Startup Estonia: Chapter 2021 of the Estonian startup sector

In 2021, the Estonian startup ecosystem witnessed several significant moments. Wise became the first Estonian decacorn, investments into Estonian startups more than doubled compared to 2020 and the turnover of startups showed a very high growth rate. Our startups are getting more mature while offering jobs to more than 8100 people and paying 125M EUR in employment taxes in 2021. Furthermore, 4 startups successfully exited and 3 new unicorns were born. Let’s dig deeper to 2021 in the Estonian startup scene!

To date, the Estonian Startup Database is home to 1301 startups, with 121 new startups created so far in 2021 and 2022. Since the interactive nature of the database, this is not a finite number, as a lot of startups founded in the given year will be added later on. To date, the database contains 195 startups registered in Estonia during 2020 and 237 startups registered during 2019. According to the State of European Tech 2021 by Atomico: on a per capita basis, Estonia retains its leadership position as the region’s most entrepreneurial country for tech startups. Estonia has the highest startup density of any European country (1107 start-ups per 1M inhabitants), followed by Iceland and Ireland.


The employee count in Estonian startups remains on the rise. According to the Estonian Tax and Customs Board statistics, Estonian startups employed 8187 people locally at the end of 2021. A year ago, the employee count was 6072, meaning the yearly growth has been 35%. Looking at the total number of employees who have worked in startups for at least one day, the number is even higher. According to Statistics Estonia, 10 956 people worked for Estonian startups during 2021, meaning that every 64th person of the Estonian working population was involved with startups!

Read more: Startup Estonia