work in progress
- What's up AI? The big news is that Sam Altman is fired from OpenAI, and Greg Brockman leaves, too. Interesting changes will be happening there, however - the genie is out of the lamp:
CGTrader built and launched CGDream - an application that produces unique 2D images. Unlike traditional generative AI applications, CGDream offers control over image composition by using 3D models to guide the design. Inion Software developed AI-powered tool that predicts solar power plant performance and electricity consumption days in advance. Perfection42 has some wage inflation, assuming great execution is happening there! We need more students engaging AI, good work both ISM and Paulius.
Dharmesh (Hubspot) writes that Chat UX Is Great, But Wait Till You See Agent UX. Gates has a piece on how AI will change how we use computers.
Agents will affect how we use software as well as how it’s written. They’ll replace search sites because they’ll be better at finding information and summarizing it for you. They’ll replace many e-commerce sites because they’ll find the best price for you and won’t be restricted to just a few vendors. They’ll replace word processors, spreadsheets, and other productivity apps. Businesses that are separate today—search advertising, social networking with advertising, shopping, productivity software—will become one business.
- Moving, atoms. Flexport's returning CEO and founder, Ryan Petersen is great on podcasts, and makes a compelling case for trade to grow consistently. He is also bullish on AI for Flexport, just like BCV is putting together a report on how Generative AI Is Reinventing Logistics Tech.
In our little land of logistics, GoRamp is rapidly growing following the latest round. Spotos, linked to Girteka, is a platform-forwarder, expanding rapidly, too. Fleethand, an advanced fleet tracking solution, is climbing over EUR 2m revenue this season, achieved in 6 years, all profitable. Ars Ingenii, while not showing revenues, are hiring and building hardware automation solutions for FMCG market.
Reminder - if you don't want to move atoms, you can still run a niche marketplace - like CustomsClear does, offering courses and training on all things trade. And last about trade - trying guessing a country by export structure on Tradle.
- Microprocessing, locally. Europe’s most valuable tech company is ASML, the only manufacturer of the machines needed to make advanced computer chips. This market monopoly rests on a Dutch tradition of knowledge and industrial policy, something to learn from. Teltonika aims to launch domestic semiconductor production in 2027 using Taiwanese technology, and in the meantime building Europe's first new PCB plant in two decades (render below). Geopolitics (+transport emissions) tells us that regional supply chains will grow, therefore Harald Mix and friends are backing Norwegian Gelato.
- Protect. carVertical donates an impressive EUR 100k support for the Ancient Wood Foundation (Sengires Fondas), which will allow them to acquire and protect more biodiverse forests.
- People. Welcome Roberta Rudokiene, as she takes over as Managing Director of LitBAN. Andrius leaves Open Circle Capital to join SME Finance.
rounds and capital
- Walk15 keeps marching ahead - raised another angel round of EUR 500k, reaching EUR 15m valuation, and bringing Mantas Mikuckas as the main investor this time. The app now has 600k users, they are expanding into Germany and may introduce challenges for cycling and other activities.
- Nordcurrent acquired Gothenburg-based studio River End Games. Launched in 2020, River End Games is a 17-strong team of highly experienced game developers led by Jonas Nordling, Anders Hejdenberg and Karl Broström, who have who have worked on AAA games like Battlefield and Need for Speed. Studio has hit approx EUR 1m in revenue last year.
The hottest ecosystem in Slush?? It's Lithuania, claims Creandum and delivers a nice overview of Europe's best-kept secret.
Love reaches new funds with every growth round LT startups secure - CAST.AI looks like a perfect bet for Creandum.
- Patrick (Odin) on competition in Venture Capital
One of the simple truths about investing in startups is that you can achieve a lot just by working harder than your competitors
- Letters to a Young Investor: Reid Hoffman
I did miss Stripe, but another interesting example where thankfully I got it right was Airbnb. It was actually my first venture investment as a partner at Greylock. When I brought it to the partnership, David Sze, looked across the table and said, “Every venture capitalist has to have a deal that they can fail on. Airbnb can be yours.” Mind you, David was the central reason I had joined Greylock, and my most helpful board member at LinkedIn. Again: this was my first investment as a partner!
- Your pitch should always answer three classic questions: Why buy? Why buy now? Why buy me?
- Kipp (CMO Hubspot) and Kieran (CMO Zapier) believe creators will replace your marketing team, and brands will be expanding "digital real estate" with media (podcast)
- For funds now actively knocking on Invega's door: VC Pitch Decks for LPs