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Locals share why Vilnius, Lithuania is becoming an international startup hub – FiratNews

Locals share why Vilnius, Lithuania is becoming an international startup hub – TechCrunch

There are many the explanation why Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital metropolis, has an more and more seen startup sector. The nation’s startup-friendly regulatory setting, an exquisite medieval city middle, over 20 enterprise hubs and accelerators and robust rankings in mental property manufacturing are most blatant at a excessive stage. However what are the locals enthusiastic about on the bottom?

Our survey respondents stated town was sturdy throughout a broad vary of tech industries, significantly these with sensible functions: cybersecurity, power and sustainability, fintech, well being care and medtech, edtech and silver tech amongst others.

Respondents stated the impact of the pandemic on working practices would imply that many expats could be transferring again to town, which is reasonably priced, and extra international firms are relocating there as a consequence of favorable authorities insurance policies, though “rental costs are going via the roof.”

As well as, the oppressive regime in close by Belarus has offered an inflow of serious tech firms, reminiscent of Wargaming, in addition to the related expertise.

In 5 years, respondents stated town and nation will proceed to generate and appeal to nice tech startups, but in addition tech expertise and entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, one stated: “The ecosystem nonetheless lacks native funding for the late Collection A and past rounds.”

We surveyed:

• Gerda Sakalauskaitė, managing director, The Lithuanian Personal Fairness and Enterprise Capital Affiliation

• Lukas Inokaitis, enterprise improvement, NFQ Applied sciences

• Andrius Milinavicius, founder, Baltic Sandbox

• Gytenis Galkis, associate, 70V

• Gabriele Poteliunaite, affiliate, Change Ventures

• Rokas Tamošiūnas, associate, Open Circle Capital

• Donatas Keras, founding associate, Practica Capital

• Tomas Martunas, founding associate, Iron Wolf Capital

• Alex Gibb, associate, Katalista Ventures

• Jone Vaituleviciute, associate, Startup Smart Guys

• Lukas Kaminskis, CEO, Turing Faculty

Gerda Sakalauskaitė, managing director, The Lithuanian Personal Fairness and Enterprise Capital Affiliation

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
The Vilnius startup ecosystem is especially dominated by startups growing enterprise administration methods (B2B, SaaS) and monetary applied sciences. Vilnius is changing into a stable sizzling spot of fintech firms in Europe having greater than 200 fintech firms established right here. Different rising industries could be deep tech, life sciences, mobility, and the sport trade.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Vinted (first Lithuanian unicorn, secondhand vogue on-line market which raised €128 million in an fairness funding spherical, valuing the corporate at over €1 billion in 2019).
Different notable startups: NordVPN, CGTrader, TransferGo, Trafi, Kilo Well being, CityBee, Brolis Semiconductors, PIXEVIA, Oxipit.
Rising stars that additionally ought to be checked out: PVcase, Droplet Genomics, ZITICITY.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?
I feel native tech buyers are taking extra dangers and changing into international scene gamers. Traders had their 10 years of market expertise and now they’re prepared to take a position into concepts and companies that will change the worldwide scene and even deal with points as advanced as they arrive — environmental, biotechnology or deep tech industries. Furthermore, the native investor group is kind of dynamic. We search to have our investor panorama as various as doable, so we’re working towards gender equality in VC and different essential variety causes to perform that.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
I feel COVID-19 created extra alternatives for Vilnius than dangers on this regard. The coronavirus disaster, basically, hasn’t affected the Vilnius startup ecosystem in the identical method as the remainder of Europe. As well as, Vilnius has made headlines worldwide with its inventive options to deal with the pandemic challenges. As an example, Vilnius turned one massive open air cafe. This reveals Vilnius being a unusual, hip and attention-grabbing metropolis to dwell in, so we predict extra expats to put their eyes on Vilnius. Particularly expats from our Jap neighbors who’re negatively affected by an ongoing political disaster (Belarus).

