Start-up companies have attracted more than EUR 300 million in investments since 2012

Start-ups in Latvia have attracted more than 300 million euros since 2012, according to the Ministry of Economics of Latvia. As of January 2019, there were 418 start-up companies registered in Latvia. Over 350 of those companies are under five years old, and over 65 start-ups are younger than seven years. Approximately 100 new business ideas are still in the development stage.

Over the last five years, the number of start-ups has been increasing from year to year, from an average of 10-15 new businesses a year before 2010 to an average of 50 new start-ups each year between 2014 and 2018. The start-up sector employs more than 1,600 employees, the increase of more than four times since 2012. These figures tend to grow rapidly every year. The start-up ecosystem in Latvia is developing and its economic benefits are growing, both in terms of the number of new businesses and jobs created as well as the amount of investment.

Latvia’s fast-emerging startup ecosystem has three strongest areas – fintech, deeptech and drone technology. The start-up infrastructure consists of over 400 active startups, a pool of institutional investors and angel investors, a diverse range of modern co-working spaces, dozens of incubators fuelled by government, academia and private individuals, as well as a calendar full of exciting gatherings, productive conferences, hackathons and meetups.

In addition to financial incentives and advantages that are available to all companies, the government also offers special incentives specifically to start-ups. The Start-up Law, a first of its kind in the world, provisions three support mechanisms for early-stage start-ups: low flat social tax, no individual tax for startup employees and 45% co-financing offered by the government for the highly qualified specialists. Additionally a Start-up Visa is available for anyone willing to come and kick off their start-up in Latvia and it is inclusive of entrepreneur’s family.