Taavet Hinrikus - Investor, entrepreneur, and advisor
About Taavet Hinrikus
Hinrikus became Skype’s first employee while he was still a 20-year-old undergraduate student of computer science in Estonia. He then held the role of Director of Strategy for Skype until 2008. Having moved to London, Hinrikus started global money transfer company TransferWise in 2001, taking it public as Wise via a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange in July 2021. Wise was valued at around USD 11 billion. In late 2020, Hinrikus also co-founded Certific, a healthtech platform that enables large-scale remote medical testing and certification.
Hinrikus is a prominent investor in Europe, having backed over 100 startups including 25 investments in 2020 alone. His portfolio includes Tweetdeck, Mendeley, OMGPOP, Property Partner, Sunrise, Cleo, Zego, Veriff, Gideon Brothers, Meatable, Farewill and many others. Among his success stories are three unicorns—Improbable, Bolt, and Carta. Hinrikus backed Carta when it was worth US$320m, and its value subsequently rose to US$7bn. Hinrikus’s activity in 2021 included involvement in the USD 1.5 million pre-seed funding round of fintech startup Lightyear; the USD 10 million Series C funding round of Chaldal—a Dhaka-based grocery delivery platform; the EUR 7.4 million equity funding round of Ampler Bikes—an Estonian brand; and the USD 27 million Series A funding round of Xanpool—a Hong Kong-based fintech firm.
Taavet Hinrikus in the News
In December 2019, Sifted, the FT-supported site for Europe’s innovators and entrepreneurs, included Hinrikus on their list of top angel investors in Europe. In March 2021, Hinrikus announced a formal partnership with Teleport co-founder Sten Tamkivi to create a new investment vehicle, Taavet+Sven, which will focus on early-stage European businesses. Hinrikus made history when Wise went public in July 2021 as it was both the U.K.’s first-ever direct listing and the largest tech listing in the history of the LSE.