Greek startups are struggling to access the cloud

Something has to give.
Something has to give.
Image: Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier
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“Startup” already implies a degree of creativity, but some Greek start-ups have been forced to use their imagination just to access basic cloud computing services.

Since June 29, transfers of money out of Greek bank accounts has been limited, one of a few restrictions intended to prevent capital flight due to the country’s precarious economic situation. Any Greek company that relies on foreign-based data services, therefore, is likely to find itself unable to make the payments abroad that keep those services running.

Weather ex Machina, a tech startup that aggregates different weather reports across the web, has had to delay the launch of one of its products, reported Fast Company.

“I can not begin to describe how hard it is to survive the death valley when based in Greece,” Weather ex Machina CEO Manolis Nikiforakis explained in an email to Quartz.

“Capital controls would have disabled our ability to set up additional server nodes for our backend system, and would have made our service almost unusable and our launch a failure. We will now wait for things to settle down and launch later.”

PayPal has not been an option in Greece since July 2, although Greek companies with previously-existing bank accounts in other countries have still been able to make international transactions.

In order to help stranded Greek startups, Panos Papadopolous, a co-founder of California-based analytics company BugSense (acquired by Splunk in 2013), have created a volunteer platform that acts as a transaction proxy, according to Tech Crunch. The platform receives requests from Greek companies who need to make payments for foreign services, and connects them with individuals who have agreed to help out, like entrepreneur Marc Andreessen (cofounder of Netscape). Papadopolous has put out notices on Twitter and Facebook.

Quartz’s full coverage of Greece’s debt crisis can be found here.