Estonia now has one thousand startups – 350 more than half a year ago

According to the statistics, compiled by Startup Estonia, there are now one thousand startups registered in Estonia – a growth of 350 when compared with only half a year ago.

Startup Estonia’s statistics on the biggest employers, investments, employment taxes paid, turnovers and more in the year 2019 reveals that half a year ago, there were around 650 startups registered in the country. By the beginning of 2020, this number had grown to 1,000.

The statistics also shows that in 2019, Estonian startups generated €395.4 million in turnover, which is 9% more than in 2018 (€363.8 million). The biggest turnover belonged to the business software, services and HR sector (€106.7 million), followed by the adtech and creative tech sector (€65 million) and the fintech sector (€46.8 million).

Top startups account for 57% of the new jobs created

The clearest impact of Estonian startups on Estonian economy is the increasing sums of employment taxes paid. While in 2017, startups employment tax contribution was €36 million, it increased to €53 million in 2018 (+48%) and to €77 million in 2019 (+46%).

“The startup sector statistics is becoming increasingly exciting, especially thanks to all of the new information we know now. Due to the obligation to employers to register their employees, we have a better understanding of what are the professions the people are employed in,” Maarika Truu, the head of Startup Estonia, said in a statement. “The fact that 45% of the people are in the professional major group shows we have high-quality jobs and employees in different areas.”

At the end of 2019, Estonian startups employed 5,944 people locally. At the end of 2018, this figure was 4,529, meaning that the yearly growth has been 31%.

“The top 20 startups in Estonia account for an astonishing 57% of the new jobs created in the sector in 2019. Top employers in Estonian startups are Transferwise (893 employees), Bolt (499 employees), Pipedrive (391 employees), Veriff (305 employees) and Starship Technologies (186 employees),” Startup Estonia said.

Over two thirds of the startups’ employees are Estonian citizens

The top recruiters’ list of 2019 is quite similar. Veriff is at the top with 240 new hires in 2019, growing their team +370%, followed by Bolt (+233), Transferwise (+141), Pipedrive (+71) and Paxful (+67).

A closer look at the demographics of startup employees in Estonia shows that 36% of startup workers are women and 64% are men. The staff of the country’s startups is relatively young: 52% of people are in the age between 21-30 and 36% are in the age between 31-40. The rest of the age groups have significantly fewer people – there are 2% up to 20-year-olds, 8% are in the age of 41-50 and 3% are aged over 51.

“Approximately 22% of the startup employees have foreign citizenship (6% of them have EU citizenship and 16% non-EU citizenship), 68% have Estonian citizenship and there is also 10% whose citizenship we couldn’t confirm,” Startup Estonia added.

The biggest investment into a startup was €128 million

According to the crowdsourced database and the Estonian Startup Database, €258.3 million were invested into Estonian startups in 2019. “Even though the total investment amount in 2019 is smaller than in 2018 (€330 million), we see the total number of deals increasing significantly. In total, there were 71 new investment deals in 2019, which is almost double when compared with 2018 (40). Also, 28 deals in 2019 were at least €1 million or more, compared with 2018 when the same number was 20.

The biggest investments in 2019 were made into Bolt (€128 million), followed by Starship Technologies (€36 million), Glia (€18 million), Realeyes (€11 million), Skyselect (€9 million), Coolbet (€7.6 million) and Xolo (€5.5 million).

Startup Estonia is a governmental initiative financed by the European Regional Development Fund, aimed at supercharging the Estonian startup ecosystem.

Cover: Veriff, an online identity verification startup, grew their team by 370% in 2019 alone. Here, the company’s founder Kaarel Kotkas takes a look at their system with staff members.

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