Who’re the important thing startup individuals in your metropolis (e.g., buyers, founders, legal professionals, designers, and so forth.)?
Founders:
Justas Janauskas, Milda Mitkutė, Mantas Mikuckas (Vinted)
Henrikas Urbonas, Simona Andrijauskaitė (Interactio)
Dalia Lašaite (CGTrader)
Tomas Okmanas, Eimantas Sabaliauskas (Tesonet)
Tadas Burgaila (Kilo Well being)
Daumantas Dvilinskas (TransferGo; Forbes 30 below 30)
Martynas Gudonavičius (Trafi)
VC buyers:
Rokas Peciulaitis (Contrarian Ventures)
Donatas Keras (Practica Capital), Arvydas Bložė (Practica Capital)
Jone Vaituleviciute, Dmitrij Susunov (Startup Smart Guys)
Kasparas Jurgelionis (Iron Wolf Capital)
Gytenis Galkis (70Ventures)
Viktorija Vaitkevičienė (Coinvest)
Authorized consultants:
Rūta Armone (Ellex)
Akvilė Bosaite (COBALT Authorized)
Eva Suduiko (COBALT Authorized)
Mantas Petkevičius (Sorainen)
Laimonas Skibarka (Sorainen)
Linas Sabaliauskas (TRINITI JUREX)
Andrius Ivanauskas (GLIMSTEDT)

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
Vilnius will certainly acquire momentum because the tech startup metropolis of the area. The variety of startup individuals they make use of will develop exponentially. We may have one or two additional unicorns born right here. And naturally fairly extra international expertise coming to Vilnius to work in startups!

Lukas Inokaitis, enterprise improvement, NFQ Applied sciences

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
Mobility, fintech, power, cybersecurity, healthcare. Weak in AI, information science.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Vinted, Tesonet, Kilo Well being, Pored Banda, Hostinger.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

Native and with small funds, principally backed by authorities and EU. Want massive personal ones and extra angel buyers.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
Town [has been] rising for a decade annually. No motive to decelerate as extra worldwide expertise is transferring to Vilnius from different EU and Asian nations.

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
One-two unicorns yearly and main EU in fintech, mobility and power.

Andrius Milinavicius, founder, Baltic Sandbox

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
Sustainability, silver tech, ladies in tech.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Tesonet (NordVPN), Vinted, Traffi, Kilo Well being.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

Deep tech, SaaS, sustainability.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
Everybody stays. Vilnius is a really inexperienced and vibrant ecosystem, with a number of co-working [locations] and easy accessibility to forests, parks and close by lakes.

Who’re the important thing startup individuals in your metropolis (e.g., buyers, founders, legal professionals, designers, and so forth.)?

Lots of them, ranging from Contrarian Ventures — Rokas Peciulaitis, Practica Capital — Arvydas Bloze, persevering with to Tesonet co-founder — Tomas Okmanas, Eimantas Sabaliauskas, adopted with Kilo Well being — Tadas Burgaila and extra.

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
4x no less than. Very fast progress

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Gytenis Galkis, associate, 70V

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
1. Lithuania is now fourth within the international fintech rating after the U,S,, the U,Okay, and Singapore.
2. Lithuania’s life sciences sector is gaining prominence.
3. Life sciences firms in Lithuania are among the many most worthwhile within the nation, with 90% of their output exported worldwide, but the market stays unsaturated. Lithuania is sixteenth within the International Innovation in Biotechnology rating in accordance with Scientific American WORLDVIEW worldwide biotechnology rating 2019.

In line with McKinsey research on B2B startups, Lithuania’s B2B startups generate extra worth per funding than the U.S. and different European counterparts, ensuing within the highest capital effectivity within the area!

