Startups

Turkey invested $139 million in 165 startups in 2020

Organized for the fourth time this year by Startups.watch, many statistics and predictions about the Turkey Enterprise Ecosystem were shared, and the headlines were as follows.

Mostly Game Startups Were Established

The gaming industry, which has recently risen with the stories of exit made by gaming entrepreneurs, has also become a favorite of entrepreneurs. In both 2019 and 2020, the game industry was the sector with the most startups in Turkey. In the last two years, 141 gaming startups have been established in Turkey.

Entrepreneur Factory Universities Were Announced

Anadolu University, METU, and Yildiz Technical University graduates were the ones who started the most startups in 2020. These universities were followed by Bogazici University, ITU, Istanbul University, and Koc University.

A Record Number, Investments Increased By 31%

In 2020, 165 startups received $139 million of investment, reaching the largest amount in the Turkey Enterprise Ecosystem. It was one behind 2017 in terms of the number of investment tours.

Startups Followed Foreign Investors

In 2020, as in every country, investors insisted on moving their ventures to their headquarters commercially in order to see the startups nearby. Of the $139 million investment in 2020, $78 million was made to Turkish startups that commercially carried their venture abroad. Especially, the initiatives in Europe continued to be an inevitable trend to carry their initiatives to America.

The Biggest Investments Have Been Made to Global Thinkers

Insider, Meditopia and Getir were the most invested startups in 2020. The common feature of these three initiatives was that they were not restricted to the local market and that they played large.

SaaS, Artificial Intelligence, Marketing Technologies, and Healthcare Hot Topics

While investors mostly invest in SaaS, fintech and health technologies, in terms of amount, SaaS, artificial intelligence, and marketing technologies were the areas where the most investments were made.

Most Investments are for METU Graduates

In terms of number, the enterprises established by METU graduates received the most investments, followed by Bogazici University and Anadolu University. In terms of amount, ITU graduates have received the most investments in total. Bilgi University and METU followed it.

Record Level Investment From Institutions

In 2020, institutions participated in 62 investment tours directly or through the investment subsidiaries they established and supported the $37 million investment tour. A record was broken in this sense both in terms of quantity and quantity. Alesta Investment, Teknogirisim GSYF and Teknasyon’s total of 29 investments had a significant effect on the interest of the institutions in units.

Women Entrepreneur Rates Have Declined

The increase in the number of game initiatives established by 97% male entrepreneurs in 2020 caused the ratio of women entrepreneurs to decrease in total enterprises. Therefore, only 14% of the startups established in 2020 were women entrepreneurs.

While 34 of the 165 investment tours were made in ventures with women entrepreneurs, when the amount of investment is considered, the enterprises with women entrepreneurs received $43 million of investment. Hande Cilingir, the founding partner of Insider, who received an investment of $32 million, had a high impact on this.

A Record Number and Amount of Investment Funds Established

In 2020, 10 funds established a total of $270 million. This means that in Turkey a record was broken both in terms of quantity and amount announced in a year. When these figures include the announced funds that have not yet completed all transactions, we can say that the largest amount of investment pool is waiting for entrepreneurs so far. Also, with the Regional Development Fund of ₺250 million announced in 2020, the way to establish new funds was opened.

Turkey Won Its Place In The First League In Europe

As in the previous year, Turkey was among the countries with over $100 million of investment per year in 2020. Among all European countries, it ranked 18th after Poland. Turkey ranked 4th in the Middle East and North Africa, after the Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

PEAK is Europe’s Largest

The acquisition of Peak by Zynga for $1.8 billion and officially being Turkey’s first Unicorn also enabled Peak to be the largest venture in Europe to exit in 2020, supported by venture capital.

$2.3 Billion Exit

In Turkey, 27 startups exited $2.3 billion in 2020. Peak’s $1.8 billion exit had a big impact on this. Rollic exit was the fastest (20 months) technology venture in the history of Turkey.

$385 Million for Turkish Entrepreneurs Abroad

Turkish entrepreneurs abroad received a total investment of $385 million in 2020. While 38 startups received investments in total, Carbon Health, Gorillas and Streetbees were the most invested. It drew attention that the pandemic also has an impact on investments. Carbon Health, which ranks first, is a health initiative, while Gorillas provides convenience for those who are in the process of quarantine, offering home 10-minute market service.

Turkey Is The Real Support

At the idea stage, the biggest supporter of entrepreneurs was again Turkey. Thanks to TUBITAK TEYDEB, 531 startups received a total of ₺48 million at the idea stage in 2020.

Source: Egirisim / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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