Despite the hectic times, we are still seeing growth in the Estonian startup sector in terms of number of employees, employment taxes paid, investments raised and turnovers. When comparing startups and other companies in Estonia with the age of up to 5 years, we see that startups create 2,3 times more jobs than other companies. If we look at all the people in the country that worked at least one day in the year 2020, we see that every 89th person in Estonia was somehow involved with startups! Statistics Estonia’s statistics imply that the average monthly gross salary in Estonian startups was 2398 EUR, which is 1,8 times more than Estonian average.
Based on the crowdsourced database and Estonian Startup Database, during 2020, a total of 440,9 M EUR was invested into Estonian startups. In total, there was 76 new investment deals in 2020. In 2019 there were 73 new investment deals and the raised investment amount was 226,4 M EUR. In 2020 we also witnessed a record amount of exits (7!) and the crown jewel of them was Pipedrive, who became the fifth unicorn born in Estionia.
All together there were seven exits in the ecosystem: Pocosys was acquired by Opera, Fortumo was acquired by Boku, Plumbr was acquired by Splunk, Ridango was acquired by BaltCap Private Equity Fund III, Pipedrive was acquired by Vista Equity Partners, Coolbet was acquired by GAN Limited, Language Drops was acquired by Kahoot.
More information about the latest developments in the Estonian startup sector can be found in the latest blog post HERE. Additionally, insights of sectoral developments are described under ‘’Sectors’’ on the left.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2146

AdTech & Creative Tech

Sector covers technologies used in advertising, marketing, media, entertainment, and creative industry. It captures different types of analytics, monitoring and digital tools and systems used in the context of advertising and marketing. Here, we also count startups, containing technologies that use manufactured or created components to enhance or make possible any sort of entertainment experiences (including events and its management tools) and which disseminate, store or produce media (including TV & film) content. Creative technology encompasses art, fashion, digital product design, digital media or advertising and media made with a software-based, electronic and/or data-driven engine.

Sector developments

In 2020 AdTech & Creative Tech sector turnover accounted for 8% of the total turnover generated by the startup sector. During 2020, a total of 2,8 M EUR was invested into AdTech & Creative Tech startups within 7 deals. The biggest investment in 2020 was raised by Outfunnel (1,1 M EUR).
2 AdTech & Creative Tech startups became matured in 2020: Kinotehnik on the III quarter and Realeyes on the IV quarter. From that point on, data from those companies is no longer reflected in statistics and they are added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most AdTech & Creative Tech startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 38 % of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of an AdTech & Creative Tech startup founder is currently 36 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 11%.
Approximately 27% of the employees in the AdTech & Creative Tech sector have foreign citizenship. 59% of employees have higher education and 34% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 52% of employees are working as a top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2071

Advanced Manufacturing & Industry

It is a broad set of enabling technologies, processes and practices that businesses from a wide range of sectors can adopt to improve their productivity and competitiveness. Advanced manufacturing involves smart technology to improve traditional manufacturing of products and/or processes. It also includes fields like industrial robotics, additive manufacturing, 3D printing, advanced materials, industry 4.0, nano-materials and industrial IoT.

Sector developments

In 2020 Advanced Manufacturing & Industry generated an incredible 112% increase in turnover, compared to 2019. During 2020, a total of 44,9 M EUR was invested into Advanced Manufacturing & Industry startups within 5 deals. The biggest investment in 2020 was raised by Skeleton Technologies (41,3 M EUR) and Katana (2,4M EUR) and Timbeter 0,9M EUR.
2 Advanced Manufacturing & Industry startups became matured in 2020: Skeleton Technologies and Difrotec on the III quarter. From that point on, data from those companies is no longer reflected in statistics and they are added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most Advanced Manufacturing & Industry startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 16% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of an Advanced Manufacturing & Industry startup founder is currently 36 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 16%. 54% of employees have higher education and 35% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 54% of employees are working as a top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

1714

AgTech & FoodTech

Sector covers technologies used in agriculture, forestry, fishing, hunting, animal husbandry, food and beverage fields, horticulture, and aquaculture with the aim of improving yield, efficiency, and profitability through information monitoring and analysis of relevant indicators such as weather, pests, and soil and air temperature. Also, scientifically-driven farm practices, equipment or processing including bio-engineered, transgenic crops, proprietary breeding, GPS, water management and improved equipment, conservation-based best management practices, food manufacturing and related advancements. Food technologies consists any technology applied to the production, selling (including supply chain and distribution), or serving food and beverage.