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Bigger ones could be: Vinted, Tesonet, Kilo Well being, Bored Panda, Brolis Semiconductors, Cujo. Interactio lately has raised a $31 million Collection A spherical — the biggest ever Collection A for a corporation headquartered within the Baltics. Upcoming stars: Whatagraph, Ondato, ZITICITY, Eneba, Robolabs, CAST AI, Foros, Billo, Biomatter Designs, #walk15, Boommio.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

The tech funding ecosystem has been evolving very quickly in the course of the previous 5 years. The early-stage firms are in a position to get funding from the Lithuanian Enterprise Angel Community (LitBAN), which unites over 150 energetic personal buyers. Coinvest Capital invests alongside angel buyers and offers them profitable leverage. That is how the Lithuanian authorities helps the angel ecosystem. Then there are two energetic accelerators — 70V (Income Accelerator) and Startup Smart Guys offering funding within the pre-seed/seed levels. Different native funds — Practica Capital, Iron Wolf Capital, Verslo Angelu Fondas and Open Circle Capital present seed and Collection A funding. The ecosystem nonetheless lacks native funding for the late collection A and past rounds. Most of it’s lined by international funds. The native ecosystem is simply too small to have a particular focus. Nonetheless, I’d say that quite a lot of focus goes to B2B/enterprise software program.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
Since 2012 Vilnius’ inhabitants has been steadily rising 0.3% yearly. I consider that in COVID and occasions associated to Belarus have even additional boosted the expansion of Vilnius, particularly by way of the tech ecosystem. There had been main strikes from Minsk to Vilnius. For instance, Wargaming has moved a big quantity of their staff with households to Vilnius and even purchased 76 luxurious flats in downtown Vilnius. Different Belarusian firms are following. Moreover, Vilnius is among the greenest capitals in Europe with a novel medieval previous city, which makes it one of many coziest locations to dwell. It’s estimated that Lithuania nonetheless lacks over 10,000 tech abilities, which may very well be an ideal alternative for savvy explorers to hitch the quickly rising tech scene!

Who’re the important thing startup individuals in your metropolis (e.g., buyers, founders, legal professionals, designers, and so forth.)?
Vilnius is a small city and it’s effectively linked, there are lots of people that made this ecosystem flourish. Simply to call a number of: Jean-Baptiste Daguenè, Donatas Keras, Mantas Mikuckas, Tomas Okmanas, Rita Sakus, Vladas Lašas, Viktorija Vaitkevičienė, Tomas Martunas, Dmitrij Sosunov, Evaldas Remeikis, Evaldas Petraitis, and lots of extra that I ought to point out.

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
I strongly consider that Vilnius will additional increase on its distinctive angle of tech entrepreneurship. I strongly estimate additional progress in fintech, life sciences and B2B ecosystem. In my imaginative and prescient, I consider exports pushed by Lithuanian startups will no less than double inside the subsequent 5 years whereas bringing a number of new unicorns.

Gabriele Poteliunaite, affiliate, Change Ventures

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
Effectively, most likely most individuals will give the identical reply, however Vilnius is big on fintech. Nonetheless, I’d additionally go on to spotlight different prospering sectors, reminiscent of edtech, AI-driven firms, medtech, power tech — you identify it … There are quite a few sectors that we’re fairly sturdy in. As a generalist investor, we’re principally enthusiastic about pushed and passionate founders. This brings me to a different level that I’d say the weakest hyperlink of the ecosystem is lack of entrepreneurial coaching and lack of instructional initiatives inspiring children (and never solely) to go on to discovered their very own firms and take dangers. Threat aversiveness is the important thing weak point right here. We’re nonetheless missing large success tales, however that is slowly altering (Vinted, Tesonet).

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Interactio, Vinted, Memby and so many others — may go on itemizing them for days.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

As it’s a very tight-knit group, native tech buyers are very collaborative and useful with one another and entrepreneurs. Nonetheless, I’d say the primary areas native buyers nonetheless want to enhance on is internationalizing and diversifying their funding groups (it’s 2021 already) and discouraging founders to be aggressive of their growth to international markets and pondering globally very early on. Most buyers are generalists, specializing in all three Baltic nations and doing principally seed investments in software program (some {hardware}) B2B firms.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
STAY and MOVE IN — no query there! I feel COVID-19 pandemic has been an ideal stimulus for many expats — together with myself, to maneuver again to Vilnius and be part of forces in constructing this flourishing ecosystem. So far as I can inform, most individuals will keep, (rental costs are going via the roof) and extra international firms are relocating right here as a consequence of very favorable insurance policies.

