Allan Martinson (born 8 October 1966 in Tartu, Estonia) is an Estonian technology entrepreneur and investor. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Starship Technologies, a company building robotic platforms for last-mile delivery, and managing partner of MTVP, a tech investment company.
Martinson was the founder and CEO of Baltic News Service, a leading news agency in the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Launched in 1990 as a startup by Estonian students in Moscow, it quickly grew into a leading regional news organization with almost 200 employees. In 1994 BNS received investments from Dow Jones Telerate and Swedish Bonnier media group. In 2001, the company was sold to Finnish Alma Media.
In 1998, Martinson became the CEO of MicroLink, the leading IT and technology holding in the Baltics. Launched as the Estonia's leading PC assembler, it had diversified into systems integration and internet access services. Martinson launched aggressive expansion strategy of Microlink which was funded by four rounds of private equity placements from Baltic Investments Fund, Baltic Republics Fund et al. The company merged with or acquired 15 other companies in 1998-2000 such as Estonia's No 2 IT company Astrodata, Latvia's IT market leaders Fortech and VAR, 7 internet service providers (ISPs) in all three countries etc. The company became the Baltics' leading IT services and systems integration group with annual sales of 60 m EUR and almost 600 employees. In 2005, MicroLink's IT service operations were sold in trade sale transaction to three Baltic incumbent telecoms.
MicroLink was also a parent of two highly successful startups.
In 1999, it launched Delfi, the leading Baltic new media enterprise, which was subsequently sold to Norwegian Findexa in January 2004. Delfi still maintains the leading position on Baltic new media market and collects over half of the internet advertising revenue in the region.
MicroLink was also parent of SAF Tehnika – the fastest-growing developer of microwave radiolinks for the global mobile telecom sector. SAF Tehnika carried out a successful IPO in May 2004, became the only listed Baltic technology stock and reached valuation of 70 m EUR.
In 2004, Martinson teamed up with the leading Baltic investment bank Trigon Capital and launched a technology investment company MTVP. He bought out Trigon and became the sole owner of MTVP in 2008. The company invested 20 m USD into nine companies: Russian software engineering company Reksoft, Russian computer games publisher Novyi Disk, cloud-to-desktop technology company InvisibleCRM, Finnish casual games company [www.playforia.com Playforia], next-generation online dating company [www.flirtic.com Flirtic], Lithuanian data center operator Hostex, data communications operator MicroLink Lithuania, MTV franchise MTV Baltics.
Martinson is one of the investors in Cherry Media, a Baltic daily deals industry leader.
Martinson is member of supervisory boards of location-based solutions provider company Regio (Reach-U) and Estonia's leading cable operator Starman. In the past, he has also served as board member of Tallinn Stock Exchange (NASDAQ-OMX Tallinn), pan-CEE online recruiter CV Keskus, PR agency Hill&Knowlton Baltics, ERP integrator Columbus IT Partner Estonia, Estonian ICT association ITL, [email protected] Foundation and the Estonian Academy of Arts.
He advises the Prime Minister of Estonia in Science and Development Council.
Martinson was nominated for the Businessman of the Year in 2000 and got the Best Decision Award in 2004 for successfully executing the strategy of MicroLink.
Martinson is the member of Rotary International (Tallinn Old Town Rotary Club). He is also chairman of Gustav Adolf Foundation - a non-profit organization to support Gustav Adolf Gümnaasium in Tallinn. He is the member of French Order of Honour.