6 min read

Physical AI

Physical AI
Images by AHOY, via Go Vilnius
Lithuania Tech Weekly #162
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Job board - early-stage Baltic startups - here

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work in progress

The thing to keep in mind about this or any other definition is that robots can typically do three things: 1. Sense 2. Compute 3. Act.

Small robots, big business - last Starship Technologies (EST) round is $90M. Their robots have driven 11M miles across continents, done 6 million+ deliveries, saving almost 1.8 million kg of CO2 and partnering with ​Bolt​, ​Coop​ and ​Grubhub​. Another on growth trajectory – Latvia's scaleup Aerones, which developed robotic wind turbine care systems (seen on POS podcast recently)

Robotics is where we will see "physical AI" – startups like Dutch Monumental, where Plural took another ticket, building machines for construction. Arguably, more promising than some walking robots? In fact, the Humanoid robot revolution may be just around the corner - see Nvidia's Huang intervew, and this newsletter.

Iron Wolf has backed Kingdom Technologies – robotic lawnmowers and the team has just secured £1.4m funding from the founders of Skype and Bolt, along with Iron Wolf, Specialist VC and Scottish Enterprise. Another at IWC (and BADideas fund) portfolio - Latvian Squad Robotics, industrial floor cleaning robots.

Kingdom Technologies | Deeper Quest

Who else is building in this space? Industrial Robotics (70V) is bringing no-code approach to deploy manufacturing robots avoiding substantial programming. Sort A Brick will put robots into use with AI – to sort and discover new Lego sets. Rubedos offers 3D perception and navigation technology for collaborative robotics. Sentante is almost there with the first fully-robotic teleoperated system
for endovascular interventions, after closing EUR 6m round from Practica Capital & EIC. Deeper built Quest - let's say a robot that finds you a fish? Again, VCs are surely looking into this space, Balderton ideas seem to be valid and AI is unlocking new creative modes.

Sales Tech Day – a top sales event coming in April, to get you up to speed on what works, and what works with AI. We're happy to introduce a special offer for Tech Philomaths audience. Go book it here (code below)

Special offer - use TECHPHILOMATHS15 for 15% discount (only a handful of tickets)

If you want to understand how AI is reshaping business, picture it as the other massive innovation of our time: GLP-1 drugs. Both shed weight by suppressing cravings; both exacerbate existing inequities (aka the rich get richer) before generating wider prosperity; and both are having a greater impact than projected as early adopters are hesitant to admit they’re using.
    • Makinga Phone, a Friend is a new venture from two founders, two Tomas (Dirvonskas and Ramanauskas) – bold takes on phone UX and consumer behaviour, which is bound to change with AI. Others: Volatile AI is working on automating chemical analytics. Dataist is using AI for GDPR paralegal. Scoris generated financial overviews for 70k Lithuanian companies in the LT language using LLMs.
    • MeetingEngineering Summit: ML/AI sessions arriving soon – March 14 in Vilnius. A set of great speakers (starting with Jurgis from Google DeepMind), it's a free half-day of intense, practical talks on AI/ML Engineering. Don't miss it.
  • Fastest. Annual FT1000 list includes 9 LT firms - all impressive in growth. Taking note on the Tesonet family, some revenue machines are under one roof (Surfshark €63M, Hostinger €69M, Oxylabs €63M - and these are 2022 figures, and exclude NordVPN).
  • Indie Hackers. Problems sole entrepreneurs have (and others indie hackers wish to have): revenue hitting 50k MRR ceiling. Not exactly an issue for Erikas and Donatas with Kaching Appz.
  • People moves. Klaudija joins Open Circle Capital as Principal. Vladas assumes CMO role at Elinta Charge. Tomas is full-time founder at NeuralDEEP. Linas is a co-founder at Fivrec (recycling of Lithium-ion batteries).

rounds and capital

  • Small acquisition - EF EVE Ltd., was acquired by Djinn Technologies. EF EVE Ltd. was founded in 2013 by Agnis Stelingis and was based in the United Kingdom and Lithuania, and known for its user-friendly volumetric and spatial capture software.

founder's guide


Privileged to receive support from a group of core sponsors, who decided to get on board. We can still squeeze in... one.

Cloudvisor [AWS partner dedicated to startups], Vinted [largest C2C European marketplace, always hiring], Tech Zity [tech hubs and campuses], Presto Ventures [investing in early-stage B2B startups and marketplaces], 15MIN Group [all the news]

further insights


  • What made Estonia's public sector more innovative, especially IT-related fields? Research from Marius Kalanta points to high mobility between private and public career tracks.
It was common for managers from ICT enterprises, or academics to accept short- or longer-term appointments in the government or serve as strategic advisers on ICT development to the Prime Minister or the President and then move back to business or further to ICT-related NGOs or academia.


Early-stage startups, building founding teams - see the Job Board

CTO2B – Founding Product Marketing Manager
Leya AI – Backend Engineer
The Knotty Ones – Finance Director
Bisly – Head of Marketing
RSI Europe – Product Owner
Aktyvus Photonics – Business Development Manager


Develop a habit of working on your own projects. Don't let "work" mean something other people tell you to do. If you do manage to do great work one day, it will probably be on a project of your own. It may be within some bigger project, but you'll be driving your part of it.
What should your projects be? Whatever seems to you excitingly ambitious. As you grow older and your taste in projects evolves, exciting and important will converge. At 7 it may seem excitingly ambitious to build huge things out of Lego, then at 14 to teach yourself calculus, till at 21 you're starting to explore unanswered questions in physics. But always preserve excitingness. – Paul Graham, How to do Great Work