Who’re the important thing startup individuals in your metropolis (e.g., buyers, founders, legal professionals, designers, and so forth.)?
Ugh, so many nice individuals to spotlight … which is clearly an indication that Vilnius has merely an awesome variety of absolute stars! (Not a biased opinion clearly.)

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
I’d enterprise to say one thing as daring as Vilnius changing into the worldwide chief in producing and attracting not solely world-class tech startups, but in addition tech expertise and excellent entrepreneurs. I could be getting a tad too excited, however I see a lot authenticity on this area — and if we handle to cherish it, we might go actually far!

Rokas Tamošiūnas, associate, Open Circle Capital

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
Sturdy: Marketplaces, fintech, life sciences, tech variety (prop, fin, gov, mobility, AI). Weak: Internationalization, gross sales, advertising and marketing.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Vinted, Tesonet, Traffi, Omnisend, Billo, Whatagraph.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

Now we have some generalists (Practica Capital), deep tech (Open Circle Capital and Iron Wolf Capital), inexperienced/power (Contrarian Ventures) and accelerators (70ventures and Startup Smart Guys).
Traders are nonetheless early pre-seed/seed however are progressively maturing up. ICT (particularly AI) nonetheless dominates, however different areas, reminiscent of photonics (lasers), new area and others.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
Progressively everybody moved to full take away within the tech group. Now individuals are again in places of work (and principally having fun with it), however I feel most firms will do a blended mannequin any more. Distant working did quite a lot of good in recognizing digital groups and particularly groups which have members based mostly in numerous nations.

Who’re the important thing startup individuals in your metropolis (e.g., buyers, founders, legal professionals, designers, and so forth.)?
High are startup founders like J. Janauskas from Vinted, T. Okman from Tesonet, R. Lauris from Omnisend.

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
We’re happening a patch of variety — dozens of microecosystems of various tech. I feel we may have a really colourful scene in a number of years.

Donatas Keras, founding associate, Practica Capital

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
As our younger tech ecosystem matures, we are able to see an rising variety of startups from totally different trade sectors which can be based and headquartered in Vilnius have gotten international leaders of their classes. If we glance extra carefully at particular industries, I’d spotlight:
Marketplaces (Vinted, CGTrader, Ovoko); cybersecurity (NordVPN); fintech (TransferGo, Ondato, Revolut EU headquarters); gaming (Nordcurrent, Recreation Perception, Wargaming); mobility (Trafi, ZITICITY); biotechnology (Biomatter Designs, Droplet Genomics); area (NanoAvionics); well being tech (Kilo Well being, Oxipit).
The strengths of our tech ecosystem are the quick progress of startups, international first mindset, search for innovation and the resilience of the founders. And these are a few of the issues that excite me as an investor. After all, with such quick progress, we are able to already see rising competitors for native expertise. That may be thought-about as a weak point, which ought to be addressed proper now on the state stage.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Essentially the most notable startups are – Vinted (The primary Lithuanian unicorn), NordVPN, CGTrader, Interactio, TransferGo, Trafi, Kilo Well being, CarVertical, Omnisend and lots of extra. However I’d additionally like to say a few of the rising stars that we must always not overlook: Ondato, Ovoko, Biomatter Designs, Droplet Genomics, ZITICITY.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

