TOP 50 Fastest Growing Estonian Startups in 2018
By Kadri Barclay, Head of Marketing at LIFT99,
and Ragnar Sass, CEO & Founder of LIFT99.
We like Estonia. It has the most advanced e-government platform in the world, and recently our Tax and Customs Board adopted a new level of transparency - they are publishing a detailed report of Estonian companies every quarter. This includes all the data you might need to see the performance of these companies in numbers and throughout industries.
While originally focusing on paid taxes, the recent reports have also included the revenue and the number of employees. This offers great insight into how fast companies are growing. So, naturally, we took a deep dive into this data to find the fastest growing startups in Estonia.
If you love numbers, feel free to skip the small talk and head straight on to the masterfile we've assembled.
Startups with the Most New Hires
First and foremost - the team size. Why? While revenue might seem the obvious choice to determine a company's growth, it’s a misleading number in the startup world. Many top startups have entities in other countries and their Estonian office does not collect revenue. Both Transferwise and Pipedrive are great examples of this case, yet both are in top 3 when it comes to the number of new employees over the last year.
The first spot in this column belongs to Taxify. Their Tallinn office has grown from 38 people to 195. Hiring 157 people in 12 months and growing 5 times bigger sure is impressive! Transferwise follows with 145 new hires, Pipedrive with 74, Cleveron with 54, Starship with 32, and Monese is sixth with 30 new people in the office since 2017 Q1.
Growth Percentage by New Hires
Secondly, we had a look at the growth percentage by new hires as this variable helps to spot young rising stars. Indeed, on the second row, we find a big surprise - eAgronom, with 333% growth. Third place belongs to LeapIN with 142%, fourth is Hashcoins with 107%, and on the fifth line is Monese with 90%. Who’s the first? Taxify with 413% of annual growth.
To be fair, we didn’t include companies with under 10 employees in this list. It’s considerably easier to grow from 2 employees to 8 (400% growth), than it is to hire 60 new people and grow to a company of 80 (also 400% growth).
Who Can Afford the Best Salaries
We were curious to find out which startups are paying the highest salaries to their employees. It seems to be a sure sign that a company is doing well if they can sustainably offer their employees the compensation they deserve and thus attract the best talent.
The top performers in this category, however, are very different from the previous two ratings we looked at. In 2017, OnOffApp was leading with 6049 EUR taxes paid per employee (this means the average gross salary was around 3600 EUR), followed by Guardtime, Toggl, Plumbr, and Lingvist. Interesting to note though, none of them have been growing very fast.
In 2018, the top two remain the same (OnOffApp with 9751 EUR, and Guardtime with 6091 EUR), but with Toggl (7th in 2018) and Plumbr (17th in 2018) falling behind, Lingvist has comfortably taken the third place (5956 EUR per employee). The top 3 are currently followed by Testlio, Messente, and Ridango.
Paying their Taxes
And lastly, here are the top 20 tax-payers from 2018 Q1. By paying taxes, startups are putting their own contribution to the growth of local economy. The more successful startups we have registered in Estonia and paying local taxes, the better.
Frankly, this line-up doesn’t offer many surprises. Most of these companies have frequently been spotted in the news and are vary active in their own field. In fact, half of them are already on the Estonian Mafia Wall of Fame.
To be continued
We’ll be keeping an eye on the data. Stayed tuned for the next report of the fastest growing Estonian startups!
To follow the discussion, the full data from our research can be seen HERE. Feel free to add your comments or get back to us, we are curious to hear what you think!
Data visualizations. Click on the image to see a bigger version of it.