Estonia: the European Silicon Valley

What’s common between Skype, TransferWise and Pipedrive? They are all Estonian startups. With just over 1.3 million people, this tiny CEE country has become a digital nation in its true sense. There are roughly about 350 startups in Estonia – one for each for every 3,700 citizens. Surely, the country isn’t lacking in entrepreneurial spirit.

Post its liberation from the Soviet Union, Estonia rebuilt itself from scratch. This offered them the opportunity to focus on the internet and new technologies in their development agenda and become the tech centre in Europe. In 2000, Estonia became the first country to declare the internet as a basic human right. The country was also the first to conduct elections online in 2005. Whether you want to pay taxes, set up a business, file a complaint, claim returns, you can do it all online.
 
Estonia
 
Estonia runs itself like a tech startup. Apart from e-government and technology education right from 1st grade, the country is also the most transparent and the least corrupt in the CEE region. Estonia’s economic freedom is regarded as one of the highest in the World and the best in the CEE region.

With so many things going for the country, Estonia has naturally become an European startup hub for and a hotbed for companies which are ringing in global acclaim and raising millions of dollars. We look at 5 startups from Estonia which are making all the right noises.

Jobbatical.com

Launched in 2014, Jobbatical is an online portal where tech enthusiasts and creatives meet employers across the globe who want to borrow their skills for a while. The Tallinn-based startup is building a global marketplace for ‘career adventures’. They match the ‘skill set and travel aspirations’ and match them with companies around the world who’re looking for talent. It’s the solution for millennials to find jobs abroad along with visa and immigration assistance. The mantra is to enable people to work where they are happy. This Estonian startup founded by Karoli Hindriks has already raised around $3.9 million from 15 investors.

Note: Karoli’s husband Allan Martinson is the COO at Starship Robots which is the world’s first World’s first 24/7 on-demand Delivery Robot.

Autolevi

Autolevi’s mission is simple. The would like to live in a world with fewer cars, fewer traffic jams, and less pollution. And they’re on their way to achieving this mission by deploying the first peer-to-peer car rental system.

Think of it as Airbnb for cars. Car owners can rent their cars to others when they are not using them. This helps in generating extra money and potentially even earn back the car’s value. It’s super easy to sign up both as a renter and an owner. Currently, Autolevi has more than 800 cars on its roster spreading across Estonia, Latvia, and Finland.

Autolevi

Sorry As A Service

All business owners spend a substantial amount of their budget on acquiring customers, only to lose them because of poor after-sales-service. What if you could get back your customers even after their negative experience? All companies make mistakes, the differentiating factor is what you do with those mistakes.

Sorry As A Service is an online system that delivers customer happiness (handmade gifts) all over the world. This brand new customer retention platform enables businesses to send apologies, measure, track and optimize their retention activities and reduce churn. With offices in Tallinn, Tartu, and London, Sorry As A Service integrates with all the top CRM platforms and helps to predict churn when a customer complaints or faces an issue and then suggests the most effective solution to rebuilding the relationship.
 

 
Read also: 5 tips to deal with negative reviews like a pro.

Deekit

In the Romani language, Deek means ‘to look’. Founded by a group of ex-Skype engineers, Deekit is the world’s most collaborative whiteboard.

Not only for teams building software, but also in education and other businesses drawing on whiteboards is a daily activity. And for teams that are distributed, there’s no good way to collaborate with people in real-time, especially if you’re bandwidth restricted. Deekit helps users to draw and share their ideas on an online whiteboard in real-time. You can either start from scratch or use any of their pre-made templates, each with their own focus. What makes this Estonian startup stand out is that users can collaborate in real-time even on very slow connectivity.

Deekit

If you’re interested in joining an European startup hub which gathers other entrepreneurs, remote workers, and like-minded people talking about startups and remote team culture, click here to join Deekit’s Slack group.

RebelRoam

The new age travelers expect good quality internet across everywhere. Buses, trains, and other transportation providers are losing customers due to poor or negligible internet connectivity. The issue is also quite expensive and an added burden on the transport providers to solve.

RebelRoam has put together the first cross-border passenger WiFi service ‘in-a-box’. In short, it provides internet-as-a-service for all moving vehicles. Their solutions cover everything that you need to get online, even when traveling across borders. It includes the Wi-Fi router, World or Europe-wide 4G/LTE data plan, cloud-based monitoring and management platform and support.
 
 

 
Do you want to set up your own startup? Check where are the best places to establish a company, apart from Estonia.

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