Turkey’s start-up industry: a hub of innovation and investment

Turkey's start-up industry has been flourishing, becoming a significant hub of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. The country's strategic location, combined with a young, tech-savvy population, has created the perfect foundations for start-ups and with that, unique opportunities for investors.

$700 million USD invested in technology start-ups in 2023

Recent data released shows that in 2023, Turkey attracted over $700 million USD in start-up technology investments, reflecting a surging interest from global investors in the country and in particular, its fast-developing tech sector.

Evaluating the start-up and technology environment of Turkey, Ahmet Burak Daglioglu, Head of the Presidency’s Investment Office, said: “This is one of the areas we are trying to promote because Turkey is powerful in this field.”

Daglioglu emphasised Turkey’s aim to increase its market share of international technology investments from 1% to 5% with start-up investments playing a key role in achieving that. Daglioglu noted that Turkey’s location makes it a regional hub and a standout performer in terms of investments. He said: “Turkey has become a management centre for international companies in the region. 2024 started well and hopefully, we expect the investment momentum to increase throughout the year.”

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Key factors driving Turkish start-up growth

Growing Digital Infrastructure: Turkey has heavily invested in its digital infrastructure, creating an environment for tech companies to thrive. The country's robust internet penetration, expanding 4G and 5G networks, and significant improvements in digital banking and e-commerce platforms lay a strong foundation for tech start-ups.

Young and Educated Talent Pool: With a large portion of its population under 30 and increasing numbers of graduates in STEM fields, Turkey offers a rich talent pool for the tech industry. This young, dynamic workforce is both a source of innovative start-ups and a magnet for companies seeking skilled labour.

Strategic Location: Turkey's unique position as a gateway between Europe and Asia offers tech companies access to diverse markets. This geographical advantage is pivotal for start-ups looking to expand globally.

Vibrant Start-up Ecosystem: Turkey's start-up ecosystem is characterised by a vibrant mix of accelerators, incubators, and co-working spaces, along with a growing number of tech events and competitions. This ecosystem enables collaboration and innovation, providing a supportive environment for tech start-ups to develop and scale.

Government Incentives and Support: The Turkish government has introduced various incentives for start-ups, including tax breaks, grants, investment in tech parks, and initiatives such as the “Turkcell Start-up” program. These initiatives reduce operational costs and risks associated with early-stage investments, making the tech sector more attractive.

Growing Investment Landscape: Increased interest and investment from local and international Venture Capital Funds has provided Turkish start-ups with the capital needed to fuel faster growth.

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Unicorn companies in Turkey

The Turkish start-up ecosystem has seen substantial growth over the past decade, fuelled by a young, tech-savvy population, increasing internet and mobile coverage, and supportive government policies aimed at fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. This environment has provided a fertile ground for the emergence of unicorn companies, privately held start-ups valued at over $1 billion USD, which have not only attracted significant investment but also put Turkey on the map as a burgeoning tech hub. Several Turkish start-ups have achieved unicorn status:

Getir: Specialising in ultra-fast delivery services, Getir has revolutionised the concept of convenience for millions of users. Its rapid expansion into international markets highlights the global appeal of its business model. In December 2021, Getir was valued at $7.5 billion USD after a funding round.

Peak Games: A mobile gaming company that has produced hits like "Toy Blast" and "Toon Blast" – Peak Games exemplifies the potential of Turkey's creative industries on the world stage. In 2020, Zynga acquired Peak Games for $1.8 billion USD, highlighting the value of Turkish innovation.

Trendyol: An e-commerce giant, Trendyol has grown to become one of the largest online shopping platforms in Turkey and the surrounding region, serving millions of customers and hosting thousands of sellers. In 2021, Alibaba acquired a majority stake in Trendyol, valuing the company at $16.5 billion USD.

Insider: A provider of AI-powered marketing platforms that personalise customer experiences across web, mobile web, and app channels. Insider has expanded globally, serving clients across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, showcasing the international scalability of Turkish tech ventures.

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Key emerging investment sectors in Turkey

Technology: Technology is a major driver of innovation and economic growth, with the potential to disrupt existing industries and create entirely new markets – technology companies often have scalable business models, allowing them to achieve rapid growth. Technology is an essential component of virtually every industry, from healthcare to finance to transportation, making it a highly versatile and an attractive investment. The pace of technological change is accelerating, with emerging technologies such as AI, blockchain, robotics, and quantum computing presenting new opportunities for investment.

Energy: The energy sector is undergoing a transformative shift towards renewable and sustainable sources. This shift presents significant investment opportunities in renewable energy generation, energy storage, and energy efficiency solutions. Emerging technologies such as smart grids, electric vehicles, and decentralised energy systems are reshaping the industry with innovative solutions.

Construction: The construction industry will always have a constant demand for new buildings, roads, and other structures. There is increasing interest in sustainable construction practices and materials, presenting opportunities for innovation and investment in green building technologies. Advancements in construction technology, such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), robotics, and 3D printing, are transforming the industry and creating new opportunities for investment in innovative start-ups.

Logistics Warehousing: The logistics and warehousing sector is a critical backbone of the global economy, supporting the efficient movement and storage of goods. The increasing demand for e-commerce, retail, and fast delivery services has driven the need for modern, technology-enabled warehousing solutions. Innovative companies are developing warehouse automation, robotics, and data analytics, which have the potential to disrupt traditional supply chain models and improve operational efficiency.

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Invest in Turkish start-ups with Funding Turkey

The start-up and technology sectors in Turkey present an opportunity for investors looking to capitalise on high-growth markets. The combination of a supportive government, strategic location, and a rich talent pool has created an environment ripe for technological innovation and entrepreneurship. With success stories like Peak Games, Trendyol, Getir, and Insider, the potential for future unicorns emerging from Turkey is significant.

As the country continues to enhance its digital infrastructure and promote its start-up ecosystem, the technology sector in Turkey is poised for further growth and international recognition in the years to come. With Funding Turkey, investors are able to tap into a unique opportunity to invest in Turkish start-ups through Venture Capital Funds.

Part of Property Turkey Group, Funding Turkey has license to operate both Real Estate Investment Funds in Turkey (REIF) as well as Venture Capital Funds (VC) in Turkey. Venture Capital Funds are targeted towards financing start-up businesses, technology sectors, energy sectors, and urban regeneration projects – some of the most important emerging sectors in Turkey.

The allure of Venture Capital Funds in Turkey is undeniable, with potential annual returns ranging from 10% to a staggering 20%. Funding Turkey's Venture Capital Funds represent a bridge between ambitious investors and the untapped potential of Turkey's start-up industry. With a focus on growth and innovation, the venture capital landscape is not just about financial returns; it's about being part of a larger narrative of progress and the chance to be at the forefront of technological breakthroughs that could shape the future.

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Funding Turkey

“Venture Capital Funds represent a significant enhancement to the financial landscape of Turkey, particularly within the Funding Turkey and Property Turkey ecosystem. The technology and start-up sector hold a central role in Turkey's development over the forthcoming decade. Our objective is to diligently pursue every avenue to contribute to the nation's development and foster economic growth, benefiting both Turkey and our investors.”

Cameron Deggin

Funding Turkey


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