Despite the global coronavirus crisis, Estonian startups generated EUR 364.5 million in turnover in the first six months of 2020, up by 40% YoY, Startup Estonia reported.
Among Estonian startups, the biggest turnovers were generated in the six-month period by Bolt (EUR 132.7 million), Pipedrive (EUR 30.6 million), Adcash (EUR 16.5 million), Starship Technologies (EUR 8.9 million) and Fiizy (EUR 7.7 million).
Maarika Truu, manager of Startup Estonia, said that like many others, the startup sector was affected by COVID-19.
She added that despite the hectic times, growth could still be seen in the Estonian startup sector in terms of the number of employees, employment taxes paid, investments raised and turnovers.
Truu said in a press release: “At the same time, we need to consider that the COVID-19 outbreak has had its effect on startups’ turnover as well. Compared to the first quarter, there was a decrease in turnover of 17% in the second quarter. Estonian startup sector has shown great resilience this year, starting the year with record-breaking news and celebrations from 2019 and riding straight into the COVID-19 related unknown. We were prepared for an even bigger impact by the pandemic reflected in our startup sector half-year statistics.”
Statistics from the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (MTA) showed that at the end of the second quarter of 2020, Estonian startups employed 6,084 people locally, up by 15%. However, employee numbers have grown by only 1% compared to the end of 2019, revealing a significant impact from COVID-19.
The top employers in the Estonian startup sector are Transferwise with 954 employees and 61 new hires, followed by Bolt with 547 employees and 48 new hires, Pipedrive with 386 employees, Veriff with 226 employees and Monese with 140 employees.
According to Statistics Estonia (Statistikaamet), during the first six months of 2020, the average monthly gross salary in Estonian startups was EUR 2,508, up 1.8-fold from the Estonian average. Employees aged 41-50 earn the biggest average monthly gross wage, EUR 3,385, followed by employees aged 31-40, whose average monthly gross wage is EUR 2,932. The average monthly gross wage for foreign employees is EUR 2,506.
Based on the crowdsourced database and Estonian Startup Database, a total of EUR 142.7 million was invested into Estonian startups during the first half of the year. In total, there have been 35 new investment deals this year. In the first half of 2019, there were 27 new investment deals, worth altogether EUR 119 million.
The biggest investments in the first half of 2020 were raised by Bolt (EUR 100 million), followed by Veriff with EUR 14 million, Pactum with EUR 2.7 million, Milrem Robotics with EUR 2.7 million and Jobbatical with EUR 2.6 million. (ERR/Business World Magazine)