work in progress
- Life Sciences, starting with CBD. Biotecus, the latest Tesonet investment, share their story in the video (besides expansion plans - educating that CBD is not narcotics). Sanobiotec raised capital via bond issue, a total of EUR 1,2m (2022 rev EUR 3.2m, profitable). Others - Psylink is closing the round (we talked with Laura earlier here), Droplet Genomics is expanding to the US.
- Payments. Bloomberg covers London payments firm which moved $1B a month despite red flags - until the Bank of Lithuania suspended. Kernolab and Inventi acquired the majority of Paysolut customers (almost like Paysolut doing exit twice - but looks like offroad works for them)
- Sports tech. A strong team behind Motion Trials, measuring sprints with an ultrasonic device. Joggo app is Kilo Health product. Is Bucket.Network still pushing ahead? Try rope flow with Octomoves.
- People. Vytautas is now CEO of Smartproxy. Zivile joins Antler cohort in Singapore. Daumantas launches Restorie (electronics refurbishment).
- Calendar. Vilnius Tech Leads on Unbiased Interviews (Feb 23).
- Impressive commitment. Tesonet (Nord Security) has put EUR 1m donation for radars in Ukraine. Lithuanians have raised more than EUR 6m in a few days.
rounds and capital
- Inbalance grid secured EUR 1.5m investment from Equite, which will be dedicated to expanding the LT charging station network by 600 public charging points.
- LEH and Interhealth Holding B.V. invested a total of EUR 500k in the Leiden based startup dHealthIQ, which supplies analytical software to elderly care institutions. The startup has significant Lithuanian component, including CEO.
AWS announced Cloudvisor as the winner of the Rising Star Partner of the Year - EMEA award. Chosen among thousands of AWS partners in the EMEA region proves Cloudvisor is one of the leading AWS partners empowering startups to scale. Book a free consultation today. AWS + Startups = Cloudvisor 🖤
Verkter - Chief Commercial Officer
Vinted - Investment Portfolio Manager
LABA7 - Sales Manager (automotive)
Mindletic - Account Executive
Greenifs - Head of Growth
NordVPN - Engineering Manager
Remotely Talents - Talent Acquisition Manager
Nexpay - AML Officer
Breezit - SDR
ColibrisODM - Business Development Coordinator
- How do you get investors to find you (Dragos Novac)
- Pod with Cliff Obrecht, Co-Founder & COO at Canva will resonate with Lithuanian founders: founding a company in the middle of nowhere (Perth Australia), non-technical founders, and also a couple.
- 4 simple, but powerful ways which helped CoinGate blog organic traffic grow by 400%.
- Venture - portfolio construction and how to model your fund
- Angels - what are top 5 mistakes business angels are making
- Not smart enough for the top job? Research in Sweden confirms that wage-ability relation plateaus at approximately €60,000 yearly wage. Past wage threshold, having a higher wage is no longer telling of cognitive ability.
- Time zone is one of the key advantages NY has to offer against SV
- Why and how video games will bring revolution to education
- Climate funds: Sifted covers Poland’s state-owned PFR Ventures - it has deployed EUR 55m across four green VC funds, one of them is Contrarian Ventures. Also new players in the region - Nutshell Ventures (EE), Look Up Ventures (DK).
How did you enter the tech scene and what was that journey like with Secret Escapes?
I’ve had a rather unconventional path into tech – my academic background is in pharmacology and neuroscience. I’ve always loved natural sciences but quite early into my studies realised the pace of academic life wasn’t exactly my cup of tea... So I decided to try and break into the crazy world of startups. Which was definitely non-linear but after all those dead ends I came across a program called New Entrepreneurs Foundation – and that was an inflection point. NEF was my “MBA”. It gave me the skills, knowledge and network to enter the tech scene and that’s how I joined Secret Escapes.
And what a wild journey it was! I started out as an Entrepreneur in Residence to lead marketing special projects and later branched out into product, data and strategy, ultimately becoming the Head of Growth. My job was to help identify and launch new business bets, usually across different disciplines – LTV modelling with FP&A, ROAS optimisations with performance, measurement and attribution with data science... My favourite one was building and scaling the mobile app – first as a skunkworks project and later as a company-wide strategic initiative.
Experienced startup operator turned investor. How does your background make you a better VC, and what did you have to learn/change to be successful in your new role?
I find it really surprising that such a small percentage of European VCs are former founders or operators. Especially at seed, where it’s all about investing with no (or very limited) data – you can’t just run a DCF and get to an answer! The ability to deconstruct the business into its core building blocks and conceptualise the path to scale is key to the decision making, and I think an operator skillset here really helps. Another aspect is portfolio support – so many investors talk about being “hands on”... I think it’s easier to help founders with operational topics if you have been in the trenches yourself. Having said that, some of the best investors I know have never worked in or ran a startup, so there is clearly no one size fits all.
Is there a way to narrow down "meaningful cheques at the stage it really matters"? What verticals, themes excite you most?
Stride is artisan capital – we back founders at seed on the projects that we feel personal affinity to. Whether consumer or B2B SaaS, at the end of the day it’s about ambitious founders going after big problems that redefine industries and create new categories. Personally, I love investing at the intersection of tech and impact – health, education, climate, desci. Also web3 post hype :)
Stride seems to invest across Europe and UK. How do you see Lithuanian/Baltic scene changing - observing it from a bit of distance?
Being a proud Lithuanian myself, I am so impressed with how buzzing the local ecosystem is becoming – it’s still early days but there are so many interesting projects popping up. We are small but ambitious and we have strong talent to design and execute. Let’s build great things.