One of Estonia's much-vaunted startups has filed for bankruptcy despite having raised tens of millions of euros, some of it from taxpayer-funded sources, and has had to lay-off over 100 staff, Postimees reports on its English-language page.
Payroll issues led to almost all the HR department of the startup, Eurora Solutions, to resign last month, Postimees says, and the de jure CEO, Anneli Aljas, has not been seen in-office for over a month – since company founder Marko Lastik effectively took de facto control of the reins.
In what Postimees calls an unexpected twist, the first-tier Harju County Court confirmed that on September 28, Eurora Solutions had filed for bankruptcy, leaving a question mark over what had happened to a total of €40 million in funds in the space of a year – not only from investors but also, via state support, the taxpayer.
None of the investors - Dutch Connected Capital, Kristjan Vilosius of Change Ventures, nor Equity United, the latter an Estonian company part-funded by the taxpayer and so which principles of transparency should apply to - responded to Postimees' requests for comment; the Labor Inspectorate (Tööinspektsioon) told Postimees that they have received six labor disputes related to Eurora's payroll issues.
The reason cited in the bankruptcy application sent to Harju County Court by management board member Kaie Hansson were a lack of sufficient working capital to cover its obligations, along with no forthcoming further investments; as recently as August, ie. the preceding month, Eurora, which employed 150 people, was hailed as one of the largest employers in the deep tech sector among Estonian startups – though Postimees and Äripäev had identified tax debts and legal issues relating to Lastik earlier than that; this spring, it became public that Enterprise Estonia might demand back the 1.3 million euros given to the company.
Editor: Andrew Whyte