Newspaper names TransferWise founders the richest Estonians of 2018

Äripäev, the only business-oriented daily newspaper in Estonia, has published its annual richest Estonians’ list and named the two founders of the money-moving company, TransferWise, the richest citizens of the country.

According to the daily, the richest Estonian citizen is Kristo Käärmann, estimating his worth at €258.2 million (USD297.4 million). The other co-founder of TransferWise, Taavet Hinrikus, is listed as the second-richest with an estimated worth of €238.6 million (USD274.8 million).

TransferWise was established in London by Hinrikus and Käärmann in 2011.

Importance of IT companies and startups grown significantly

The newspaper notes that since 2017, the importance of information technology companies and startups has grown significantly.

“The overall wealth of the 500 richest Estonian entrepreneurs is €13.2 billion euros this year; a year ago that amount came to €11.8 billion and in 2016 – €11 billion,” the paper says.

The most newcomers among the 500 richest Estonians are also employed by the information technology sector, it adds.

The third in the top 500 richest Estonians’ list is Raul Kirjanen, the CEO of a company called Graanul Invest. His estimated worth is €212.6 million.

He is followed by Markus Villig, the CEO of Taxify, a ridesharing company, whose worth is estimated at €202.6 million.

The business daily Äripäev has published the annual top 500 richest Estonians’ list for decades.


Cover: Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus (TransferWise).

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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