in an urban environment from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA), when giants such as Google have failed.

Essentially, the company, which has Greek roots, is building an aerial network with hubs, such as hospitals, diagnostic centers, clinics, for the transport by drones of medicines, medical and biological material. Matternet uses drones to transport and deliver items weighing up to 2kg within urban areas, within a radius of up to 20km. Boeing, Sony, Mercedes-Benz and Swiss Post have also invested in the firm.

Through its Greek subsidiary, Matternet Europe, housed in Dimocritos research center, the pilot operation of a network that will include some hospitals, Dimocritos, the Pasteur Institute, etc. is planned with the contribution of the Phaistos support ecosystem. The company has developed an innovative cloud-based platform for secure fleet management.

It was followed by the also innovative Luxembourg-based OQ Technology, which uses low-orbit satellites to provide seamless connectivity to IoT installations. It has the ability to provide uninterrupted internet access even in deserts or at sea. After all, only 20% of the planet can be covered by terrestrial connections.

Phaistos with Wa’ed Ventures, Saudi Aramco’s venture capital fund, one of the largest companies internationally based on capitalization, co-invested in this particular company. The co-investment amounted to 13 million dollars. The Greek subsidiary OQ Technology Hellas is based in Corallia of the “Athina” Research Center and already employs 15 individuals.

As part of its strategy for the multi-level support of the companies in which it invests, Phaistos has developed a network of cooperating bodies: the University of Patras, Corallia and the Research Center “Athina”, VantageTowersGreece, EKEFE “Demokritos”, Nokia Hellas , Cosmote, the European Space Agency. Also, the certification of the procedures, as well as the members, will now take place in collaboration with TUV Austria. Depending on the companies that will join the Fund’s portfolio in the future, synergies with the cloud, artificial intelligence or even legal support sectors may still be needed.

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