work in progress
- Distribution. Selected The Knotty Ones pieces are now available at goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's store. Walk15 grows from 250k to 400k users in a year. Another Trafi project - Breeze MaaS app for the Solent region (UK) - goes live.
- Angels. Rita Sakus, one of the most active angels in the community, joins the Board of the European Business Angels Network. Ieva Zu reminds us that angel investing is a two-way street, thus an intro website + portfolio is nice to have. Any other good examples? We only see firms such as Era Capital, others rely on linkedin (but nobody entertains better than Justinas Pasys)
- Fintech. End of an era? Symbolic as Marius Jurgilas from Bank of Lithuania steps down, recent news highlight the impact: "Revolut blames Brexit as it shifts one million trading customers from London to Lithuania", "Lithuanian Fintech Solvo <launched by two ex-crypto team members at Revolut> raises $3.5 m seed from Index Ventures"...
- Calendar. Mobility Hackathon with EUR 20k prize, Oct 28-30.
rounds and capital
- AISPECO raises EUR 1m round from Superhero Capital, 70V, and Capitalia. Startup is a provider of infrastructure inspection platforms (think cameras and lidar sensors)
- Tax platform Loctax recently closed $12 million round backed by Index Ventures. We are pleased to have Kasparas Aleknavicius, CPO and Co-founder, answering a few questions on Loctax and his journey - find below.
- Registered in Lithuania, Solvo (mobile app for crypto investments) raised a $3.5 million seed round from Index Ventures with CoinFund and FJ Labs also participating.
- Horizontal Media, an online classifieds group backed by LitCapital, acquired Autogidas and Domoplius. Per Moller (CEO and co-owner) is determined to build a significant rollup in P2P and B2C domains.
- Fintech startup Enable Banking raises EUR 600k round led by Wellstreet. They seem to have a Lithuanian subsidiary and a part of the sales team here, too.
- Change Ventures led a seed round for Estonian Cloud Factory, with Superhero Capital, as well as Andrius Slimas (Oberlo co-founder) joining.
How cool is it to work on building a unique AI-powered fintech platform for B2B clients across Europe? SME Finance, one of the leading financial infrastructure for SMEs, e-shops and freelancers, has the answer, and trust me, the things they are building are huge. Doubling in a year and having almost 200 team members across their Ecosystem is not the end - SME Finance needs more experienced hands to steer that ship to the stars 😉
Check out and reach out to them
- A more holistic way to calculate LTV-to-CAC ratio
- Data: After engaging evenings on their side gigs, people perform better the next day in their full-time jobs.
- How to do PR - resources from Black Unicorn PR
- Keep your Board small and keep it productive
- Good Superproduktas pod with Vytautas Juskevicius, now CMO at Tidio (on growth, product + marketing, etc)
- You need to compete for attention before you can compete on product value - explaining why B2B SaaS spend 15-20% ARR on marketing
- Wired - why it is the age of investor-entrepreneur?
“In Europe, only 8 percent of investors have worked in a fast-growing tech company”
- Age and high-growth entrepreneurship (research)
"We find that age indeed predicts success, and sharply, but in the opposite way that many propose. The highest success rates in entrepreneurship come from founders in middle age and beyond."
What was your product leadership journey - did it start with design?
I wanted to build a startup myself since I was in highschool, but did not know how to code nor design. My best bet seemed to be joining another startup early on. And so I joined a startup as part of their founding team while still studying economics in Rotterdam. It led me on a steep learning curve, I worked on many things but mostly learnt on what not to do when building a product and team from scratch. During that time I found out that I can be most helpful by designing early product versions, hence over a year of freelancing I taught myself how to do product design. Then while working for some freelance clients I started focusing on validating and building my own products. This led me to co-found two product companies in the coaching and performance space. And then more recently in 2020 I started my third venture building tax governance software. Did the early designs and eventually moved onto a full time product management role as CPO.
What are your core operating/leading principles?
Be the megaphone of the truths that you know. Help your team to achieve desired outcomes by giving them the best information about the users, the problem, the market and the vision on how you see this product delivering value in the future. Have a single main goal that you want to go after in a short period and help your team as well as the whole organisation to go after it relentlessly.
Why it is the right time for Loctax?
Multinational organisations are coming under pressure from increasing tax regulation, it’s becoming more and more complex to manage tax responsibilities globally with new regulations being introduced regularly on country, region, or global level. Next to that, stakeholders’ expectations are also rising in terms of tax reporting and transparency. We are building a single source of truth of all tax responsibilities which enables organisations to ensure compliance in all locations while at the same time reducing costs and improving efficiencies.
What makes this team/product unique?
We are after an ambitious vision to build a category defining product in the global tax governance space. This would not be possible without an extensive understanding of the tax domain as well as strong product and engineering backgrounds that we bring to the table as founders as well as other team members. We are building a platform meant for collaboration between tax team members and internal stakeholders as well as bringing tax advisors onto our platform instead of being reliant on the tools that the advisors would like to use. We are focusing on the ease of use and pleasant user experience which was mostly neglected and forgotten in the tax domain. There’s massive potential for the platform that we are building and we are excited to see it evolve in the coming years.