Turkey is a developing, dynamic and innovative country which is open to new ideas. Considering that Turkey is home to the largest youth population in Europe, we see a convenient environment for the development of startups. As stated in the report this growing population is highly connected to digital platforms and quite active on the Internet. To clarify better, Turkey is:
- the 10th largest market for Facebook,
- the 6th largest market for Instagram,
- the 6th largest market for Twitter,
- the 3rd largest market for TikTok
- the 8th largest market for YouTube globally.
As such, the Turkish Startup ecosystem has witnessed a significant boost in the recent years thanks to both private and public support. More specifically, the appearance of new accelerators, technoparks, co-working spaces and support from government and startup-friendly corporations has positive impact on the development of the ecosystem. According to a report prepared by startups.watch, in 2018 Turkey's startup ecosystem hit a record by a total of 103 mln USD investment. With private capital investments, the total number even exceeded 177 mln USD.
In the last 5 years, Turkish banks made significant contributions to the ecosystem by launching accelerator programs and venture capital funds. With the great developments and growing support, Turkey’s startup ecosystem benefitted big acquisitions in the recent years. As top 5 exits between 2010 - 2020, we can list:
- Peak acquisition by Zynga,
- Trendyol acquisition by Alibaba,
- Yemeksepeti acquisition by Delivery Hero,
- Gram Games acquisition by Zynga
- Gittigidiyor acquisition by eBay.
Peak Games represented the largest VC-backed exit in Europe in 2020, while also becoming Turkey's official unicorn. Fuelled by Peak Games and others, 2020 also became the largest exit year to date.
In a recent report of general evaluation of 2020 by Startups.watch, it is stated that new Turkish startups are set up mostly in the gaming sector because of the successful gaming exits in 2019 and 2020. Additionally, “total amount of new funds raised equalled 267M USD in 2020, the largest total funding base to date.”