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In a year, Indians launch 200 startups in Estonia

The programme has attracted more than 2,200 Indians, including Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, who have floated more than 275 startups, Kruuv told media persons in Hyderabad on Thursday.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Jan 12, 2019, 02.36 PM IST
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Ambani used his e-residency to float a subsidiary of Reliance Jio Infocomm in Estonia during the second half of last year and hired software engineers to develop digital and e-governance solutions, said Kruuv.
HYDERABAD: Indian entrepreneurs have launched about 200 startups in Estonia in the past one year, making use of the e-residency programme which offers easy access to the European market and funding from venture capital firms, said its ambassador to India Riho Kruuv.

The programme, launched on December 1, 2014, has attracted more than 2,200 Indians, including Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, who have floated more than 275 startups, Kruuv told media persons in Hyderabad on Thursday.

Under the programme, anyone from across the globe can apply and secure e-residency online by paying just 100 euros (about Rs 8,100) and 190 euros (about Rs 15,390) to register and commence online businesses in Estonia or any other European country with the help of authorised service providers in Europe.

“The primary objective of promoting e-residency programme is to attract startup entrepreneurs from across the globe, who in turn would help Estonia in attracting investments, creating jobs and tax revenues,” said Kruuv.

Estonia, termed Europe’s most entrepreneurial country by the World Economic Forum, has attracted more than 50,000 people from 157 countries who have floated over 6,000 startups since the launch of the e-residency programme, said the envoy.

Startups launched by Indians include the one by Deepak Solanki, the inventor of Li-Fi technology to transmit data or power the Internet using light, he said.

Ambani used his e-residency to float a subsidiary of Reliance Jio Infocomm in Estonia during the second half of last year and hired software engineers to develop digital and e-governance solutions, said Kruuv. India’s Union minister for law, electronics and information technology Ravi Shankar Prasad is also an eresident of Estonia, he said.

Bill Gates, principal founder of Microsoft Corporation, has also taken e-residency but he has yet to commence any corporate activity, said the envoy.

Solanki’s Estonian company, he said, is currently working with global firms such as Airbus and Boeing to deploy Li-Fi solutions for communication between aircraft and land, and providing Wi-Fi services on board the aircraft.

“There is a lot of money available in Europe, looking for good ideas,” said Kruuv. “The question is how to bring them (startups) together and provide them a good platform for doing business.”

Ambani’s Reliance Jio has also set up a subsidiary working in the digital and communications space in this northwestern European country.

Recently, Estonia and the TRS-led Telangana government had signed an MoU for cooperation on information and communications technologies (ICT), cybersecurity and blockchain technology, between the two. Estonia is looking to enter into an pact with the state government on mutual cooperation in the field of higher education, the ambassador added.
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