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Head of Estonian Investment Agency: we can grow investments after COVID-19 through mapping startup innovation

"At Invest in Estonia, we have a mandate to grow investment coming into the country and create jobs," Head of the Estonian Investment Agency Raido Lember told the latest issue of FDI Intelligence magazine. "We map the innovations our startup ecosystem is producing and offer it to large corporations outside the country and their venture capital arms. We’re a startup nation."

“Startups can make big companies more efficient, and at the same time big companies can provide startups with the growth capital and long-term support,” he added in his interview, bringing the example of Daimler AG that invested $175M in Estonia’s ride-hailing company Bolt in May 2018, pushing Bolt’s valuation beyond $1bn.

“It’s a great example of how startups can scale up from Estonia, Bolt’s headquarters are still in the country, and now they are growing their own capital and reinvesting it in the ecosystem,” Lember explained, stressing that the situation after the spread of COVID-19 is a perfect situation for large companies and start-ups to collaborate.

Having a digital agency is the key to success

“Estonia is competing with all the other countries for investments daily, and in addition to that, there is competition with regional entities within those states,” Lember told Enterprise Estonia’s website, commenting on Invest in Estonia being named the region’s leading investment promotion agency by Emerging Europe recently. “This means that in the competition we must act like a private company. To be the best, we need to find new ways to be more effective and more innovative and develop our competences in order to offer better and better solutions to enable our investors to develop their businesses.”

This is why the Estonian Investment Agency has chosen the path of having a truly digital investment promotion agency. As Raido Lember told FDI Intelligence: “We’re hungry for more efficient ways of working!”

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