Estonia is a remarkable country, with a population of only 1.3 million people is leading the world in terms of attitude to and adoption of technology.
It was the first country in the world to enable citizens to vote digitally in local elections. Companies like Signwise making this and the signing of many documents digital. Estonias carry their ID around with them at all times, it’s not something tucked in their wallet but ID enabled SIM cards in their mobile phones. Another world first is the successful launch electronic-citizenshipfor non-residents. Estonia is digitally ahead of the game. Taavi Kotka the Government CIO is known as Estonia’s CTO.
This open and engaged attitude and digital advancements make for a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem; Estonia has more business start-ups per capita than any other country in Europe. The sheer number of start-ups coupled with amazing technical training and talent have created the right conditions for huge success stories such as Skype (sold to e-bay in 2005 for $2.6b) and more recently TransferWise (raised $58m Series C in January 2015 and added Richard Branson as an investor last year). Both have been truly disruptive in their sectors.
Estonia is not stopping there, the potential for more fintech hero are rife. Digital payments start-up Fortumo is now in more than 88 countries and exciting offering Monese launches this summer will enable people from the EU to open a bank account on their mobile in seconds. Not forgetting the exciting P2P space, with a number of launches in recent years such asBondora, Estateguru and Investly; Estonia is a small country looking to make a big name for itself in fintech.