How Estonia’s Erply Went From Local to Global

There are plenty of start-ups that have worked out of the spare room in someone’s house, or in the case of Google, famously out of a garage. But few actually own an entire house and garden. But Tallinn-based Erply does.

In a suburb of the city, not far from some of the brutal architectural reminders of Tallinn’s more recent past, the small grey house hosts the engineering talent of this poster child for the Estonian start-up movement.

Erply makes a cloud-based low-cost electronic point of sales software for shops. Although they have mainly targeted smaller shops, maybe chains of 2-3 stores, according to CTO Alari Koppelmaa, they are working with a few large chains with over 100 stores or more.

Their story is a typical one. A group of friends get together for about 10 years to do a bit of coding, building some websites, and almost by accident, they stumble across the solution that has taken them for a few guys working together into, well, it isn’t really clear where they are heading.

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