Take Charge | Lithuania tech weekly #12

Take Charge | Lithuania tech weekly #12

work in progress

  • Vinted is adding engineering hires in the Berlin office. In this blog post Mindaugas Mozuras explains that ambition is much higher compared to around 100 roles per year they expect to be filling in Vilnius.
  • More about Omnisend in Delfi (LT) - we learn that 80 people out of 130 are based in LT, half of the customers are in the US, and they do believe in the benefits of bootstrapping, which provides more stability as well as more freedom forward. Interestingly, the 3rd venture for Rytis.
  • Trafi partners with Voi to integrate their scooters in Berlin, Munich, Basel, Bern, Zurich and more cities to come. More details on Lat Am as they see massive potential there, including more push for cycling routing (shared and owned).
  • Many trends are bringing us to new forms of protein production - including insect farming (Ynsect raised $372 last year). Cogastro (70V portfolio) is selling shovels in this gold rush (insect farming software) and Mante shares some market insights (in LT)
  • Summary of Contrarian Ventures run which totals 16 portfolio companies now (11 investments last year), and impressive push to build a recognized brand in the space - with Energy Tech SummitClimate 50 and others.
  • Smallsat mission integrator NanoAvionics, which has gained recognition from the industry for its nanosatellite technology in recent years, aims to capture a share of the lucrative microsatellite segment with the first modular microsat bus in the industry, the “MP42”. After doubling the team in the last 12 months (around 100 engineers), this is a spectacular success story in the making.

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rounds and capital

  • Turing College joins Y Combinator - becoming the first Lithuanian startup to do so. This will secure some 125k of or so in terms of investment, but obv more important is the signaling (here's a list of top YC startups).
  • London-based Omnio launches EUR 30m funding round led by GrayBella Capital, but we are looking at the fund here. GrayBella is a venture growth fund (series A&B), investing in fast-growth deep-technology and healthcare-related companies in Spain, Portugal, UK & Ireland, as well as in the Nordic Baltic Region. In the broader team with Ruta Laukien as a partner, Ruta Labalaukyte as a principal and Vladas Lasas as an advisor, they are surely screening the region here, too.

founder guides

  • Fundraising series A. Deck template by Creandum
  • Fundraising series B. 10 Non-Obvious Rules
  • Sanity. How to stay sane (or at least try to) while working from home - by Ilma, COO of the Remote Company.
  • How building a unicorn looks and feels like. Lior Handelsman brings lessons on SolarEdge, an Israeli company worth $15b
  • Building hardware as a service. The Diff dives into the topic, and says that "If you buy something and use it every day for years, it makes sense that you’d pay for it as you use it rather than buy an uncertain amount of usage at one upfront price".

roleplay

insights

  • Revenue. FB has a little over $200 in revenue per US user per year, Google a bit less than $300, and Apple a little over $700 (Ben Evans with a calculator)
  • Beware of open office. Keywords are germs, socialization, focus.
  • SV intellectuals. In the rise of self-serving philosophers, let's not forget to question what we read. "But if we are to progress as a society, we must give the dreamers and sociopaths of Silicon Valley the space to put received wisdom to the test"
  • Arrival, a London-based pre-revenue electric van maker, merged with special purpose acquisition vehicle CIIG Merger Corp to list on the Nasdaq. In the process, it raised $660m. The value of the business at that point of time? $13.6bn. Anything to do with LT? They own a 28-people big electric motor factory, based outside Vilnius (prev Thor Motors). Mentioned in SEC docs, too (page 44).
  • There is a related company in London called Charge Automotive, which turns 1960’s Mustangs electric. The CTO there is Matas Simonavicius from Klaipėda - he shares more of this story here

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ecosystem

  • Pupils are afraid of failure. And we should be afraid of these stats ISM has collected talking to 9-12 graders in Lithuanian schools (sample size 3977).
    • Addressing fear of failure and this social stigma will make an impact. 69% of youngsters would like to start a business, which signals seeking independence and confidence and even 20% have put some effort into it. 44% mention fear a reason that is holding them back.

Thank you for reading, enjoy the weekend and never hesitate to hit reply - always curious to hear your feedback.