work in progress
- Riches in the niches. These niche solutions often seem like a smart wedge into a broader vertical. But they also could be a dead-end street with just a handful of customers. What we love about them, is the passionate entrepreneur pursuing this path, seeking solutions for customers they want to help. This is also the magic of technology spreading into ignored, tiny pockets of the market.
InterioApp helps fabric sellers, curtain makers, and store owners make a better living (expanding to FR). Viezo provides autonomous IOT for railways. Furnisystems is an e-commerce platform for the furniture industry. Glosendas collects and manages wildlife data using proprietary state-of-the-art solar-powered GPS/GSM trackers. AmeraLabs develops and manufactures high-quality 3D printing resins. HORAS OEE system calculates and visualizes the efficiency of production equipment.
- Repeat founders. Why serial entrepreneurship is so important? Interestingly, in many ways, it becomes harder to start again. Just like NVIDIA's CEO just said - "no, I would not start again if I knew what it would take". For repeat founders, naivete is gone - they all know how hard it is to build a company. Fear of failure - the feeling that "everyone is watching". Aiming very high, resisting to iterate - because this next thing got to be huge. So this serial founder barrier is real - and kudos to all who proceed no matter what, as they have probably already become "unemployables" (Plural's term). Few studies (but not all...) find that serial founders can be more successful than first-time founders, but let's leave it to them in Lithuania to create this performance dataset.
*Definition: Entrepreneurs, who co-founded and currently are building a startup, after co-founding a startup in the recent past.
**Mantas Mikuckas stepped down from the COO role but is on the Board of Vinted. Edmundas Balcikonis seem to have moved away from Trip Add.
***Many thanks for the comments and messages
- AI. Thrive Capital to lead OpenAI employee stock purchase at $80B valuation. State of AI report 2023 is all that you need (and should) know. J12 collected H1 23' deal data for all things AI in Nordics+Baltics, great review from Emmet King - please see a couple of graphs below (LT $ moved by CAST AI round). This tech wave (and very likely, a productive bubble, too) is attracting a lot of people. For example - a newly formed WhiteBridge.AI team, a fairly straightforward generative AI product. Or Milda.AI for B2B research. A number of agencies and consultants emerging, too, such as Why AI or Such Much AI (Edmundas Balcikonis)
- Agencies. The boom cycle Kool-aid was just about building products - as served by Naval and others, renting time is not the and product is your leverage. Now things are back in fashion - agencies are loved for cash flow, lifestyle businesses are great for maximum ownership, and selling time is fine as long as priced adequately. Synthesis Consulting Group teamed up with branding / advertising / PR pros to offer a full suite of services in LT and beyond. Roneta and Birute built a video editing agency, offering unlimited edits for a flat monthly fee. Perhaps a sweet spot is some of those creator-led productized service businesses?
rounds and capital
- BaltCap announced a new €200m BaltCap Infrastructure Fund. Renewable energy, transport and social infrastructure.
- Nothing much more to report? Well then enjoy the provocative but entertaining WTF VC Fall 2023 update from Sam Lessin (The Information)
- TGS Baltic is on the leading track with M&A work, and Nord Security deals keep them busy.
- "But, these two sparse data points (Klaviyo and Loom) do suggest that the acquisition market is moving in synchrony with the public valuation environment. Benjamin Graham said over the long term, the market is a weighing machine, even if in the short term it’s a voting machine."
- Meat substitutes are more expensive than their meaty equivalents. Until they're cheaper, they will struggle to bite into the protein market.
- What does a startup COO actually do? (Sifted)
- "When it comes to nailing product-market fit, empathy > passion" (Scott Belsky)
- Entrepreneurs and higher education - Peter Thiel's fellowship has helped build 11 startups valued at $1 billion.
In 2011, Peter Thiel launched a controversial education program to pay college students $100,000 to drop out. The program was widely criticized with many noting the hypocrisy of Thiel, who holds philosophy and law degrees from Stanford University. Former Treasury Secretary and Harvard University President Larry Summers said of the fellowship: “I think the single most misdirected bit of philanthropy in this decade is Peter Thiel’s special program to bribe people to drop out of college.”
Available evidence supports the opposite conclusion. Thiel fellows have achieved shocking success, enough to merit a reconsideration of our current approach to college.
- How does government policy impact startups?
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