Sector developments

In 2020 AgTech & FoodTech startups generated a 47% increase in turnover, compared to 2019. This increase was most affected by the success of Click&Crow. There was 1 new investment deal in 2020 in the amount of 1,1 M EUR. It was raised by eAgronom.
Most AgTech & FoodTech startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 22% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of an AgTech & FoodTech startup founder is currently 35,7 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 12%.
Approximately 16% of the employees in the AgTech & FoodTech sector have a foreign citizenship. 64% of employees have higher education and 26% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 47% of employees are working as a top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2214

Business software & HR

A broad set of softwares and services that are designed to integrate multiple facets of a company’s business through the interchange of information from various business process areas and related databases. The sector also includes technology and software to provide legal services. Business software aims to improve the enterprise's productivity and efficiency by providing business logic support functionality. Services provided by enterprise software are typically business-oriented tools, such as business and project process management and resource planning, documentation management, human resource management, collaboration, payment and billing systems.

Sector developments

In 2020 Business software, Services & HR sector has been one of the biggest contributors in employment taxes and employee count. Of the startup sector’s total, Business software, Services & HR sector accounted for 13% of the employee count and 19% of employment taxes paid.
During 2020, a total of 20 M EUR was invested into Business software, Services & HR sector startups within 10 investment deals. The biggest investments in 2020 were raised by Brainbase (7,3 M EUR), Klaus (4,6 M EUR), Pactum (2,7M EUR) and Jobbatical (2,6M EUR).
2 Business software, Services & HR sector startups exited in 2020: Pipedrive and Plumbr on the IV quarter. Pipedrive also became our 5th unicorn. From that point on, data from those companies is no longer reflected in statistics and they are added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most Business software, services & HR startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 33% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a Business software, services & HR startup founder is currently 35 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 13%.
Approximately 19% of the employees in the Business software, services & HR sector have a foreign citizenship. 54% of employees have higher education and 40% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 47% of employees are working as a top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

1464

CleanTech

Clean technology is an umbrella term which is used to define technologies which optimize the use of natural resources, produce energy from renewable sources, increase efficiency and productivity, generate less waste and cause less environmental pollution. CleanTech is comprised of sustainable solutions in the fields of energy, water, transportation, agriculture and manufacturing, including green technologies, smart city solutions, advanced material, smart grids, water treatment, efficient energy storage and distributed energy systems.

Sector developments

In 2020 CleanTech startups showed a 26% increase in employee count compared to 2019. Meanwhile, the turnover decreased ca 19% compared to the previous year. During 2020, a total of 2,2 M EUR was invested into CleanTech sector startups in 3 investment deals.
In the IV quarter of 2020 SolNavitas became matured. From that point on, data from this company is no longer reflected in statistics and is added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most CleanTech startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 17% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a CleanTech startup founder is currently 34 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 18%.
Approximately 9,5% of CleanTech sector employees have foreign citizenship. 49% of employees have higher education and 44% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 33% of employees are working as top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2676

Communication

Sector covers technologies used to create, store, transmit, or share information. It includes telecommunication, communications equipment and services, networking solutions and services (also social media and social networking) and internet technologies. Telecommunication is the transmission of signs, signals, messages, words, writings, images and sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems.

