Estonia has been called the “most advanced digital society in the world”. The country established e-Governance as early as 1997, allowing citizens to access many public services online, and in 2000 the country declared access to the Internet a basic human right. In 2001 it created the Digital Identity Card, which allows all citizens to access everything from transportation to their medical records. And in 2005, Estonia became the first country in the world to allow citizens to vote online.
This background of a high-tech, digital society with low tax rates has made Estonia the Silicon Valley of Eastern Europe. Despite being a small country with only 1.3 million people, country’s tech startup ecosystem continues to grow, with startups raising around €330 million in 2018.
Here are 10 exceptionally promising Estonian startups to watch in 2019 and beyond:
eAgronom – Founded in 2016, this agtech startup provides farmers with a set of convenient and intuitive digital tools to simplify daily and seasonal farm management. The startup’s web and mobile platforms allow farmers to manage and oversee their entire farm, employees, and fields in real time. As a planning and management tool, eAgronom helps grain farmers to make better financial decisions and reduce their risks through proper planning and task timing. Case studies have shown that eAgronom can save farmers tens to hundreds of thousands of euros per year. Based in Tartu, eAgronom has already expanded to nine countries and is used to manage over 700,000 hectares of grain land, and raised a €1 million round in 2018.
MeetFrank – This Tallinn-based anonymous HR recruiting app already counts 125,000 active users in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania, and most recently, Germany. Over 2,000 companies currently use MeetFrank’s service to attract new employees through its recruiting app. In Germany, a number of major companies using the app such as Daimler, Eon, Delivery Hero, Blinkist, High Mobility, and MyTaxi. Potential employees sign up anonymously through the MeetFrank app, and receive relevant job postings based on their qualifications and career aspirations. Founded in 2017, MeetFrank raised €1 million in 2018 from Hummingbird VC, Karma VC, and Change Ventures.
Modash – Founded in 2018, this new startup allows marketers to find and collaborate with a network of 100 million social media influencers on Twitch and Instagram, in order to build effective influencer marketing campaigns at scale. Its platform allows businesses to access the most powerful influencer audience data in the world, identify and communicate with the best influencers for their market, assign them tasks, and track the ROI for influencer marketing campaigns. Modash already counts among its customers other Estonian startups including Lift99, Taxify, and Veriff, and raised €100k in December 2018.
Nowescape – Founded in 2016 in Tallinn, Nowescape is like Booking.com – but for escape rooms and other reality games. Escape rooms have become popular in the past decade in North America, Europe and Asia, as spaces to play in-person adventure games using clues and strategy. Recognising that gamers often spend hours finding the right escape rooms, Nowescape created a platform to allow them to find rooms within 11 minutes. Nowescape provides marketing, sales, booking, payment options, newsletters, and customer feedback for escape room owners, while providing the easiest and fastest way to book escape rooms for customers. Nowescape has raised €305k in seed rounds to date.
Veriff.me – Tallinn-based Veriff provides innovative online identity verification solutions to businesses. The startup has developed a way to verify people’s identities by analysing videos. Veriff combines all possible ID technologies (including facial recognition, social ID, device ID, and optical character recognition) to conclude if a person is who they claim to be based on provided data. Founded in 2015, Veriff raised a $7.7 million Series A round in 2018.
appmediation – Based in Tallin with an office in Barcelona and founded in 2017, this smart app monetization platform was created by the experts in data-driven marketing and advertising, and is designed to help app developers fully harness the potential of their inventory. The appmediation platform offers simple SDK integration, multi-format monetization, smart optimisation, and is easy to set up for all types of apps. The startup’s mission is to provide the most efficient ad mediation service for app publishers.
HealthCode AI – Just founded in 2018 in Tallinn, this startup has is developing an AI-based diagnostic platform for physicians. The platform is attempting to address the global shortage of doctors – who often work over 50 hours per week, spend an average of just eight minutes with patients, and are increasingly suffering from burnout. HealthCode AI connects patients to their physicians, providing data through its machine learning platform. The startup’s solution, Leia, frees up time for physicians through pre-evaluation, preparing a disease overview, and giving a probable diagnosis. HealthCode AI currently employs a team of people, with combined experience of over 50 years in healthcare.
Withyou – Based in Tallinn and founded in 2018, this startup relieves the awkwardness of certain social situations and facilitates connection, whether it be in professional networking or dating. Withyou issues tokens that allow customers to connect with anyone they’ve ever met on a street, during an event or at any other moment. If you’ve ever met someone of interest, only to lose them in a crowd, Withyou can help – you can just pass the token to the person and wait for their reaction. If the interest is mutual, the contact will be reciprocated – allowing you to develop the relationship further.
Tebo – This Tallinn-based edtech startup allows teachers to organise all of their materials, by uploading their files and creating new ones on its platform. Teachers can also add links and videos to their collection, and the site provides templates for interactive exercises like creating quizzes and assignments, lesson plans or syllabi, and lets teachers automatically assign homework or tests to students. The platform can also automatically evaluate students’ performance on certain assignments. Students are also able to create content on the site, and the platform can be accessed by teachers and students from any digital device. Founded in 2015, the startup raised an undisclosed seed round in 2016 and received a €50k grant in 2017.
SprayPrinter – Street artists need no longer rely on cardboard stencils. SprayPrinter has created a smart spray can technology which projects photos from smartphonesonto different surfaces. Users just need one of SprayPrinter’s propietary spraycans, the smartphone app and spray cans. The phone tracks the movements of the printer, and tells it when to release paint and when not to.
Based in Tartu, SprayPrinter was founded in 2015. The startup held a successful global crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo which resulted with over 200 pre-orders, and has raised €58k to date.
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