Lithuania Tech Weekly #67
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work in progress
- VC fit. Public stocks crashing, late-stage down rounds are in play. Less in the region as we are still underpriced. A time when some founders ponder venture capital fit at all - as mentioned by leaving co-founder of Foros, or founder of Botis (price tracker). It's fun until we talk venture returns, not all businesses (and teams) are so scalable. Would the success stories of Pixelmator, Mailerlite or Searchnode look different if they have raised millions of venture dollars?
- PPT. Memby platform launches online school for Ukrainians, SCOBO helps companies hire diverse talent and overcome the language barrier, Ondato assists with sanctions compliance (LT), TrustGuru checks your GDPR standing (LT). The common thread here is the rise of Public Purpose Tech (PPT), which is an array of startups & companies going after societal needs. They tend to be mission-driven, long-term focused, apply various business models and often need more financing mechanisms. PPT founders see that tech itself won't solve it all, many issues require behavioural or policy changes too - something Vinted, Trafi, or Walk15 have recognized early. More on EF podcast with Tanya Filler.
- Mobility. Rytis Jakubauskas transitions from Latana into climate - launching Palmo to save cities from the white van colonies (read below why and how). Tranzee is building a social carpooling app.
- Calendar. Investor Camp in Vilnius, May 25th.
- Research. Google, in cooperation with CIVITTA, is running a new research project on the startup ecosystem in the Baltics - answer few questions.
rounds & capital
- Coinvest Capital, 70V and angels investing EUR 610k into Cambridge Phenotyping. The team developed Smart Kage device which helps monitor and analyze rodent behaviour in medical laboratories.
- AeroCity Tech Ventures invested EUR 750k into EVmotors.eu. It is to build a new EV marketplace and engage the community, leveraging the experience they already have working with EV brands (Seres SUVs and Yutong buses).
- Poklet, financial education app (+wallet and card) for kids and teens is raising EUR 400k via Funderbeam. Learn more about their solution, traction, investors here.
- Zenoo, freeze-dried raw dog food startup, is next in the line to raise on Funderbeam, too.
- Fundraising. Ask VCs who are their LPs and prevent potential future trouble
- Start. But what? The art of finding what to build, podcast with Gagan Biyani
- Words, don't come easy. If your brand has to sound better (i.e. you need to write better), go talk to First Impression and empower your team public online.
- Highly independent. Want to build something, but without venture funds? Inspirations at Indie Hackers, Starter Story, Bootstrappers, Makerpad
- Hiring. Should you give feedback after candidate rejection?
- Employee - VC alignment and how power is shifting to the team doing the work.
- What are the most effective ways to get cars out of cities?
Rytis Jakubauskas, CEO and Co-founder, Palmo
What's the market failure Palmo is after?
Within the last mile, we're seeing a tremendous shift away from delivery vans to light electric vehicles (LEVs), driven by trends such as climate, anti-pollution/congestion & customers' preference for delivery within hours. The cost of this "LEV delivery" is still extremely high however, largely because the new delivery firms operate inefficient networks (about 1/10th the utilisation-rate compared to traditional van delivery). And this inefficiency chasm is the market failure we're after, and we're fixing that through coordination between the operators & cutting-edge optimisation tech.
What is your starting point in terms of customers/markets?
We're headquartered in Berlin, which also happens to be the epicenter of both quick commerce (Gorillas, Flink, etc) as well as LEV delivery businesses and manufacturers (even large parcel firms like UPS and DPD partially deliver with LEVs here) - so we're starting in the HQ. The quick commerce segment is where the pressure to increase operational efficiency is now highest, which is why we're helping those businesses first.
What makes this founding team (experience, competence) the best fit to go after this particular problem?
We are mission-driven, experienced B2B-builders who combine transport expertise with the technical skills required to pull this off.
I have worked with the likes of Doordash and Flink, but also spent many years building a ride hailing-network as well as manufacturing LEVs for urban ridesharing. In between, I also founded and scaled up B2B-martech Latana.
My co-founder is Ionut, who started 2 tech firms himself (a computer vision business & a remote coworking space). He brings the wide-ranging expertise required to pull Palmo off, from full-stack development to optimisation & deep expertise in AI.