Known for its technologically innovative startup scene, Estonia has spawned many an international startup successes. The likes of Skype, TransferWise, Pipedrive and GrabCAD have dominated the international news until recently. Now, Greenhouse CI hopes to grow mobile apps from it’s base in Tartu.
Estonia’s second largest city, Tartu, is emerging as a startup hub.
The locally renowned Garage 48 Hub has successfully expanded to Tartu, Estonia, from its home in Tallinn. The co-working space has been behind some of the success stories of the last few years, including Greenhouse CI, founded by Triin Kask and Tauno Talimaa, a startup that nurtures new app projects.
Triin is a startup activist and one of Estonia’s prominent women in tech, having founded and participated in several startup projects. Tauno has worked in mobile app development projects for 9 years, with a resume that includes work for Microsoft and Skype.
Greenhouse CI was recently awarded a place in the competitive Seedcamp program, which selects 15 startups from thousands of applications from across the globe.
“This is a great move for us, following in the footsteps of some of the most successful Estonian startups like TransferWise and GrabCAD. Mostly, it shows that the work we are doing has been acknowledged,” says Triin.
Greenhouse CI was previously recognized in the Nordics as part of the Slush 100 pitching competition, and recently closed a successful seed investment round.
Addressing the challenges app developers face
Greenhouse CI grew out of a Tartu-based mobile app development company called Mobi Lab.
“When we were developing apps in Mobi Lab we often needed manual interruption in the development process. At the same time, we all understood that these kinds of processes could be automated and decided to create an in-house software platform that would help us solve this challenge,” explains Tauno.
“We also knew from the beginning that mobile app developers’ needs are quite specific; nobody was addressing these needs so specifically, hence we decided to fill this gap. In a nutshell, this is our key differentiator from our competitors – we focus only on the requirements of the mobile app developers and we develop new functionality in our products that are driven by these needs.”
Putting Tartu on the startup map
As well the obvious benefits for the team and their company, there is an increasing buzz around the city of Tartu. The startup scene that has mainly centered around Tallinn, is morphing into something not only nationwide, but academic. The local university, on par with some of Europe’s top institutions, is helping to attract brilliant minds to the area.
Greenhouse CI is very excited by this, as an influx of international talent can help companies better reach global markets. Their ‘hands-off’ support approach for apps lends itself nicely to the international market.
Whether Greenhouse CI can replicate the success of previous Seedcamp graduates is yet to be seen, but with a solid product and support network in place, they have a good chance of putting Tartu, Estonia on the international map.