Estonia is among top three countries in Europe to create a startup, according to EU-Startups. Just as Forbes predicted at the beginning of the summer, Tallinn has risen into a startup hub, attracting tons of large-scale startup investments.
EU-Startups.com also points out that Estonia has a very flexible corporate tax framework that attracts many foreign companies to start their activities here (read more about The world’s best tax system Estonia has to offer).
The country has no corporate income tax on retained and reinvested profits. This means that the tax system is particularly suitable for companies that are planning rapid international growth – you can spend the funds you would otherwise pay as taxes to the government, on innovating.
Estonia’s e-Residency program is world-famous as it was the first of its kind anywhere on Earth and as the country’s e-residents can manage their Estonian company remotely.
The vitality of Estonian startups is confirmed once again by the latest business and investment news below.
#2 Daimler is enthusiastic about Estonian startups: they show ambition but have their feet on the ground
Despite strong competition in the world for giant investors, Estonia has received investments from one of the largest car manufacturers, Daimler AG. As the transport and logistic sectors are in the process of the change, German car manufacturer Daimler has invested in Estonian startups such as Bolt and Starship Technologies.
“Bolt is complementing our current mobility portfolio very nicely,” said Björn Avemark, Head of Business Development and Portfolio Management at Daimler Mobility AG. “There was a focus on Central and Eastern Europe and Africa at that point in time. It was a perfect fit to the strong position that we have in Western Europe and in Latin America. Secondly, the management team, their vision, clear focus on execution and the track record in delivering results have made us very confident so far that this is the right startup to invest in. Up to now we are very happy, and we concluded a second follow-up investment in 2019,” Björn Avemark added.
“We believe that robotic delivery has a bright future,” said Steven Kasih, Head of Shared People Mobility at Future Transportation at Mercedes-Benz Vans. “This is a market that will grow rapidly. In this context we identified Starship Technologies as the best-in-class player and invested. Also because we were deeply impressed by the team of Starship: the talent, the technology which they have developed, and the true startup spirit with the ambition to make something big,” Steven Kasih explained.
Estonian delivery robots have already conquered the roads, and now Estonian-created robotic vessel Nymo is taking on the seas. Nymo is developed by scientists from the Department of Electrical Power Engineering and Mechatronics of TalTech. This is the first project of its kind in Estonia: unlike airborne and land-based robots, Estonia has not yet seen autonomous vessels on water.
According to Tehnikamaailm, the goal of this project is to build a complete, fully electric robotic vessel that can autonomously navigate both in harbour and at sea, avoid obstacles, complete a given mission, is aware of its energy consumption and reserves, is able to return on time and can be manually controlled by radio, if necessary.
After finishing the prototype, the team will focus on specialisation – whether the vessel robot will start transporting rubbish or parcels from the islands to the mainland, or why not both, or the vessel starts mapping the seabed or monitoring the sea, looking for pollutants discharged into the sea.
Whatever tasks the robotic vessel will perform in the future, attention must be paid in phase II to carrying capacity. The aim is for the vessel to be able to carry up to two full European pallets. A catamaran-type hull is probably the best solution.
“Estonia could be a suitable country to develop and test a robotic vessel, because we have the competence in the respective disciplines and the communication with various organisations and institutions is flexible and fast,” said Meelis Mäesalu, Director of OÜ MEC Insenerilahendused.
Estonian parcel locker and fulfillment robotics provider Cleveron has had a productive decade. Over the last year alone Cleveron has launched a grocery robot, opened a robotics academy, expanded to 21 countries, and has been awarded as the best last mile delivery innovator and this year’s exporter of Estonia.
In November, Cleveron presented a new parcel robot Cleveron 403 specially designed for smaller format stores. The new robot acts as a self-service pickup, issuing a parcel to the client in 10 seconds. The compact size and affordable price make it an effective alternative to manual parcel handout and to traditional parcel lockers. The smallest model holds 157 parcels on just 6 m2.
Estonia has had an artificial intelligence or kratt strategy since summer 2019. The strategy includes creating a free-to-use AI toolbox for private and public sectors that is now becoming a reality.
The first base component for future artificial intelligence (AI) based applications, which all parties from the public and private sectors alike are free to use and develop in accordance with their needs, has reached the source code repository of the Estonian state, ERR announced.
The first base component for AI-based solutions published is the textual analysis tool created by Texta OÜ. The first tool has already been used by several institutions such as the Ministry of Education and Research and the Ministry of Justice to streamline their work processes and automate routine activities.
Texta tool allows to identify documents which have gone public without permission or stripe personal data from judicial decisions, where punishments are expunged, and make the decisions available in the court information system again.
However, world-class human capital, unique digital capabilities, a competitive business environment with advantageous tax system make Estonia a smart, agile location for businesses with global ambitions.
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