Cyprus experiencing tech boom

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Invest Cyprus, the state authority for attracting foreign investment, has awarded seven international companies for their vote of confidence in the Cypriot economy.

The seven firms awarded at the 10th Invest Cyprus International Investment Awards are active in many areas, from fintech and payment solutions to private equity funds investing in healthcare.

Invest Cyprus’ Chairman Evgenios Evgeniou said the awards were given as a token of the country’s appreciation for their contribution to the local economy, not for the performance.

Acknowledging the need to diversify foreign investments made in Cyprus, especially after the demise of the Citizenship for Investment scheme, Invest Cyprus has focused on bringing in Tech and Fintech companies and their executives.

In comments to the Financial Mirror, Evgeniou said: “Cyprus has introduced a new strategy for attracting foreign companies and skilled talent.

“The strategy focuses on high technology, shipping, pharmaceutical, innovation, and research and development companies”.

And the authority is pleased to see its efforts bearing fruit, as a new business cluster of technology companies is developing.

“We are confident that, despite the challenges in the global economy, the international business clusters will continue to grow in the years to come.”

“Efforts are intensifying to attract new businesses and investments to Cyprus that will create jobs and add value to our economy.”

Highlighting the impact of foreign investments, which is of pivotal importance for sustainable development, Evgeniou said that existing investors act as ambassadors of Cyprus.

In this framework, the authority introduced an annual award ceremony to show its appreciation for companies benefitting the Cyprus economy.

The winners at this year’s event were; BrainRocket, CVC, ECOMMBX, Murex, SYKES (part of Sitel Group), TheSoul Publishing and Medicover.

BrainRocket

The first award went to BrainRocket, a high-tech company active in “all things IT”, as the company likes to brand itself.

The firm offers research and development IT services aiming to offer innovative solutions.

BrainRocket, a Swedish firm, established its Limassol base just 15 months ago, aiming to become a fresh new add-on to the software world, ready to thrive and reach the top.

It has taken advantage of a Cyprus scheme offering low-income tax for executives, relocating 400 employees from Scandinavian countries.

Altogether BrainRocket employs over 600 people in Cyprus and another 150 working remotely; employees are from 15 different nationalities.

“Our current mission is to take the IT universe by shooting for the stars and building a creative digital future, choosing Cyprus to be our primary location.

“We aim to make the island one of the leading IT hubs,” BrainRocket’s CEO Boris Chaikin said.

Chaikin said Cyprus is a “marvelous choice” for international business operations.

“It has an affordable and compatible tax system allowing companies to work cost-effectively.

“In addition, Cyprus offers attractive conditions for employees, allowing them to enjoy a balanced work life.

“The sky’s the limit for BrainRocket. We are just warming up in Cyprus.”

BrainRocket has purchased a large plot of land in Limassol, once the home of the old Galactica Luna park.

CVC Capital Partners

CVC Capital Partners was awarded for their investment in the island’s healthcare system.

The private equity fund has purchased the Apollonion Hospital in Nicosia for €83 mln while also negotiating to buy the Aretaio hospital in the capital.

Reportedly, the fund is preparing to create a new hospital on the island, which will house doctors and health services who choose to remain outside the General Healthcare system.

CVC manages funds on behalf of more than 300 institutional and non-public, and private sector investors worldwide. The investment fund’s clients are primarily American.

According to the fund’s data, CVC manages assets of more than $50 bln worldwide, while it has a network of 24 offices in Europe, America, and Asia.

Medicover

Another firm awarded for boosting potential in the island’s health sector was Medicover, which announced the completion of the takeover of NIPD Genetics, a leading innovative biotechnology company based in Cyprus.

The purchase price for the 68.3% of acquired shares is €44.4 mln with no debt assumed, implying an enterprise value of €65 mln.

Medicover’s COO Staffan Ternstrom said they were “amazed” at the level of skills they found at NIPD, on which they will be continuing to build on.

“This deal provides a bridge point for us to move further into the Middle East and Africa,” said Ternstrom.

ECOMMBX

ECOMMBX was established in the Republic of Cyprus in 2016 and is headquartered in Nicosia, specialising in issuing virtual IBANS, facilitating SEPA & SWIFT transfers on a global scale and currency conversion.

The firm offers B2B e-money services through an advanced fintech platform and tailored-made payment solutions quickly and securely.

Murex

Paris-based Murex, a leading European software producer in trading, treasury, risk, and post-trade operations for financial markets, was also awarded for contributing to the local economy.

The third-largest firm in its sector in France cast its vote of confidence in late 2021, relocating its Lebanon office to Nicosia. It now employs more than 150 people.

SYKES

Also awarded, SYKES, now part of the Sitel group, is a US multinational business process outsourcing provider headquartered in Tampa, Florida.

SYKES opened its first office in Larnaca, Cyprus, in July 2017 with 20 employees and has grown rapidly since then, to employ more than 600 people in three offices, with many Cypriots joining the group.

Globally, SYKES are the third biggest business process outsourcing with 160,000 employees, working in eleven different languages.

“We ended up in Cyprus when we were looking for the optimal location to serve the Nordic market.

“We started with a list of 19 locations, from which Larnaca scored the highest,” said SYKES’ Director for the Cyprus region, Kurt Soler.

“Cyprus is within the EU, has a good IT infrastructure, stable tax framework, flexible labour conditions, and excellent climate which attracts Nordic employees and clients.

“We have an ambitious growth facilitated by the local authorities’ approach and their openness.”

TheSoul Publishing

Also recognised for its contribution to Cyprus, TheSoul Publishing is one of the world’s most prolific and popular online media companies, reaching over one billion social media subscribers across the world’s most popular platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snap, Pinterest, and TikTok.

According to Tubular Labs since October 2020, TheSoul Publishing has continued to generate the most views of any media and entertainment creator across Facebook and YouTube — followed by such companies as Disney, Comcast, and Warner Bros. Discovery.

The company employs over 500 people in Cyprus.