Committed to Investing in Cyprus: Interview with Entrepreneur Teddy Sagi
Congratulations on your company’s win at the 9th Annual Invest Cyprus International Investment Awards. What does this award mean to you?
This award is an honour and a vote of confidence in my investments and business activities here. It also strengthens my commitment to continue investing in and through Cyprus, thereby enhancing its business reputation and boosting the economy.
Why did you choose to invest in Cyprus?
Cyprus is a member of the EU and has a unique geographical location, close to the other countries in which I have business. It has business-driven people, a solid tax and legal infrastructure, high-calibre professionals offering honest, sound and cost-effective advice. Cyprus offers safety and a lifestyle that encourages people to move and work here. Thus, it always made sense to invest in and through Cyprus in terms of people, physical presence and business connections. This is also why I have chosen Cyprus as the base for my single family office, Globe Invest Limited, in addition to several other companies of my group.
What is the vision you wish to implement through the construction of Labs Tower?
Labs Tower is, in my opinion, a landmark building in the centre of Nicosia and, as of its opening in October 2021, it will change the work environment and lifestyle of the capital! Labs Tower is a high-tech, 21-floor high-rise using state-of-the-art technology and is the pinnacle of luxury design and furnishings throughout its offices (including co-working space under my global co-working Labs brand) and luxury apartments and penthouse. It includes high-tech conference rooms to facilitate business meetings, as well as communal space with a cafeteria and gym, for the exclusive use of office staff to encourage wellness at work. Labs Tower will also include a public restaurant/café and a top floor exquisite fine dining restaurant/bar with a breathtaking view of Nicosia. I truly believe that the restaurants in Labs Tower will upgrade the capital’s lifestyle and offer a unique dining and café experience of international standards. The co-working concept of the Labs brand will introduce to Cyprus the concept of customizable workspaces designed to let people mingle, share ideas and concerns, innovate, connect and thrive! The amenities that Labs Tower offers its tenants will make their workday and stay pleasant and inspiring, from breathtaking balcony views to the tenants’ dedicated cafeteria and gym. The apartments and penthouse offer all the opulence and services anyone could to have during a luxurious and enjoyable stay in the capital. Labs Tower will soon be the point of reference for a new innovative and exciting way of working, living and socializing, the like of which has never been seen before in Cyprus!
You have invested in various sectors ranging from real estate to technology. How do you feel each time you delve into a new market?
I am passionate about doing business and I am constantly looking for new business opportunities and exploring niche markets. I have thus engaged in many fields. Real estate is a core business and I am the proud owner of properties in London (including Camden Market which I have managed to convert into a must-see attraction), Greece, Israel, Romania, Spain and Cyprus. Nevertheless, my “business DNA” has always been – and still is – technology. The gaming software company Playtech, which was my first big endeavour, and my latest success story SafeCharge, a global provider of payment services, risk management and IT solutions for online businesses, which was sold for almost US$1billion, are just some of my successful technology projects. My current focus is on Kape and my new project, Pay.com, a payments services group with its headquarters in Cyprus.
Kape has acquired ExpressVPN. What does this mean for you?
Kape Technologies plc is an AIM-listed digital security and privacy software company, of which I am the majority shareholder. I support Kape’s Board of Directors’ efforts to grow the company through M&A and there have been a number of transactions to this effect in the last few years but the acquisition of ExpressVPN is the biggest one. ExpressVPN, is one of the most recognized brands in the digital privacy space. Its acquisition by Kape delivers significant additional scale, creates significant cross-selling and revenue opportunities and cements Kape’s growth and establishment as a globally premium digital privacy and security player. Seeing a company that I founded and listed on the AIM grow that much makes me feel proud. I am excited to see what is next for this amazing company!
What does the next decade hold in store for the technology sector? What are your future plans/goals?
The pandemic has advanced the realisation that technology is the way forward. I believe that e-commerce and e-payment services are particularly attractive. Hence, I have started here in Cyprus, Pay.com Group, a global provider of payment services, risk management and IT solutions for online businesses and an online payments platform company. Pay.com is in the process of obtaining a payment institution license from the Central Bank of Cyprus and we aim to soon be able to establish a presence in the UK as well and apply for an FCA license. The Pay.com team consists of highly qualified and experienced professionals from Cyprus and abroad. I am confident that Pay.com Group will follow SafeCharge’s successful path.