The funding scene reveals the identical indicators of maturing as the entire ecosystem. And that’s noticeable in any respect funding levels. Plainly now we’re beginning to “choose the fruits” of 10 years of arduous work — firms changing into rather more fundable, and buyers are inclined to take dangers and are extra prepared to take action. Enterprise angels have gotten extra energetic than ever, with 100+ offers made per 12 months. And if a number of years again the bulk have been skilled entrepreneurs of the so-called “previous financial system,” now an rising variety of tech entrepreneurs are choosing up and investing in new startups on the very early stage. Enterprise accelerators and pre-seed funds additionally enjoying an essential position within the improvement of the ecosystem. They’re principally backed by the federal government and have become very energetic within the final 3-4 years. Most notable: 70ventures, Startup Smart Guys, Baltic Sandbox.
Enterprise capital has round 10+ years of historical past in Vilnius and Lithuania. First, it was stimulated by EIF and the state cash, now it’s choosing up strongly and performs an important position in startups improvement at an early stage.
Most notable VCs:
Practica Capital is among the most skilled and most energetic VCs in Vilnius and the entire area. With 10+ years of historical past, it grew along with the ecosystem, startups and the founders proper from the beginning. Essentially the most notable offers are — Interactio, TransferGo, CGTrader, Trafi, Eneba, PVcase. The group has a excessive stage of know-how and confirmed document in fintech, mobility, SaaS, marketplaces.
Open Circle Capital and Iron Wolf Capital are first-time funds, each energetic and doing an excellent job.
Contrarian Ventures is a small however energetic “inexperienced” tech-focused VC making a noticeable mark within the improvement of the ecosystem too.
Regional and worldwide colleagues are additionally current on the occasions and co-investing fairly actively with native buyers (Karma Ventures, Trind VC, Change Ventures, Tera VC, ZGI and international powerhouses reminiscent of Intel, Accel, Creandum, Perception Enterprise Companions, Inreach).
A lot of the VCs are generalists and searching right into a broad spectrum of startups energetic in numerous sectors, with a number of exceptions. After all, a few of the buyers have a better-proven document in some classes than others.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
Lithuania is a small nation, and Vilnius being the capital metropolis, continues to be the middle of attraction of every little thing within the nation, and expertise is just not an exception. With additional improvement and progress of the tech ecosystem, much more expertise shall be drawn to Vilnius. It’s a nice metropolis to dwell in, work and construct international tech firms.

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
We may have greater than 5 unicorns born/raised right here, and Vilnius will turn out to be one of many European “sizzling spots” for tech investing. The tech ecosystem will develop no less than 3 times. Vilnius will turn out to be a middle of attraction for expertise from all of the area, CIS and different elements of Europe.

Tomas Martunas, founding associate, Iron Wolf Capital

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
Lithuania, and particularly Vilnius, has established a really sturdy place in fintech being the No. 4 in International Fintech Rating. Vilnius has created a positive setting for fintech startups to be established and developed, and managed to draw one of many largest fintech gamers, Revolut. Vilnius can be particularly superior within the laser trade. Whereas lasers represent solely a small a part of Lithuania’s export, their high quality is making the nation well-known all over the world. It is rather thrilling because the demand for lasers is forecasted to solely improve. We consider that Lithuania’s laser trade has a really constructive outlook and thus, we invested in laser producer Litilit. Vilnius additionally boasts many sturdy SaaS startups with, for instance, Interactio, which lately raised $30 million after seeing 12x progress between 2019 and 2020. I consider there’s nonetheless quite a lot of untapped potential in deep tech and edtech within the Vilnius ecosystem and it’s beginning to uncover. With the Wargaming workplace opening, additionally along with the Unity department, Recreation Insights workplace and impartial sport studios, the gaming cluster has good fundamentals to blossom.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Vinted, Tesonet, Turing Faculty, Omnisend, Millo Home equipment, NanoAvionics, Pixevia, Monimoto, Redtrack.io, Interactio, Litilit, Foros.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

First, there are important sums of EU funding out there for early-stage startups, particularly for those having a powerful technical basis and modern options. General, the Vilnius ecosystem has grown considerably over the previous 5 years with many extra VCs being established, a powerful enterprise angels community (LitBAN), accelerators launched and extra focus devoted to early stage and bolder funding concepts.
Many buyers stay centered on the Baltics and CEE and nonetheless have some technique to go to determine extra international mindsets which can be extra prevalent in Nordics and Western Europe. However the Vilnius ecosystem continues to be rising and extra international buyers coming into reveals the attractiveness of the ecosystem on this method additionally offering founders with extra alternatives.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
Vilnius is a really enticing vacation spot. It boasts reasonably priced housing (which many European capitals can’t provide), and when COVID-19 is reshaping our lives to distant work changing into an ordinary, many individuals will transfer out of high-priced cities to extra reasonably priced ones, reminiscent of Vilnius. Additionally, it’s an modern metropolis that has superior loads to simply evaluate with different European capitals (and overtake a few of them) by way of way of life and profession alternatives.

