work in progress
- Winners. There are plenty of hustlers around, and – there is Vocal Image.
- Fintech / regtech and more? DeepFin launched Sofia AI - a financial assistant for freelancers. We are keeping an eye on what's coming out of Super How, especially since Marius Jurgilas transitioned from the Bank of Lithuania. Axiology believes financial instruments like government bonds should be as simple as making a coffee - enabled by DLT infrastructure. Micapass is a fully decentralized on-chain compliance tool. Both startups won special prizes at the Startup Fair. Is that on the list of recent Coinbase "call for startups"? Besides blockchain, the scene is shifting quickly with AI adoption, watch AI-native teams like Norwegian Strise emerging quickly to compete with others, including Amlyze (which just brought a big event to Vilnius).
- Consumer, e-commerce. Salomon left Earlybird to launch Origins, a consumer fund with athletes and celebrities as LPs – the audience becomes their competitive lever to win deals. Enjoyed a fun talk with Sean Frank, CEO of Ridge, a bootstrapped wallet brand. So who is pushing the envelope there with e-commerce in LT - and who should we get tracking? Furniture1, OBDeleven, Burga, Orbio World , Smart Brands Lab
- A, I. Right after we all started chatting with AI, suddenly Siri experience feels so outdated. Things will change with OpenAI's Whisper - and others - but we seem to be running into computing questions. Another good read - BarbAIrians at the Gate: The Financial Opportunity of AI.
- Partnerships -> GTM. Trafi launches MaaS app for Brussels - Floya. hold.earth partners with Sorainen, DS Smith, Mambu and others. Turing College brings Accenture as a hiring partner. Okredo and SME Finance will tailor lending offers based on the already available customer data.
rounds and capital
- WeSky – in-house cabin avionics system – raised EUR 1.1m from LitBAN angels, Coinvest Capital, Baltic Sandbox Ventures, and Notarc Management Group. Angels syndicate includes 38 members, truly national pull this one!
- Light Conversion has acquired Evana Technologies, in a local deal - getting access to ultrafast laser micromachining tech, since Evana was focused on semiconductor and dielectric material scribing. We looked at fast-growing laser firms here, and should have added Litilit - hearing they are on fire after the Taiwania round)
- Tallinn-based charging solution for electric vehicles VOOL raised EUR 1,3M, led by Specialist VC. Among angel investors were VOOL’s employees, who supported their company with €195K.
- Latvian electric scooter for parcel delivery, Bruntor, secured €100K from Latvian hardware and IoT startup accelerator Buildit.
- More investors than startups? Impellent Ventures having fun, and a few more for investor day.
- What ridiculous hit rate of early-stage VC look like? Perhaps Haystack with Semil.
The number of series A and growth rounds has continued to decrease in the first half of 2023; however, the number of pre-seed rounds has risen significantly showing continued angel and pre-seed fund willingness to back new teams. Seed rounds are also starting to rise again.
- Turning outbound sales upside down, into a pull model with less resource. Caveat: you gotta generate these high-signal leads
- The famous Tesla Master Plan, Bezos "Day 1" writing - easy to repeat and quote, simple yet profound, if only you can execute that in 10-20 years.
- A Simple Tool To Create Effective Board Meetings
- CEO 360 review - consider for sure
The last survey showed we need more marketing support for startups. What kind of? Click and select what is most needed.
- European Straits newsletter is back - and provides a broader reflection on why doors are shutting down for startups.
- When should states be creative, innovative or entrepreneurial - and when should they not? From Geoff Mulgan
So yes: states should support innovation and generally have, for more than a century. Only in orthodox economics did this ever look strange. Yes states should encourage innovation in their public services, and celebrate the creative bureaucrats, but alongside serious attention to evidence, adoption and learning from others. Yes they should be entrepreneurial (in the broader sense of the word). And yes they could be far more strategic in shaping, and making use, of powerful emerging technologies such as generative AI.
But no, they shouldn't try to innovate and be creative all the time and no, states and bureaucrats should not seek to be entrepreneurs, or if they do, should operate within very strict limits. Otherwise you risk finding yourself on a fast track to corruption, predation and abuse of power.
Advice from Steve Jobs: “Don’t be a career".
- Just more deliverables from a small technology team within government, and we are excited to see this can gather momentum - both for political decisions, as well as getting more talent to solve important problems.
- "Nudges remain useful political tools. They are cheap, and they neither ban nor mandate. And if they don’t work, it takes a while for voters to notice" - the latest update on a theory that society can achieve some goals just by helping people make better decisions. This led to the launch of the Behavioural Insights Team, consulting governments globally.
three questions, previously
- Sten Tamkivi, Partner, Plural and Partner, Taavet+Sten
- Rytis Lauris, Co-founder and CEO, Omnisend
- Andreas Helbig, Partner, Atomico
- Domas Janickas, Co-founder at edON
- Milda Jasaite, Senior Director of Corporate Development, Vinted
- Darius Zakaitis, Founder & CEO, Tech Zity
- Roman Novacek, Partner, Presto Ventures
- Lina Zakarauskaite, Principal, Stride.VC
- Justinas Pasys, Managing Director, LitBAN
- Magnus Hambleton, Investor, byFounders
- Povilas Poderskis, Development Director, Darnu Group, ex-COO Nord Security
- Gytenis Galkis, Venture Partner, Superhero Capital
- Daniel Kratkovski and Dominykas Milašius, co-founders, Delta Biosciences
- Kasparas Aleknavicius - Co-Founder and CPO, Loctax
- Andrius Milinavičius, General Partner, Baltic Sandbox Ventures
- Laura Korsakova, Founder and CEO, Psylink
- Paulius Uziela, Investment Manager, Coinvest Capital