Founder at Startups.Watch
Serkan Ünsal is the founder of an investor analytics platform focused on Turkey called startups.watch. The platform has more than 150 clients and covers all funding and acquisition details for the Turkish Startup Ecosystem. He founded his previous startup in 2011 and sold it in 2014. He has also written four books on entrepreneurship.
Guest editors are local ecosystem leaders: successful founders, investors, or thought leaders. Have someone in mind? Nominate a country guest editor.
Disclaimer: all content within the Startup Ecosystem Summary and Editor’s Guide sections is written by and reflects the personal perspective of the guest editor. The guest editor is not responsible for content within the Country Snapshot and Community sections, as much of this content is compiled from external sources and does not necessarily reflect the guest editor’s view.
Turkey, with a large young population and high internet and credit card usage habits, is the shining star of South Eastern Europe and the Middle East. In terms of location, Turkey is a well-positioned, attractive hub, only three hours by flight away from the most important cities in Europe and many key cities in Asia. Prior to 2010, the Turkish ecosystem had little to speak about, but since then the ecosystem has swelled in size and importance, quickly becoming a key regional startup hub. In the first half of the 2010s, thanks to the growth of brand-new VC funds and angel investors making their first investments, the Turkish startup ecosystem reached annual startup investments of US$100M. In the second half of the 2010s, many of these new VC funds achieved exits and started working to establish their second fund. In this period, the exit time was significantly shortened compared to the pre-2010 years.
The Turkish startup ecosystem entered a growth acceleration stage in 2010. In the coming years, we will see more investments, especially through recently established funds. In particular, the gaming industry has been energized the past several months with local gaming company Peak’s ascendancy as a unicorn, combined with Rollic’s acquisition by Zynga. We will see more gaming companies and more game developers in the coming period.
Editor’s choice of the country’s top 10 emerging tech startups.
Editor’s pick of which ‘Featured Startup’ is especially worth following and why.
Editor’s choice of the industries with the most potential for technology disruption and growth.
Editor’s perspective of the maturity level of talent in the ecosystem.
Editor’s commentary on how the country’s culture and history have impacted the ecosystem.
The number of technoparks in Turkey began to increase rapidly in the early 2000s. Since 2010, the number of angel networks, angels and VC funds has increased every year, and entrepreneurship has become embedded in Turkish culture, especially on the Levent-Maslak line in Istanbul.
Interested in becoming more involved in this ecosystem and connecting with local ecosystem leaders? Let us know.
1 million jobs: Due to the fact that information technologies are used more and more in every field, companies' need for trained manpower is increasing day by day. Since Turkish manpower in this field is not at the desired level, many companies have started to meet their information technology needs from abroad.
Girişimcilik Vakfı: Turkish entrepreneurship foundation that works with youth to advance the entrepreneurial culture and to make entrepreneurship a career alternative among young people.