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Elcogen, Skeleton and Ready Player Me among fastest-growing scale-up teams in the Baltics

Three Estonian DeepTech scale-ups have been listed among the fastest-growing teams in the Baltics: Elcogen, Skeleton and Ready Player Me.

Sifted, one of Europe’s most respected startup news platforms, recently published a list of the Baltics’ fastest-growing startup teams. The region is holding strong despite bigger economic headwinds, with $517M raised in 2023.

The numbers are even better when it comes to headcount growth. Estonia, home to one of Europe’s densest startup ecosystems, is well represented with three scale-ups: Elcogen, Skeleton and Ready Player Me.

The rise of DeepTech

Elcogen builds clean energy technology that produces affordable green hydrogen and emission-free electricity. The company develops and manufactures solid oxide electrolyser cells to create green hydrogen, and solid oxide fuel cells that convert hydrogen into electricity. Elcogen has received funding from the European Innovation Council and UK-based HydrogenOne Capital Growth, and an impressive €45M strategic investment from HD Hyundai last year. Fuelled by this, the company’s headcount grew by 33% over the last 12 months to 56 employees.

Skeleton Technologies, recognized by Sifted as “one of Europe’s best-financed DeepTech startups,” has already bagged over €330M to develop and produce graphene-based supercapacitors and high-power batteries, and is working on several strategic projects to increase production. Supercapacitors are essential for the upcoming green industry transition, as they can provide a quick burst of energy for a few minutes. They are commonly used to power trams or industrial machinery, either alone or in conjunction with batteries. Skeleton’s headcount has reached 320 employees. The company is also believed to be the next Estonian unicorn, according to a recent poll from Foundme.

Someone beside energy innovators also sneaked in. Ready Player Me offers a user-friendly tool for creating personalized avatars for gamers, live streamers, and internet users. The startup secured a $56 million Series B investment in 2022 from Andreessen Horowitz and the co-founders of King. It has grown by 7% to 79 employees over the last year.

All in all, Estonian DeepTech companies are now leading the pack, outgrowing other sectors. According to statistics from Startup Estonia, Estonian DeepTech companies reached a record €227.2M in turnover in 2023, a 14% increase from the previous year. More impressively, they have also signed 28 financing deals worth €254 million last year.

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