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Skype, Wise and Bolt thrive without tech giants

Bolt CEO Markus Villig will speak on stage at the 2019 Web Summit Technology Conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Oracio Villa Lobos | Corbis via Getty Images

Estonian tech companies could thrive without the following large multinationals: Facebook When Microsoft, The president of the country told CNBC.

The founders of Estonia are home to just over a million people and have spawned several technology companies worth billions of dollars. Skype, then sold to Microsoft, is best known, but some also include recently listed foreign currency exchange apps. wise Mobility app Bolt supported by Silicon Valley VC heavyweight Sequoia.

President Kersti Kaljuride said multinationals have traditionally set up overseas headquarters in countries with generous tax systems, adding that Estonia was not a tax haven.

Facebook, Google When Apple Ireland’s European headquarters, with a corporate tax of 12.5%, all employ thousands. 20% in Estonia. The tech giant also employs thousands of staff in other European countries, including the United Kingdom and Switzerland, but has less presence in Estonia.

“Estonia is a country that has never offered special deals or special treatment to any kind of company,” Kaljuride said in an exclusive interview last week. “When I advised the Prime Minister 20 years ago, everyone always came and what were your special conditions? We didn’t say anything and I think it helped us right.”

“This could probably be one of the reasons we see so many self-breeding start-ups in Estonia and unicorns coming out of them more often,” she added. rice field.

Estonia has a reputation for being one of the most technology-friendly countries in the world, and the government is going through many processes online much faster than any other country. For example, online voting and digital IDs are used, and free Wi-Fi is widely used nationwide.

Carjuride says country leaders allow new technologies like grocery delivery robots built by Starship Technologies, founded by Skype co-founder Janus Friis, while legal spaces in Estonia are safe. He said he wanted to.

Kaljuride said country entrepreneurs and coders are educating politicians about technologies that are ready to change the world.

For example, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn has taught her and others everything about artificial intelligence.

“In Estonia, he [Tallinn] Well known as someone who warns us and informs us, “she said. “He’s worried, but not unnecessary.”

Tallinn told CNBC that there was one big concern about AI.

“AI is still quite domain-specific and fragile,” he said. “One of the big concerns I have is that countries will start applying more AI to the military context.”

Skype, Wise and Bolt thrive without tech giants

Source link Skype, Wise and Bolt thrive without tech giants

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