The total turnover of the Estonian startup sector exceeds the €1.5 billion mark

The combined turnover of Estonian startups increased to €1.5 billion in the three quarters of 2022, which is 64 per cent more compared with the same period last year.

Estonian startups also attracted a record amount of investments, a total of €1.2 billion, including 40 transactions larger than one million euros.

Last year, the turnover of the startup sector was €1.4 billion, which means that last year’s result was surpassed in the first nine months of this year. At the end of the third quarter of 2021, the total turnover of startups was €927 million, marking an increase of 64 per cent.

The manager of Startup Estonia, Eve Peeterson, said times are difficult in the world, but Estonian startups are continuing strong growth.

Veriff founders Kaarel Kotkas and Janer Gorohhov. Veriff had the second-highest turnover in the first three quarters of 2022. Photo by Jake Farra.

Almost 1,500 startups operating in Estonia

“Estonia has a very strong international reputation and in difficult times the solid foundation built over the years works in our favor. The experience of our startup entrepreneurs, who have already repeatedly proven to investors, customers and employees that they can adapt quickly in difficult times and turn changed circumstances and market situation to their advantage, definitely also plays a key role,” Peeterson said.

The highest turnover in the first three quarters of this year, €775.3 million, was generated by Bolt, followed by Veriff with €50.5 million, Swappie with €47.6 million, Comodule with €27.8 million and Starship Technologies with €24.6 million.

The turnover data for the enterprises is the data published quarterly by the Tax and Customs Board on the basis of VAT returns submitted by the businesses, which is why these data are not comparable to the data contained in the taxable person’s annual report. However, they still provide the best possible current overview of the current state and growth of the sector.

According to the database managed by Startup Estonia, there are 1,446 startups operating in Estonia, of which 418 or 29 per cent of startups in the database have been operating for five years or more.

Starship delivery robots pictured in the US. Photo by Starship.

€1.2 billion in investments in three quarters

According to the Tax and Customs Board, startups paid a total of €134 million in labour taxes to the state, which represents an increase of 48 per cent. At the same time last year, startups paid €90.5 million in labor taxes to the state.

Estonian startups attracted €1.2 billion of investments in the three quarters of this year, a total of 61 transactions were made with investors. The average transaction size was €19.3 million. There were a total of 40 investments larger than one million euros. 

At the same time a year ago, the volume of investments involved was €870 million, 66 transactions were carried out and the average transaction size was €13.2 million, while there were 34 investments larger than one million euros.

Peeterson added that both Estonian and international investors had strong faith in Estonian startups.

The head of Startup Estonia, Eve Peeterson.

Many Estonian startups attract increasingly large investments

“This is proven by the total value of the transactions and the statistics show that in addition to the flagships of the Estonian startup sector, many other Estonian startups are also attracting increasingly large investments,” she said.

The largest investments in the third quarter of 2022 were involved by Ready Player Me with €55.1 million, Monese with €35 million, Lightyear with €25 million, Klaus with €12 million and Jobbatical with €11.6 million.

Startup Estonia brings together and supports Estonian startup entrepreneurs. It collects data in cooperation with startups based on the latter’s information as well as data from the Tax and Customs Board and Statistics Estonia. Startup Estonia’s program is implemented by the Kredex foundation while activities in the program’s research incubator are implemented by Smartcap.

The Startup Estonia program is funded from the resources of the European Regional Development Fund.

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