Who’re the important thing startup individuals in your metropolis (e.g., buyers, founders, legal professionals, designers, and so forth.)?
Mantas Mikuckas, Tomas Okmanas, Eimantas Sabaliauskas, Toma Sabaliauskiene, Rytis Lauris, Vladas Lašas, Rita Sakus, Tadas Burgaila, Inga Langaitė, Roberta Rudokiene and naturally Iron Wolf Capital founders 😉

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
I consider that Vilnius will proceed on rising and advancing to turn out to be one of many key European startup hubs. With favorable enterprise situations and an excellent way of life it’s anticipated to draw extra abilities who will contribute to fostering the ecosystem. Nonetheless, Lithuania is already experiencing a mind drain and may take some particular efforts to deliver abilities again and retain them.

Alex Gibb, associate, Katalista Ventures

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
We’ve seen an explosion of firms offshoring from Scandinavia over the previous 10+ years in LT, which has led to the expansion of competence facilities and specialist R&D amenities for intangible companies. I’m excited by the tech sector’s progress, which is primarily software program, improvement and engineering.  We’re too small to essentially have particular sectors however lasers have a trusted pedigree in LT.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Cogastro is servicing insect farms with CRM methods — that’s fairly authentic and area of interest! Bored Panda was No. 1 on the App Retailer final 12 months and continues to increase, Tinggly (disclosure — I’m a co-founder) is rising once more quickly after COVID, serving the U.S. market primarily. Vinted is after all head and shoulders above the others — each in valuation phrases, but in addition the constructive influence on recycling and reusing.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

Now we have a rising angel community with LitBAN that’s boosted by the federal government’s co-invest fund — which lately facilitated a 34x return for early buyers in Interactio. There’s a good vary of early-stage VCs on the town, the hole comes within the 2 million+ area the place startups have to go overseas for deeper pockets. The main focus tends to be B2B however as we’re a small geography there are only a few buyers with a decent sector focus.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
Transfer in! Vilnius is a compact and funky metropolis [with a] prime quality of life right here and [it’s] straightforward to get out to the lakes and forests to calm down. I nonetheless assume we’re determining the hybrid nature of labor from right here onward, so individuals will combine and match to what fits their life. The constructive shift is extra energy to staff and employers making an allowance for what staff want for constructive psychological well being.

Who’re the important thing startup individuals in your metropolis (e.g., buyers, founders, legal professionals, designers, and so forth.)?
Greta Monstavice, CEO at Katalista Ventures — she’s high of the tree on all issues sustainability associated and captivated with empowering startups. JB Daguené at 70V is powering B2B startups with explosive progress instruments. Sarune Smalakyte, head of Rockit, is nurturing fintech firms at their co-working area and blasting out many nice (free) occasions for the group.

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
I’m excited concerning the metropolis’s prospects. Now we have loads forward of us with many new startups coming via. The important thing problem shall be to get the following era of tech expertise educated correctly and prepared for the calls for of an already squeezed workforce.

Jone Vaituleviciute, associate, Startup Smart Guys

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
Vilnius is after all recognized on a worldwide scale for its fintech ecosystem — although the vast majority of fintech “perks” come on a governmental/nation stage, Vilnius boasts a excessive variety of banking, insurance coverage and different monetary companies professionals, in addition to fintech-focused startup hubs and plenty of occasions. I’m significantly excited to see plenty of huge international names (e.g., Revolut, SumUp and lots of different) transferring their operations right here; this manner build up the ecosystem and stage of fintech professionals. Gaming, edtech are additionally a number of different up-and-coming areas, which alerts that B2C is changing into extra typical than not. On the development aspect, we nonetheless haven’t discovered learn how to embody deep tech/R&D startups into the ecosystem and funding mechanisms. This can be a problem many cities have, however we hope Vilnius will transfer to the best course, because of collaborations amongst universities and enterprise capital funds.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Effectively-known names: Vinted, Trafi, TransferGo and a number of other not backed by enterprise capital — Bored Panda, Kilo Well being.
Up-and-coming: ZITICITY (mobility), kevin. (fintech), Ondato (fintech), Turing Faculty (edtech).

