Estonian startups attract €102.5 million in investments in 2016

Estonian startups attracted €102.5 million in investments in 2016 with the average deal size of €2.5 million, according to the statistics compiled by Startup Estonia.

2016 was a record year for the country’s startups in terms of attracting investments, even though by Christmas, it looked like 2016 would be a step back from the previous year. “But with Pipedrive, Monese and Starship Technologies announcing huge rounds in January that deals dating back to 2016, it made the past year the most successful funding year for Estonian startups yet,” Startup Estonia, a governmental initiative aimed at supercharging the Estonian startup ecosystem, announced.

Altogether, Estonian startups have raised €370 million in the last 10 years with more than 80% of it from foreign investors.

The average deal size of the 40 deals recorded in 2016 was €2,5 million.

Transferwise is the biggest contributor

“Taking a closer look, the biggest contributor, Transferwise, raised €48 million in 2015 and €23,5 million in 2016,” Startup Estonia said. The end of the year displayed a huge investment activity with Starship Technologies raising €16,5 million, Pipedrive attracting €16 million and Monese raising €9,4 million. “Most notable initial rounds in 2016 were done by Leapin (€200,000); Shipitwise, who raised two rounds on the Funderbeam platform (€176,000 and €181,000); Globalreader (€165,000); and Transferfast (€150,000).

At the end of 2016, there were a little over 400 startups in Estonia and roughly 90% of them were in the very early – prototyping, seed – or early stages of development.

What comes to taxes, then last year, Estonian startups paid €28 million in employment taxes, compared with €21 million the year before.

The number of people employed in Estonian startups grew rapidly and had reached 3,500 people by the end of 2016. Compared with the end of 2015, that number had grown by a thousand people. “The general rule of thumb shows that 3/4 of all people employed by the Estonian startups are employed in Estonia, meaning approximately 800 of the new jobs were created in Estonia and 200 outside of the country,” according to Startup Estonia.

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About the author: Sten Hankewitz

Sten Hankewitz is a lifelong journalist and Deputy Editor at Estonian World. Having lived in Estonia, Spain, the UK and all around the US, he now resides in Chicago, IL. He loves to write and besides working at Estonian World and doing some occasional blogging, he writes books and contributes to other outlets in Estonia, Israel and elsewhere. He has strong convictions and he shows them unashamedly. You can follow him on Twitter, like his page on Facebook or check out his personal blog. You can write to Sten at