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invest in estonia


Risk capital

Estonia has a two-decade track record of successful innovations and investments thanks to its smart people and a unique environment that enables the accelerated development and commercialisation of IP.

  • #1 for unicorns per capita
  • #4 in science education globally
  • 5 accelerators developing hardware and software
  • #7 in global economic freedom

Our advantages

#1in Europe for Entrepreneurial Employee Activity and Competitiveness
SkillsSmart people with entrepreneurial spirit and determination.
IT R&DWorld class IT skills across a range of disciplines and sectors.
EcosystemStartup ecosystem creates pipeline and accelerates best opportunities to global scale.
icon-statsInvestor friendly mentality and business environment.
icon-growthTrack record of successful IP development, commercialisation and exit.


#1for unicorns per capita

Estonia has a two-decade track record of successful innovations and investments which have delivered outstanding returns for founders, VC/PE, and Corporate investors.

Estonia’s journey began in the 1990s when Estonian engineers developed and scaled Skype using ingenuity and determination. The subsequent exit of Skype provided invaluable experience, capital, and policy stimulus to create one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Numerous Estonian early-stage companies including Wise, Skeleton Technologies, Adcash, and Pipedrive have secured venture capital and private equity from global investors. Corporate venturing such as Daimler AG’s investment in Starship Technologies and Didi Chuxing’s and Daimler AG‘s in Bolt also grows. Exits including Planet OS, Zeroturnaround, GrabCAD, and Teleport provide proof of concept.

What drives Estonia’s success? Smart people with world-class IT skills and Europe’s best entrepreneurial and competitive performance. A pro-business environment with digital infrastructure ideal for innovation and testing. Our compact domestic market makes us open to global ideas, growth, and investment.

Estonian Founders Society helps to boost the local startup community, strengthen direct relationships between founders, meet face to face in a social setting, share experiences and empower new young founders. The role has evolved from purely networking organization to a wider representation of startups in Estonia and beyond.

Further success can be expected thanks to a strong pipeline of growth companies; high innovation in areas such as IT, industry, consumer, agriculture, financial services, and active government support. From Seed to Series E, across a range of sectors and deal sizes, Estonia offers investment opportunities supported by a trustworthy environment and solid track record.

Investing in a startup

Estonians are pathfinders with a truly digital mindset and have built an efficient, secure, and transparent business ecosystem for international investors. Today, 99% of public services are online and there are over 100 AI use cases live in public services. The government has switched over to a real-time economy and it takes only 15 minutes to establish a company and 3 minutes to file taxes.

Today, Estonia has the most startups, unicorns, and VC investments per capita in Europe. It is globally known as the top ecosystem for fast-growing tech startups. By the end of 2022, Estonia has produced 10 unicorns and the local community aims to have 25 unicorns by 2025. The vibrant startup scene is home to nearly 1500 startups. During 30 years of operating in a free market environment, Estonia has become among the top 10 innovators in the EU, surpassing all Eastern-European and Mediterranean countries.

The new growth area is deep tech startups where the government and the ecosystem have set clear goals and action plans. Estonia has developed regulatory frameworks to ease establishing and running a startup, investing in technology enterprises, or raising funding.

Estonian startup success story is not a local game – the tech companies get validated by global top VCs such as Sequoia Capital, Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Atomico, Insight Partners, and others. 2021 showed that 94% of capital in local startups came from international VCs. Top industries include business process software, cybersecurity, AI, and electronics. Some of the local VC players include deep tech fund Karma Ventures, digital tech fund Tera Ventures, and deep tech fund Superangel. New upcoming open funds that are looking for partnerships are the 100 MEUR climate impact & ESG fund by BaltCap, 100 MEUR defense innovation fund by NATO, and 100 MEUR deep tech fund by BaltCap jointly with NordicNinja.

Establishing a VC fund

Estonia has a clear VC legislative environment with low red tape and efficient procedures. The local VC scene has a strong competitive advantage with low CapEx and OpEx costs for European-orientated VC funds. This includes low registration fees, regulator personalized approach with advisory services, and low OpEx such as wages and rent.

Estonian e-Business Register together with progressive pro-business legislation is an ideal way to manage your investments and funds overseas without travelling to Estonia. The unique e-Residency card allows the signing of business contracts, legal acts, employment contracts, and board meeting protocols, and for example, online meetings are legally acknowledged types of annual board meetings. In Estonia we value time, transparency, and technology – so travelling to manage your investments and operations in Estonia is not necessary. For 9 consecutive years, Estonia has been recognized as the world’s best tax system with no corporate income tax on reinvested and retained profits. The ecosystem is progressively guided by the Estonian Angel Investors Association and Estonian Venture Capital Association.

A limited partnership fund is an investment vehicle designed primarily for closed-end collective private equity and venture capital investments, following the best practices from jurisdictions such as the UK, Luxembourg, and Jersey. The AIFM directive in the EU provides favorable licensing exemptions for small fund managers below EUR 100M allowing the creation of loosely regulated Estonian limited partnership fund structure with local or foreign LPs contributing capital to the fund for investing into targets. LPF is not considered a taxpayer with no tax on retained or reinvested profits.

A list of required documents is available here and all the information regarding applying for operating licenses can be found here.

Risk capital

These websites can be useful when interested in Risk capital investments in Estonia:

You are also welcome to send us a request for personal e-consulting to obtain more specific information.

Business opportunities in Estonia

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Need more information?

Need more information?

What is it like to run a business in Estonia? How to benefit from the e-solutions and the efficiency of our business culture? What are the opportunities in specific sectors? Who to partner up with?

The Estonian Investment Agency’s team is happy to help you via its complimentary e-Consulting service, organize online or offline follow-up events such as virtual investment visits and guide you through the fairly simple process of investing in Estonia.

Request e-consulting