Sector developments

In 2020 Communication startups generated an incredible 267% increase in turnover compared to 2019. The sector also showed a remarkable increase in employee count (88% compared to last year). The growth comes from the addition of new startups and the success of the biggest players (OnOFFapp and Salemove).
Most of the Communication startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 38 % of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a Communication startup founder is currently 37 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 23%.
Approximately 24% of the employees in the Communication sector have foreign citizenship. 62% of employees have higher education and 29% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 66% of employees are working as top professionals

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

1360

Consumer products and services

Consumer products and services are electronic or digital equipment, software and services intended for everyday use, including smart devices and software used for entertainment, communications and home-office activities. It includes consumer electronics and home electronics. Apart from traditional consumer electronic products like TVs, smartphones, it includes consumer IoT, AR/VR devices, fitness and wearables, consumer drones, consumer robots, consumer hardware, among others.

Sector developments

In 2020 Consumer Products & Services startups generated a 72% increase in turnover, and employee count (72%) compared to 2019. The growth comes from the addition of new startups and the success of the biggest players (Degritter and Huum). There was 1 new investment deal in 2020 in the amount of 0,1 M EUR, by Checkpot.
Most Consumer products & services startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 27% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a Consumer products & services startup founder is currently 36 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 15%.
Approximately 10% of the employees in the Consumer products & services sector have a foreign citizenship. 51% of employees have higher education and 27% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 40% of employees are working as top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2710

CyberTech

Cybersecurity is the body of technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. It includes application security, information security, network security, disaster recovery, business continuity planning, operational security, and end-user education.

Sector developments

Compared to 2019, CyberTech startups generated an 18% increase in turnover in 2020. Average monthly gross salary in CyberTech sector startups was one of the highest in the startup sector. During 2020 a total of 29,4 M EUR was invested into CyberTech startups within 4 deals. The biggest investments in 2020 were raised by Veriff (14 M EUR) and RangeForce (13,6M EUR).
The proportion of foreign founders in CyberTech is one of the biggest among sectors: 51% of the founders are foreigners. The average age of a CyberTech startup founder is currently 35 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 4%.
Approximately 33% of CybeTech sector employees have foreign citizenship. 60% of employees have higher education and 35% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 47% of employees are working as top professionals and 31% as clerical support workers. 

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2356

DeepTech & SpaceTech

Technologies that are based on tangible engineering innovation or scientific advances and discoveries. It includes space technologies and robotics. DeepTech companies often possess fundamental and defensible engineering innovations that distinguish them from those companies that are focused on the incremental refinement or delivery of standardized technologies or only use business model innovation to create opportunities. DeepTech can span across many technological areas and can impact diverse applications. Space technology includes spacecraft, satellites, space stations, and support infrastructure, equipment, and procedures.

Sector developments

There was 1 new investment deal in 2020 in the amount of 0,2 M EUR, by DriveX.
Most of the DeepTech & SpaceTech startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 10 % of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a DeepTech & SpaceTech startup founder is currently 35 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 10%.
Approximately 20% of the employees in the DeepTech & SpaceTech sector have foreign citizenship. 48% of employees have higher education and 45% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 43% of employees are working as top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

1878

EdTech

Education technology generally describes the digitization of education services and business models. Education technology refers to an area of technology devoted to the development and application of tools (including software, hardware, and processes) intended to redesign traditional products and services in education. It includes software providers or vendors delivering technology solutions to schools at all levels and new and emerging models of delivering better and smarter learning.

Sector developments

The 2020 was challenging for the EdTech sector due to the global spread of the coronavirus and the resulting operational constraints. At the same time, Estonian EdTech companies responded well to the emergency situation announced in mid-March, where all studies were ushered to online channels.
Even though many EdTechs made their services free for schools, they still managed to generate an 9% increase in turnover compared to the 2019. During 2020, a total of 1,3 M EUR was invested into EdTech startups. There have been 2 new investment deals in 2020. The biggest investment in 2020 was raised by Speakly (0,9M EUR).
2 EdTech startups became matured in 2020: Englishlab.net on the III quarter and Language Drops made an exit on the IV quarter. From that point on, data from those companies is no longer reflected in statistics and they are added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most EdTech startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 25% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of an EdTech startup founder is currently 35,8 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 28%, which is significantly higher than the startup sector’s average.
Approximately 25% of the employees in the EdTech sector have foreign citizenship. 63% of employees have higher education and 24% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 58% of employees are working as top professionals.
Read more about developments in EdTech HERE

