Talent first | Lithuania tech weekly #11

Talent first | Lithuania tech weekly #11

work in progress

  • Someone tried to stir a sense of suspicion around Nord Security taxes and operations, buth the article came out short of anything substantial (and poorly informed). In response, Tomas Okmanas reiterates commitment to the Lithuanian ecosystem, mentions Netherlands in the context of growth, investment, and even potential IPO (...late-stage VCs line-up).
  • SellerX, which just raised EUR 100m in the new European rush to buy+consolidate Amazon-based businesses ("The Germans pulling a Rocket Internet. Again"), seems to be setting up an office in Klaipeda, and rapidly recruiting.
  • Year-long testing of Ooniq, a peer-to-peer insurance platform, has been completed within the Bank of Lithuania’s regulatory sandbox - and looking promising.
  • Julius Cerniauskas, CEO of Oxylabs makes the case how web scraping can make the internet better - if used well. Part of Tesonet ecosystem, they have been growing quickly.
  • Interview (in LT) with Marija and Vitalijus, founders of Math Scientific. The gradual transition from corporate to startup, and e-commerce boost during pandemic.
  • Baltic Makers is a blog by builders in Vilnius (one more in English!). Here they look at no-code and low-code startups across the Baltics (this is the global landscape, a fast-growing market)
  • Using Minecraft for remote education in schools - a talk with Darius Kniuksta, co-founder of Trys Kubai.
  • Rubbee seems to be back on track, selling 1000 electric drives last year and ramping up further. The opportunity in e-bikes is massive - here's great talk (start 20:40) by Specialized EVP, asking suppliers globally to increase component production as most brands are completely out of stock.

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rounds and capital

  • Estonian ForPeeps Payments, consumer banking aggregator (SWG alumni) has already raised EUR 750k on Funderbeam and continues.
  • German Rebike Mobility raised EUR 10m series B to further grow e-commerce and subscription service, with NFQ being their technology partner.
  • European Innovation Council (EIC) was launched, and (as usual for EU bodies) we know there is a big-budget (EUR 10 b) but everything else looks complicated. Importantly, it opens new co-investment vehicles and can invest directly into startups.

founder guides

roleplay

  • Ziticity is hiring at least 16 roles, just launched Poland and increasingly look like a startup that raised a bunch of cash. On-demand delivery startups are hype like never before - probably stronger fundamental need for society compared to sushi-to-home?
  • Baltic Sandbox is hiring deal-flow legal manager

insights

ecosystem

  • ISM just launched a new undergrad program - Digital Business and Innovation, which was introduced in an interesting discussion yesterday. Developed together with Vinted, Tesonet, 70V, and SWG this will surely be attractive (both content and perception) and other business schools (if any?) will need to step-up, quickly. The % of pupils dreaming to join corporates or service centers will continue to decline. Hearing Milda, Jonas, Eimantas is encouraging since
    • Pay-forward and give-back are the rules of the day
    • Despite the need to hire globally, they are very rooted in LT and committed to making the tech scene world-class
    • Having gone through what seemed to be impossible, they inspire thinking big
  • In 2020 Fintech cluster is showing more signs of maturity with revenue of electronic money and payment institutions reaching EUR 135 m (double last year). It's a mix of foreign and Lithuanian firms and names to note obviously are Revolut, ConnectPay, Globalnetint, Paydoo, Paysera, Via Payments, Wallter (all above EUR 5 m revenue from licensed services). Lots of good data to pick (in LT only yet), but this does not include Fintech startups with other business models - such as technology, data providers, etc.
    • In an interview, Marius Jurgilas (Board Member at Bank of Lithuania) believes this is just the first step - we are putting the foundation for new subsectors, such as Wealthtech, to emerge.
  • In the context of Innovation reform being introduced by the new Minister of Economy, Dalius Misiunas raised a fair note on "who is going to make these reforms happen?" As our expectations towards policymakers and executive agencies grow, the target seems to be off. If we look at some good examples (Invest Lithuania? Bank of Lithuania?) it was not a strategy-first, but indeed, leadership-first, which defined the trajectory and built new culture. Unless we can attract top talent to these high-leverage positions, all these strategies will ultimately fail. Agne Paliokaite lists few more ideas, on how to find and empower "public entrepreneurs"

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