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Estonian startup sector is growing and becoming more diversified

In the first 6 months of the year, €117 million were invested in Estonian startup companies.

Investments were involved through 24 new transactions, giving an average of €4.4 million per investment. Although the investment volume has decreased compared to yoy, the number of investments has still increased – there were 37 investments in 2018 altogether.

The biggest investments this year were received by Bolt (€60 million), Glia (€18 million), Realeyes (€11 million), Coolbet (€7.6 million), and TBD-Biodiscovery (€4.5 million).


The employee count in Estonian startups is on the rise

There are 44% more people working in local startups compared to yoy. In the first half-year, 650 Estonian startups paid nearly €33 million in labour taxes, which is 57% more than in the first half of the previous year.

According to Maarika Truu, head of Startup Estonia, the sustainability of our startup sector is not just about increasing figures. “Diversity is the cornerstone of a sustainable and developing startup ecosystem. And diversity should be understood to mean the cultural, religious, socio-economic as well as educational background of the people involved. For a successful company, it is not absolutely necessary to have people that think alike, but a functioning combination of different visions, experience and skills, that through common goals and work, create the necessary competitive advantage for the company. I am pleased that the Estonian startup sector is becoming precisely like this and an increasing number of founders want to develop their company here.”

Altogether 4,806 people work for local startups, which is 44% more compared to yoy. Out of the employees, 46% are women and 54% men, and nearly half of the employees in the sector have a university degree. Fifteen percent of the founders of startups are women; we can also find a similar proportion for example in Germany, Silicon Valley and Singapore. Most of the Estonian startups are founded by people aged 25-40 and with a university degree.

According to Moonika Mällo, who is responsible for monitoring the startup sector in Startup Estonia, most of the labour taxes are paid by the startups in the financial technology, business software, and service, transport and logistics areas. “Although, the average gross salaries of startups are higher than the Estonian average, they are still lagging behind the average gross wages paid in the three highest-paid fields.”


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