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2716

FinTech

Financial technology describes the evolving intersection of financial services and technology. It aims to improve existing processes, products, and services in the financial services industry (including insurance) via software and modern technology. Anywhere technology is applied in financial services or used to help companies manage the financial aspects of their business, including new software and applications, processes and business models. FinTech products and services can be found within retail, corporate and investment banking, asset management, transaction banking, insurance, crypto finance and several others.

Sector developments

The FinTech sector is the biggest contributor in employee count and employment taxes paid. Of the startup sector’s total, FinTechs accounted for 28% of the employee count and 29% of employment taxes paid in 2020. Average monthly gross salary in FinTech sector startups was also one of the highest in the Startup sector.
During 2020, a total of 76 M EUR was invested into FinTech startups within 18 deals. The biggest investment in 2020 were raised by Monese (55,4 M EUR), Modularbank (4 M EUR), TaxScouts (5,5 M EUR), 3Commas (2,5 M EUR).
In IV quarter 2020 Wallester became matured. From that point on, data from those companies is no longer reflected in statistics and they are added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most Fintech startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 31% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a Fintech startup founder is currently 36 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 10%.
Approximately 34% of the employees in the FinTech sector have foreign citizenship. 64% of employees have higher education and 25% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 50% of employees are working as top professionals and 28% as clerical support workers.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

1374

Gaming

Gaming involves the development, marketing, and monetization of video games and gambling machines, as well as associated services. Gaming is the running of specialized applications known as electronic games or video games on game consoles like Xbox and PlayStation or on personal computers or mobile phones. Mobile gaming overtakes console and PC gaming to become the largest segment. eSports is one of the fastest growing segments.

Sector developments

There was 1 investment deal in 2020 in the amount of 1 M EUR, by Wolf3D.
In the I quarter of 2020, Creative Mobile became matured and in the IV quarter of 2020 Coolbet made an exit. From that point on, data from those companies is no longer reflected in statistics and they are added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most Gaming startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 35% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a Gaming startup founder is currently 34,8 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 14%.
Approximately 29% of Gaming sector employees have a foreign citizenship. 52% of employees have higher education and 37% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 60% of employees are working as top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

1737

HealthTech, Life sciences & Wellness

Sector uses digital technology to maintain or improve health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, and injuries. It also covers occupational health and safety, sport, welfare and elderly care technologies. Sector includes drugs, medical technologies like diagnostics, monitoring and other devices (e.g. catheters, stents, etc.), hospital and physician costs, dental costs, home health care, unreimbursed insurance, and some other expenses related to healthcare. Overall physical wellness encourages the balance of physical activity (sport and fitness), nutrition and mental well-being to keep body in top condition.

Sector developments

In 2020, HealthTech, Life Sciences & Wellness startups generated an incredible 149% increase in turnover, compared to 2019. The growth comes from the addition of new startups. During 2020, a total of 3,5 M EUR was invested into HealthTech, Life Sciences & Wellness startups in 3 investment deals. The biggest investment in 2020 was raised by Viveo Health (2 M EUR).
In the III quarter of 2020 Sportlyzer became matured. From that point on, data from those companies is no longer reflected in statistics and they are added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most of the HealthTech, Life sciences & Wellness startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 31% of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a HealthTech, Life sciences & Wellness startup founder is currently 38 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 30% which is significantly higher than the startup sector’s average.
Approximately 13% of HealthTech, Life sciences & Wellness sector employees have a foreign citizenship. 78% of employees have higher education and 17% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 38% of employees are working as top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

