Lithuania Tech Weekly #98
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work in progress
- Robots are coming. Rising energy prices are one reason. Famous Founders Fund series A into Giraffe360 is another signal (congrats Latvia!). Balderton tries to explain why robotics and VCs have a complicated relationship, but despite that Iron Wolf earlier deployed some capital with Glasgow-based Kingdom Technologies (lawn mowers) and Latvian Squad Robotics (cleaning).
- Health. Brand new European Healthtech market map. Need to periodically check Kilo portfolio (#ventures) - there is PipelinePharma now there, fast-growing Octomoves, and several more. Looks like well-being is at the core of Kaunas startup ecosystem, many startups, a very healthy city.
- People. Vaidas is now CPO at First Circle, from the Philippines. Welcome Mazvydas, new CTO for BlockGames. Two new executives at HeavyFinance, watch them grow. Justina is now Chief of Staff at Freshpain, YC startup.
- Taxes. More than EUR 200m in taxes were paid by Lithuanian startups, growing. Probably outside that list is Bifinity, UAB which runs trading on behalf of Binance and turned over just above EUR 620m revenue - not bad for 20 people team. If FTX was a red flag, what flag(s) are Binance?
rounds and capital
- Walk15 secured another round, EUR 400k. They have engaged 1000 international companies, and host 420,000 users in the platform. Round by angels (LitBAN), also Business Angels Fund II.
- Teachers Lead Tech receives EUR 150k from Unicorns LT along with partners - Mariaus Jakulio Fondas, Wargaming, and others. Funding will allow to support another 1000 teachers nationwide.
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Aerones - Senior Sales Executive
Nost0 - Global Head of Technology
FittyAI - Partnerships Manager
Watalook - Business Development Manager (Denmark)
Tech Zity - Marketing / branding lead
Baltik Vairas - CFO
Mambu - Engineering Director
Flo Health - Principal Product Designer
VC openings, Europe
Arminas Kazlauskas, CEO/CTO, product leadership roles
Chase Olle for gamedev talents
Drop a link to your job posting here, and select to show one or two weeks. Free for early-stage teams. Highlight stock options - our audience is mostly senior talent looking for upside.
- If to listen to one podcast this week, let it be by Miki Kuusi from Wolt. There is many impressive founders, but just some also happen to be talented speakers.
One mistake people make in hiring is that they're looking for the person that has already done, you know what you need? We need to hire that person. He's done this before, he's gonna do it for us and it's gonna be amazing. But what people don't realize is that very few people do these things twice in their life. And actually what you need to be looking for is this person before they did that thing.
- How much should founders pay themselves?
- Spotify Salary Data Shows Pay for US Jobs: Engineering, Product, More.
- Three coffee cups: Founders' guide to B2B sales
- Yannick - 2022 VC Funding Trends. No room for long-term pessimism.
- To predict scaleup revenue, EQT Motherbrain applies SiRE. It is based on a Kalman Filter, a methodology typically used for the navigation and control of aircrafts and spaceships.
- Not for your startup, but this 4-day week is getting some traction
- Airbnb's Double Disruption - it's a housing company!
Povilas Poderskis, Development Director, Darnu Group
Former COO of Nord Security, former CEO of Vilnius Municipality
What skills are transferable - from COO Vilnius to COO in Nord Security?
I was working as CEO in Vilnius city, but it is a similar position as COO in Nord, since oversight of general back office functions was a priority. Coordination, stakeholder management and general management of an organisation of around a 1000 employees is relevant too.
What makes a great COO in technology scale-up?
The COO role varies from company to company, I have researched this quite a bit. In some cases COO is what CEO is not - filling in the skills and competencies that CEO is lacking, either inward-facing or outward-facing. So it really depends on the company and what skills and competences it needs to supplement. We have gathered a meetup of COO's in tech industry in Vilnius and there were no two people that had identical or even similar job descriptions.
What do you see as misconceptions Lithuanian politicians/policymakers hold regarding the tech industry?
Our policymakers have yet to get up to speed with what is needed in current-day business. Recently there was a change that was led by Unicorns association in regard to the law of stock companies, it was a great step towards a better regulatory environment. In the tech hubs of the west similar practices are set up and working for ages. So the misconception is that it is somehow very tech-specific and only the tech-business needs it. That's not true. A lot of companies set up their HQ's in the Netherlands or Estonia, not because of some shady tax reasons but precisely because the bureaucracy and regulations do not allow simple business transactions.
What might be holding us back? Is there a talent gap for senior operators and executive in tech in Lithuania?
I think naturally the ecosystem is growing in terms of competencies in all areas: whether it is senior executives, specialists, capital market. We are seeing growth in all these areas and I think what we need is just time for everything to unfold. We are on the right path, we have the right mindset and everything else we will just learn on the way.
What do you believe to be the most effective interventions that would further accelerate the startup ecosystem? Any non-obvious experiments we should try?
I think a faster relocation of whole companies and teams could be an idea. Currently, we are very afraid to do so, I think that is counter-productive.
What is next for you personally? (not sure how much you want to share)
As of last month, I've started working in Darnu group as Development director. I oversee attracting new build-to-suit projects, public-private partnerships and new project development. However, I am not in a sense out of the tech sector for good, since whatever sector one is working in, technology is playing a crucial role in it.
- kood/Jõhvi, new Estonian coding education provider, launches with 500 students
- R&D expenditure, or perhaps our annual least favourite graph to see.