German adtech giant Glispa acquires Greek-Cypriot startup darling Avocarrot
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Avocarrot is London-founded with offices in San Fran and Athens (screenshot, avocarrot.com)

Greek startup darling Avocarrot had deliberately based its R&D in Greece to show off the country’s tech talent. Now they have an exit.

Athens-based adtech startup Avocarrot will be acquired by Berlin’s Glispa, the two companies announced Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Avocarrot had until now raised $2.16 million in seed funding according to Crunchbase with investments from Odyssey Ventures, Collider, London-based Entrepreneur First, Darlin Ventures and Greek angel Giorgos Zacharia

Avocarrot operates an ad exchange that allows bids on on ads in different countries with a focus on in-app marketing. They list apps like Reddit is Fun, ZapZap Messenger, and Peru-based PeruCholly among their customers. Glispa plans to integrate Avocarrot into its Ampiri native ad monetization platform which will let advertisers — which Glispa refers to as “demand partners” — bid on native ads in a “private marketplace and open auctions.” That means a single SDK for their software platform, integration of ad networks and combining their lists of clients.

“This is a key time in ad tech for a powerful player to cut through the noise in the app economy,” said Avocarrot co-founder Conno Christou in a press release. “Glispa’s strong advertising footprint across 187 countries and our leading technology in programmatic native monetization provides tremendous value for our existing and future app partners. We couldn’t be more excited to join forces with Glispa.”

Glispa has been busy this year, announcing the buyout of Brazilian adtech company Mobils in May and St. Petersburg startup MoneyTap in March. Ampiri was launched earlier this year after the first acquisition. Glispa also recently launched a social influencer network called VOLTU to link advertisers with big names online who participate in promo campaigns.

“Avocarrot brings immediate value to Glispa Global Group and together we’re offering one of the top independent, native advertising solutions on the market today. With two acquisitions this year and the launch of the Ampiri native ad mediation platform we’re solidly positioned to drive monetization for app developers and help them reach their full revenue potential, ” said Glispa CEO Gary Lin Founder.

The acquisition might give some Greeks some welcome good news as the economic crisis there has been especially difficult for cash-starved technology entrepreneurs. The last major acquisition came when Microsoft bought big data company Metanautix in December 2015. One of the bigger success stories out of the country might be Workable.com, which is tripling its workforce from 60 to 200 by the end of the year according to CNBC and is backed by prominent VCs like Balderton Capital, Openfund and 83North. Still, the country’s SMEs have been hampered by austerity’s high taxes according to a June report in Bloomberg.

Avocarrot’s four technical founders are actually Cypriot, but they chose to based their R&D in Greece. Christou told Bloomberg, “Greece’s underutilized top talent, low rents and operational costs mean that getting $2 million here is like getting as much as $8 million in San Francisco or London in terms of investment return for each dollar. To attract investors and more startups like us, the government should empower the ecosystem by providing incentives for investors to support the new companies.”

Founded in London, Avocarrot has opened up offices in Athens and San Francisco. They list Conno Christou, Georgios Makkoulis, Giorgos Eracleous and Panagiotis Papageorgiou as its technical founders. They have 14 other employees according to their press release. Glispa, headquartered in Berlin, thoroughly lists 140 employees on their website. They also have offices in San Francisco, Bengaluru, Sao Paulo, Beijing and Tel Aviv.

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