1889

PropTech & Construction

Property technology is the use of information technology to help individuals and companies research, buy, sell and manage real estate. These technologies include property management using digital dashboards, smart home technology, research and analytics, listing services/tech-enabled brokerages, mobile applications, residential and commercial lending, 3D-modeling for online portals, automation, crowdfunding real estate projects, shared spaces management, as well as organising, analysing, and extracting key data from lengthy rental documents. Construction technology refers to the collection of innovative tools, machinery, modifications, software, etc. used during the construction phase of a project that enables advancement in field construction methods, including semi-automated and automated construction equipment.

Sector developments

During 2020, a total of 1,9 M EUR was invested into PropTech & Construction startups, in 5 investment deals. The biggest investment in 2020 was raised by Rendin (1,2 M EUR).
Most of the PropTech & Construction startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 23 % of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a PropTech & Construction startup founder is currently 38 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 8%.
56% of PropTech & Construction sector employees have higher education and 22% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 55% of employees are working as top professionals.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2775

Transportation & Logistics

Transportation and logistics technology refers to tools and machines used to solve problems or improve conditions in respect to the movement of people and goods. It includes new transportation technologies such as intelligent transport systems (ITS), connected and autonomous vehicles, alternative fuels, keyless fleet management and traffic analytics and management, as well as local zoning and planning policies that support transit-oriented development. Logistics technologies help to manage the process of planning and executing the efficient transportation (including shipping) and storage of goods from the point of origin to the point of consumption. It includes machine-to-machine connectivity, radio frequency identification (RFID), automatic identification and data capture (AIDC), and Internet of Things (IoT).

Sector developments

In 2020, Transportation & Logistics sector has been one of the biggest contributors in employment taxes and employee count. Of the startup sector’s total, Transportation & Logistics sector accounted for 17,5% of the employee count and 17,6% of employment taxes paid. Average monthly gross salary in Transportation & Logistics sector startups was also one of the highest in the Startup sector. Transportation & Logistics is also the biggest contributor in turnover. In 2020, it accounted for 46% of the total turnover of the startup sector. This figure was heavily influenced by Bolt, with 332 M eur generated in turnover.
During 2020, a total of 269,4 M EUR has been invested into Transportation & Logistics startup, within 11 investment deals. The biggest investment in 2020 were raised by Bolt (250 M EUR) and Planet42 (12 M EUR).
In III quarter of 2020 Ridango became matured. From that point on, data from those companies is no longer reflected in statistics and they are added into Matured startups and Exits section in the database.
Most Transportation & Logistics startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 23 % of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a Transportation & Logistics startup founder is currently 37 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 11%.
Approximately 23% ofTransportation & Logistics sector employees have foreign citizenship. 53% of employees have higher education and 33% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 43% of employees are working as top professionals and 27% as clerical support workers.

Startups in this sector

Stats updated

Employees

Turnover

Avg. gross wage

2048

TravelTech

Travel technology consists technologies used in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Some forms of travel technology are flight tracking, trip planning, journey planner, booking price tracking and so on. Travel technology also include virtual tourism in the form of virtual tour technologies, analysis, design, implementation and application of IT and e-commerce solutions in the travel&tourism industry, as well as the analysis of the respective economic processes and market structures and customer relationship management.

Sector developments

In 2020, TravelTech startups generated a 65% increase in turnover, and the employee account increased 250% compared to 2019.The growth comes from the addition of new startups, who previously were not listed in the Estonian Startup Database.

There has been 1 new investment deal in 2020 in the amount of 4 M EUR, by Bob W.
Most TravelTech startup founders have Estonian citizenship, with 23 % of startup founders being foreigners. The average age of a TravelTech startup founder is currently 38 years. The proportion of female startup founders in this sector is around 8%.
65% of TravelTech employees have higher education and 22% of employees have general education or vocational education based on secondary education. 55% of employees are working as top professionals.
See the full list in the Estonian Startup Database here