A Brief Introduction
A blog about Estonia? A blog about a bubble that may not exist? Why?
Over the past two years, we noticed there was more and more information about all the "great" startups in Estonia. Unfortunately, most of the talk was about startups that won some type of competition or got an investment. There was little talk of what really matters -- getting customers and making a profit.
This reminded us of the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the same thing happened in the US during the .com bubble: too much talk and not enough results.
What really capped it was the announcement of a 100 million EUR investment fund for the Baltics, known as the Baltic Innovation Fund (BIF). 100 MILLION EUROS! That was a sign that things had really gone too far. It's simply too much money floating around, with not enough good ideas to invest in.
How do we know this? Well take a look at the portfolio of Ambient Sound Investments (ASI). They were started with the proceeds from the 4 Estonian original Skype programmers, and their goal was to invest in Estonian startup companies. As you can see from their portfolio, they had to branch out to Asia and beyond to find suitable investments. They could not find enough Estonian companies to invest in. So why will the BIF do any better? They're saddled with more money than ASI, but all the viable startups have already been invested in, as ASI (and MTVP) have picked off all the good ones.
The result? Get ready for the bubble. We've seen it in the US, and it looks like it's going to happen in Estonia.
Why You Should Read Us
What we've found disappointing is that there is little real analysis of the Estonian startup scene. You can read plenty of press releases, both directly from the companies and from lazy journalists who seem to just regurgitate the press releases they are given. This is what we're here for -- to provide unbiased, data-driven analysis of Estonian startups and the environment they operate in.
Who We Are
Blog posts come from a number of experienced entrepreneurs, who are familiar with running successful startups and also with Estonia. We are also neutral -- we hold no investments in any companies in Estonia (other than companies we run), so we have nothing to gain or lose when an Estonian startup does well or otherwise. We're writing anonymously because people in Estonia seem to take criticism, even of the constructive form, quite poorly.
How You Can Help
There's a lot of information out there. Please email us any tips: firstname.lastname@example.org You can also comment on our blog, and do it anonymously. Feel free to call us idiots, but at least explain why.