New ‘Turcorns’ on the way: Minister

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Turkey aims to become a major player in advanced technologies and aims to have new “Turcorn” companies, Technology Minister Mustafa Varank has said.

Privately held startup companies valued at over $1 billion are named “unicorn,” and “Turcorn” refers to such companies based in Turkey.

“Recently, ‘Getir’ has become a $7.5 billion company with an investment and is currently the second most valuable company in Turkey,” Varank said yesterday at the opening of the Efficiency and Technology Fair in Ankara.

“While 100-year-old companies could not achieve this success, a 5-year-old company, which set out with only one idea, did it,” he added.

“In order to achieve such success, we need to turn to new-generation technologies that will lead to groundbreaking transformations in technologies that are already widely in use,” he stated.

Varank said that Turkey “aims to become a trend-setting country” in technologies such as digitalization, space, artificial intelligence and autonomous systems.

On June 8, the head of Turkey’s Digital Transformation Office said that the government would encourage data storage and processing facilities to be founded by domestic and global companies with incentives that will be announced soon.

“Turkey has seen unicorns. Now, we aim to have decacorns; firms valued more than $10 billion,” Ali Taha Koç said during an online conference organized by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD).

“We are inviting Amazon, Google, Microsoft and all others to Turkey. We are open to collaboration for their investments in our country,” he said.

Turkish application-based fast delivery startup Getir’s valuation passed $7.5 billion after an investment round of $555 million, said Nazım Salur, the co-founder and CEO of Getir, on June 4.

Founded in 2015, Getir delivers over 1,500 varieties of groceries to its customers. It has pioneered a category of 10-minute delivery for customers who order by its smartphone app, with riders fanning out from neighborhood warehouses that stock essential groceries.

Istanbul-based Getir currently provides service in major cities of its home country, as well as British capital London and Dutch capital Amsterdam. It is planning to enter German, French and U.S. markets in the upcoming months.

After securing a $300 million new investment in March, Getir has become Turkey’s second unicorn fetching a valuation of $2.6 billion.

Peak Games, which was sold for $1.8 billion to U.S.-based entertainment giant Zynga last year, was the first Turkish unicorn.

This acquisition was a milestone for the country’s start-up ecosystem.

Hurriyet Daily News

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