The year 2021 is 8.33% complete, believe it or not. Tons of progress in the Lithuanian startup community - despite restrictions, Covid has shifted everything digital several years ahead. Here are some of our top picks for January.
Work in progress
- Momentum for AR? Can't visit the store, can't touch the product - seems the interest in AR soared during the pandemic. Shopify says that interactions with products having AR content showed a 94% higher conversion rate than without. We look to hear good news from CGTrader, as well as Planner 5D, both actively hiring now.
- Billo app has caught a new wave in the second half of 2020, building a custom-made eCom Video ad platform. They added EUR 435,000 to the 0.5 m raised in spring (Open Circle Capital, 70Ventures, and SOSV). Focused on the US and it seems to be working. We're not surprised in the world where TikTok supposed to cross 1 B monthly active user base this year.
- E-commerce has to be shipped, too. Ziticity had super busy Christmas, another leap of growth, reporting 8x revenue growth and probably working on the next round.
Work from home and long online hours
- Has Mindletic closed the round? A great concept as WFH can be increasingly stressful. They started off as 2nd place winner at The Global Hack and now onboarding Vinted as one of the customers.
- School from home - Edtech investment has grown 10x in Europe since 2014, hitting $700m last year; in LT, Teachers Lead Tech launched in September and now is live in 354 schools all around the country.
- Calls, and sometimes in different languages. Interactio is having a wild ride, ending the year with 6X growth and now ignoring cold calls from VCs
- Improving home and healthier living? While low in stock, a beautiful cordless blender - Millo One - is now available online at Selfridges.
Automation, tools, platforms
- Started hyper-local with automating Lithuanian accounting, Robolabs team has grown rapidly - 40 now and soon to be a major Kaunas employer. There was a plan for the UK next.
- Live in 3 Lithuanian cities, Discontract launches in Warsaw, Poland. One might think finding a plumber there is a similar challenge to here!
- Electrification is a thing (markets might need up to $2.5 trillion to turn the auto industry around), just in time Dancer registers the first Lithuanian electric bus in Klaipėda. Other startups to watch in the space - Elinta Motors (e-cargo vans) and Elinta Charge (charging software and hardware), as well as InBalance Grid (charging solutions).
- AKO Trike got some EU funding and just released an honest video inviting you to reserve one for yourself. Thrilling part of sustainability!
- Contribee has secured pre-seed from LitBAN angels and will now expand abroad, they might be focused on non-English speaking markets. Concerned about the competitor, Patreon is considering IPO, valued $ 1.4 billion in the last round.
Rounds and capital
- Attention Insight Raises EUR 285,000 To Expand AI-Powered Pre-Launch Design Analytics.
- Droplet Genomics raises EUR 1 m from Practica Capital with contribution from Angel investors. The startup will commercialize droplet microfluidics technology.
- Biomatter Designs has raised €500,000 seed led by Practica Capital, with 70V and angel investors. The startup has developed a machine learning-powered platform for next-generation computational protein design.
- In successful crowdfunding, Monimoto brings onboard almost 400 investors and €404,400 of funding. This will lead them to the US market for further growth.
- Estonian proptech startup Rendin raises €1.2 million, led by Tera Ventures and Iron Wolf Capital participating.
- Lithuanian fintech startup kevin. gets €1.5 million to expand throughout Europe - a seed round with business angels from the finance and insurance industries. kevin is launching first-of-its-kind PSD2 solution for mobile payments to compete with card networks.
- Smart Vision, an e-commerce player selling glasses and sunglasses, raises EUR 1.8 m from Open Circle Capital, and apparently working on the next stage. Seen 5x revenue and 5000+ customers in 2020.
- Finnish Calqulate raised EUR 1.5 m, led by Maki.VC , together with 70 Ventures and others. Vilnius office is part of the plan.
Funds and angels
- LitBAN keeps going with 75 active members and a total of EUR 5m+ invested since 2018; last year EUR 2.2m is mentioned as the total.
- Last year LitBAN members have individually invested 85 tickets into startups, 28 out of them - via LitBAN pipeline.
- 27 angels added last year for 75 angels in total, and already 10 new angels in January.
- Change Ventures announced the second close of Fund II at €31M, becoming the largest seed fund in the Baltics; also hired Gabrielė to scout Lithuanian founders.
- Vilnius University Foundation will now be open to investing in startups along with other angels via Coinvest Capital scheme.
- Liina Laas is raising €30m for investing in Baltic and Nordic startups with female founders and gender-balanced executive teams - the Better Fund.
- Our guide for founders - "How to find business angels in Lithuania" is here.
- Marketing + growth. Drive growth by picking the right lane — a customer acquisition Playbook for consumer startups (very good).
- LinkedIn organic marketing guide is here - useful and free.
- Fundraising - one of the favorite topics for VC content marketing. But this NFX Non-obvious guide is worth your attention, different, and comprehensive. If craving for more, here's a new "from seed to series A".
- Board. Older, but always useful - board deck template from Creandum.
- Term sheet. A little different approach used byFounders, and a good summary why. Note they are open to Baltic investments.
- Investor updates - nice and simple way to keep your investors up to date on what's happening.
- ID. The field guide how to be... Brewdog.