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

Vilnius is an effective illustration of all Baltic enterprise capital ecosystems. Now we have a number of pre-seed/seed stage enterprise capital funds which can be coming in with expertise and good understanding of varied verticals. Nonetheless, for a very long time we lacked a correct early-stage funding ecosystem. That is altering proper now with accelerators supporting idea-stage startups and plenty of enterprise angels showing from profitable startups who’re prepared to take a position first rate tickets resembling extra Western Europe quite than Baltic funding developments.
With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
I consider the pandemic has been quite favorable for small ecosystems like Vilnius. Primarily as a result of distant investing/pitching/promoting turned an absolute norm and founders wouldn’t have to fly tons of of miles for an occasion or a gathering to shut a deal. Thus, I see many entrepreneurs sticking to Vilnius as a consequence of its nice life high quality and well-knitted ecosystem.

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
We ought to be speaking pre-seed/seed on the identical stage as West Europe and even the U.S. We’re catching up with the usual, however with the maturity of the enterprise capital ecosystem, Vilnius ought to be an ideal metropolis to kick-start your startup and take it to Collection A with the identical funding out there. We should always see extra areas like fintech rising with sturdy worth proposition for international firms in addition to initiatives for native ones to remain. Expertise shall be costly, however that is the way it ought to be. Second- and third-time founders shall be creating an increasing number of startups that may appeal to plenty of international funds too.

Lukas Kaminskis, CEO, Turing Faculty

What trade sectors is your tech ecosystem sturdy in? What are you most excited by? What’s it weak in?
Vilnius is well-known for its fintech and blockchain ecosystems — firms reminiscent of Revolut have banking licenses registered right here in Vilnius. Now we have a number of sturdy gamers in medtech and cybersecurity — Kilo Well being and Nord Safety — that are rising tremendous quick. However, we’re missing behind with training. Explicitly talking, most IT applications in Lithuanian universities aren’t centered on getting ready college students for worldwide competitors. Because of this quite a lot of firms are establishing their inside academies to upskill college students from universities.

That are probably the most attention-grabbing startups in your metropolis?
Omnisend, Nord Safety, Consideration Perception, Turing Faculty.

What are the tech buyers like? What’s the funding scene like in your metropolis? What’s their focus?

Lithuania has fairly an excellent pre-seed/seed funding scene with buyers like Iron Wolf Capital, Startup Smart Guys, Practica Capital, and so forth. Furthermore, there’s a VC fund — Co-invest Fund, which invests the sum equal to the multiplier of any accredited angel investor’s funding sum by 3x-5x. Traders in Lithuania are principally trade agnostic.

With the shift to distant working in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, will individuals keep in your metropolis, transfer out, or will others transfer in?
Tendencies in Lithuania are fairly much like those we see within the international scene. Corporations plan to adapt hybrid sort of labor post-COVID, whereas sustaining distant sort of labor as major whereas the pandemic is going on.

Who’re the important thing startup individuals in your metropolis (e.g., buyers, founders, legal professionals, designers, and so forth.)?
Giedrius Kolesnikovas is the man to know from the authorized trade — he’s the associate of Motieka & Audzevicius authorized agency. From the investor’s perspective, there are a number of of them — Jone Vaituleviciute, Rytis Vitkauskas, Kasparas Jurgelionis and Arvydas Bložė. These guys can open doorways to most of European/U.S. capitals.

The place do you see your metropolis’s tech scene in 5 years?
I see that Vilnius will turn out to be a tech expertise middle of Northern Europe. Edtech startups and personal coaching initiatives are rising in our market to unravel instructional issues that we face due to the poor efficiency of public training insurance policies within the final 20 years. As effectively, I see that the present authorities is making an enormous effort to draw worldwide tech firms to determine their branches right here in Lithuania. Nice examples are Wargaming, Moody’s, which established large facilities right here in Lithuania.

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