Turkey’s ‘Turcorns’ compete with world giants

While the reputation of Turkish startups crosses borders with their success, 6 startups from Turkey have so far made their mark among the “companies with a billion-dollar valuation” in line with the goal of “producing 10 Turcorns by 2023”.

With the “2023 Industry and Technology Strategy” announced in 2018, it was aimed to introduce at least 10 companies with a valuation of $1 billion and above from the entrepreneurial level by 2023.

These initiatives, which are called “unicorn” in the international arena, were included as “Turcorn” in the strategy document, and with the vision of “National Technology Move”, strategies were determined to increase the number of entrepreneurs and to activate the ecosystem in the process from the idea to the maturation stage.

After the detection of the target, the first Turcorn became “Peak Games”. The acquisition of the Turkish game company Peak Games by the US Zynga for $1.8 billion in 2020 brought the company to the “unicorns league”. In addition, one of the giants of the mobile game industry, Peak has become one of the most valuable companies in the history of Turkey.

Technology company Getir was registered as Turkey’s second Turcorn, exceeding a valuation of $1 billion with the investments it received last year. The startup, which received an investment of $983 million in 3 rounds, started to serve in 9 countries.

A new one has been added to the “unicorns” in Turkey with the game company Dream Games. The game startup, which received an investment of $205 million in 2 rounds last year, became the fastest unicorn title in Turkey so far.


The online shopping platform Hepsiburada was offered to the public on the Nasdaq stock exchange in the USA, where the stocks of the world’s largest companies such as Google and Apple are traded.

The company’s IPO share price was approximately $12, with its opening market valuation of approximately $4 billion.

Trendyol, another online shopping platform, increased its valuation to $16.5 billion with a new investment of $1.5 billion in August last year. Thus, the company drew attention as the first Turkish technology company with the definition of “decacorn”, which is used for startups with a value exceeding $10 billion.

Providing tools to increase sales for e-commerce sites, Insider stood out as Turkey’s first “Turcorn” in software, while exceeding a valuation of $1 billion with an investment of $121 million.

Being the 6th “unicorn” of the country, Insider exports its technology to 28 countries. The fast-growing company in Asia, Europe, Australia and South America aims to carry the same momentum to the US market.


According to the “ 2021 Review”, last year, for the first time, Turkey entered the “super league” where investment recipients of more than $1 billion were registered, and became the 10th country that attracted the most investment among all European countries, and ranked second in the Middle East and North Africa.

As of the end of 2021, the investments received by startups in Turkey increased 9 times compared to the previous year and reached $1.5 billion. 323 startups received investment in 345 investment rounds throughout the year. The amount of investment made per venture was $4.8 million. 45 foreign investments for startups were made.

While the gaming industry was the most popular industry with 52 investment rounds and $265 million in investment, valuations increased by 80%.


A special support program is also being implemented for startups that have proven their scaling potential, which has a global claim in the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in the country.

The “Turcorn 100 Program”, whose preparations have been completed and which aims to bring new “unicorns” to Turkey, is aimed to be put into effect this year.

The success of investments in the Turkish entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2021 shows that we are making firm progress towards the goal of landing 10 unicorns by 2023.

Source: NTV / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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