4 min read

2023 - thank you

2023 - thank you
Photo by Rasa Kasparaviciene / Unsplash
Lithuania Tech Weekly #153
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thank you

Hi friends, 2023 is in the books, officially! Engaging with you, meeting some of you, and witnessing your dedication as readers has been an honor. Immense gratitude for all the tips, shares, and mentions. A special thank you to our sponsors and supporters.

Tech Philomaths has matured beyond two years, and our belief that you can be a pivotal force for change has only grown – it's now a tangible reality. It's the right time to remind this community that you are seen as role models. Continue to inspire, keep it to the highest standards next year, and remain curious and resilient. 2024 is set to be remarkable.

work and capital in 2023

  • Despite the global slowdown, a sense of optimism is the air. Investment levels remained high, driven by scale-ups. The largest ecosystem players are either profitable (Nord Security and others) or close enough and have strong thesis tailwinds (Vinted, PVcase, CAST AI). I don't like to see slowdown in early-stage activity, but that should rebound as - FIRSTPICK, Baltic Sandbox, and hopefully Plug and Play further deploy funds. We expect continued international growth rounds, judged on merit (traction & opportunity).
  • The tech slowdown has presented challenges to sell, particularly for those targeting the US market.
  • One area we're not discussing enough is AI. It will bring many promising ventures and is expected to drive a resurgence of bootstrapped or self-funded startups. These ventures will leverage the latest technology to reduce reliance on human labor. However, AI is also poised to challenge, if not fundamentally alter, some existing business models. Some areas within B2B SaaS, media, and content are particularly vulnerable, with many startups likely already feeling the pressure.
  • Lithuanian tech raised approx EUR 270m, just a tiny bit less than a year before (293). A total of 27 rounds instead of 39 years in 2022. No surprise but more than 80% of the total capital attracted was three scale-ups - Nord Security, PVcase, and CAST AI.
we need more early-stage teams to have them convert into series A in 2025
  • Estonia is still the definitive leader in the Baltics, despite talks that early-stage scene has slowed down. A total of EUR 394m raised, across 71 rounds (which is a lot). However, in terms of EUR this brings Estonia back to 2020 level. Latvia took a decent dip - down to approx EUR 20m as the total number, down from EUR 93m the year before.
Is it cheating if this graph is not per capita? :)

founders' guide - what to build in 2024

Not building in 2024 is a big mistake, so make sure you jump the ship early. It has never been so easy to start, and we need so much change as societies, rapidly.

  • We started by asking some regional VCs how should founders think about new ideas.
    • Viktoras, Iron Wolf Capital: Perhaps a bit of a cop-out but my advice is to focus on an area you're not only passionate about but also deeply familiar with. Leveraging your own industry experience to create something you truly care about is a powerful way to ensure both personal fulfillment and business relevance. If a business you're building happens to be in deep tech or AI - even better - perhaps we can be helpful with some capital to help you scale faster. Kasparas adds: don't build for yourself - build for a better world.
    • Siim Teller, Lemonade Stand suggests a simple idea: pick any segment here and improve it:

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Tech Philomaths

  • We plan to continue shipping (writing), but some change is inevitable. We are looking at how to grow our impact and be a better support and resource for entrepreneurs in the region. There is a need to change the business model, too - to keep this effort sustainable. Stay tuned on what's coming and don't hesitate to volunteer. Cheers for 2024 - the year Ukraine must win!