Estonian Startup Awards 2022 took place on January 27th. This year Trind portfolio companies and founders were well-represented in the awards.
Timmu Töke / Ready Player Me
The Founder of the Year 2022 was Timmu Töke of Ready Player Me. Timmu Tõke has overseen Ready Player Me as the CEO for nine years, through countless pivots, and in 2022 raised a $56M B-round led by US investor Andreessen Horowitz (total funding is now $72M). Ready Player Me – in its current form – was launched in 2020 and has since been rapidly scaled to 5,000+ customers across the metaverse. Clients include VRChat, Spatial, Hiber, Pixelynx, Adidas, RTFKT, and Dior. In 2022, the team grew from 22 to 64, and six million avatars were created in thousands of games using their tech. They’re the complete market leaders in their space.
In addition, Karoli Hindriks from Jobbatical came third, and Aune Aunapuu was shortlisted in this category.
Jobbatical became second in The Revenue Hack of 2022 category. In 2019, Jobbatical pivoted to a tech platform that automates immigration and relocation processes for businesses. In 2022, they closed an €11.6M A-round, made €4.1M in revenue, and recurring revenue grew 300%. Jobbatical has 454 clients (+200%) and in 2022 relocated talent from 115 nationalities to 18 countries. Jobbatical reached a major milestone: CF positive +€142k and EBITDA positive in May 2022. They opened five new countries (Portugal, Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, and the USA) and got to break even in Portugal in 2 months. The employee count grew from 55 to 100.
Founder Karoli Hindriks also took third place in the Founder of the Year 2022 category. After pivoting Jobbatical in 2019 to a tech platform that automates immigration and relocation processes, Karoli led the company successfully through global lockdowns during the most challenging times for the industry. In 2022, Jobbatical’s annual revenue grew to €4.1M, they’re cash-flow-positive, and they raised a round of €11,6M from tier-one investors. By the end of the year, Jobbatical had a total of 454 clients (+200%), and they had relocated talent from 115 nationalities to 18 countries. Karoli’s leadership brought Jobbatical’s mission to the biggest stages: her TED talk “Why the passport needs an upgrade” was translated into twelve languages.
Yaga took second place in The CleanTech of 2022. Yaga is a marketplace for selling and buying secondhand fashion focusing on emerging markets. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world – producing a single pair of jeans takes 7600L of water, and 33kg of CO2 is emitted. Establishing circular economy models in emerging markets directly contributes to people’s well-being and global sustainability. In 2022, net revenue grew 2.3x (to €1M), MAU grew 2x, GMV grew 2.6x, and €12M worth of fashion items were sold on the platform (2x growth YoY). The company raised a €2.35M seed round to scale up in South Africa and reach profitability.
The founder Aune Aunapuu was also shortlisted for the Founder of the Year 2022. In 2022, Aune Aunapuu raised an investment round of €2.35 for Yaga, a marketplace for selling and buying secondhand fashion focusing on emerging markets. Fashion is one of the most polluting industries in the world, and as a founder with kids, Aune is super driven by Yaga’s positive effect on people and the environment. In 2022, Yaga’s net revenue grew 2.3x (to €1M), MAU grew 2x, GMV grew 2.6x, and €12M worth of fashion items were sold on the platform (2x growth YoY).
Rangeforce took third place in The Defence and Security Tech of 2022 category. RangeForce, the SaaS-based cyber training startup, reached multiple milestones in 2022, landing its first 7-figure contract and growing its enterprise customer base by 50%. Along with these accomplishments, RangeForce raised $19M in Series B funding. The cybersecurity space recognized RangeForce with accolades, including Best Cyber Defense Team Training from the ASTOR awards from American Security Today and Best Security Education/Training Solution in the CISO Choice Awards.
We like revenue, and besides Jobbatical, we also say Fractory was shortlisted in The Revenue Hack of 2022 category. Fractory is a cloud manufacturing platform connecting hardware engineers to manufacturing capacities. Fractory guides manufacturing to a more sustainable future by making information exchange, production, and logistics more efficient. In 2022, GMV grew 71% (to €11M) while gross profit grew 2x – that’s five years in a row with at least 2x growth. The team doubled from 38 to 67 people and rolled out a series of new product features.
Our warmest congratulations to all founders!
Photos and award summaries courtesy of the Estonian Startup Awards. You can read more about the Estonian Startup Awards here.