12 Lithuanian startups to watch this year

January 23, 2024
12 Lithuanian startups to watch this year

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If 2023 was a year of relative slowdown, as well as rising efficiency and profitability for Lithuanian startups, in 2024 we may expect more extensive changes, says Inga Langaitė, CEO of Unicorns Lithuania.

Last year, the Lithuanian startup ecosystem raised €272M in capital, although more than 80% of it came down to just 3 investment rounds – one in the country’s second collective unicorn, Nord Security and Surfshark ($100M), second in the leading solar farm design software developer PVcase ($100M), and third in the cloud optimisation platform CAST AI ($55 million). There are currently 870+ startups operating in Lithuania that employ a total of 17,800 talents. Over Q1-Q3 of 2023, startups contributed €275M to the state budget.

The CEO of Unicorns Lithuania predicts that, in 2024, a greater part of the country’s startups will be planning their growth more boldly, with larger breakthroughs likely to occur late in the year. According to Ms. Langaitė, this process will assuredly be impacted by AI.

“A robust startup can be built even within a niche, if its growth YoY is 100%, yet no matter how promising that niche may be, you still need to know what it’s really about to succeed. You must do what you love and truly understand, as well as generate value for users. There’s currently a lot of market uncertainty, which is especially clear to those working with the U.S., and adjustments take time. Regardless, startups are learning to live in a new reality, which also warrants cautious optimism about the future of tech in Lithuania,” Inga Langaitė said.

In addition, she mentioned a number of success stories, i.e., startups that managed to raise funds and make sustainable growth plans even during challenging times. We’ll likely hear more from them in 2024 as well.

1. CAST AI. Even though its founders and executives live and work in the U.S., the product itself – an AI infrastructure development bot for business – is being worked on in Vilnius, the city of choice for Cast AI’s Engineering Centre. The latter employs 50+ talents, each making €7,000 per month (gross). In March 2023, the startup raised €20M in capital, and a further €35M in November. Cast AI’s founders are serial tech entrepreneurs who’d sold their previous businesses to companies like Google and Oracle.

2. Amlyze. In 2023, the financial crime prevention startup raised €1M in funds, and said it’s gearing up to entering new markets and growing its team. The fintech sector, where most of the company’s clients operate, remains one of the most promising of all, with the volume of international transfers expected to rapidly increase going forward. Also notable is Amlyze’s team, which brought together Jekaterina Govina, former Bank of Lithuania’s Head of Financial Market Supervision Department, Eglė Kontautaitė, formr Head of BoL’s Anti-Money Laundering Division, Mindaugas Petrauskas, former Deputy Director of the Financial Crime Investigation Service, and other experts.

3. Vinted Go is linking up and optimising its 3 rd -party carrier infrastructure for clients, and developing a network of parcel terminals, which is already operational at 1,000 locations in France. The company’s supplier network currently includes 40+ companies in 16 European countries. In 2021 alone, Vinted Go dispatched a total of 200M+ shipments. In its first year, the company grew to employ 120 talents, and now has 229, in addition to a sizable customer service team. In October, it acquired the Dutch company Homerr, thereby enhancing its forces in Belgium and Holland.

4. PVcase. The leading developer of solar farm design software, PVcase, shone especially bright in 2023, raising $100M in capital, and acquiring the overall most popular GIS platform for solar farms – Anderson Optimization. The reason given by several investment funds for investing in PVcase, is the company’s long-term efforts to integrate all the individual steps of solar farm design and operation within a single platform. PVcase, currently headquartered in Lithuania, offers software products widely used by large-scale solar farm owners and designers. Today, the startup employs 140+ employees in Lithuania alone, and is expanding its team in the U.S.

5. Atrandi Biosciences is seeking to empower the progress of life sciences by providing the most innovative analysis tools for research, diagnostics, and therapy. Its team consists of specialists in molecular biology, chemistry, microfluidics, electronics, and programming – a total of 65 employees in Lithuania and the U.S. The company is currently pro-active in developing its product portfolio based on a unique capsule technology, enabling the performance of multi-step molecular biology processes with utmost efficiency. The company is planning a series of products with oncological research applications in the near future. In 2022, Atrandi Biosciences’ sales revenue was €1.9M (and growing). In total, it raised €8M from investors and project funds (€4.5M last year).

6. HeavyFinance. In 2023, the climate tech firm was the first to receive the European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) licence that enables it to pursue international expansion with its product – Green Loans to farmers. HeavyFinance has 10,000 registered investors, who’ve already invested €40M into loans for European farmers via the platform. In 2023, the company raised €3.3M in capital. Additionally, it was announced last year that Vinted’s co-founder Mantas Mikuckas will be investing, via HeavyFinance, €1M into Green Loans to farmers who’ll also be provided with consultations.

7. Omnisend. E-commerce marketing automation platform Omnisend does not rely on outside investment, which is quite rare in the startup sector globally. Even during the challenges of 2022, its revenue grew by 56,2% (€20.9M), while the consolidated group revenue increased by around 54% (€31M). That year, the company made a little over €2M in net profit. The products made by its nearly 200-strong team are used by 100,000+ e-com businesses from as many as 130 countries, mostly the U.S., although its head offices are located in Vilnius and Kaunas. Rytis Laurinavičius, Omnisend’s co-founder and CEO, has stated publicly that achieving unicorndom has never been their goal, despite getting close to it just a few years ago: “Given today’s turnover, and the potential value back then, we’d probably be very close to that goal – or even beyond it”.

8. carVertical. In 2023, the vehicle history reporting startup demonstrated exceptional leadership by operating profitably, allocating €550,000 for employee stock option programme, and another €100,000 for a social initiative – forest preservation through Sengirės Fund. CV Group, UAB currently has 140 employees. In 2022, it grew its sales revenue by 30% (€23.3M), with foreign revenue accounting for 95% of it. In 2023, carVertical also made it into the Europe’s 1,000 Fastest Growing Companies list compiled by the Financial Times. It took 2 nd place among the Lithuanian companies on the list, and 1 st place in the IT and software category.

9. Hostinger. After a transition period that lasted nearly a full year, Daugirdas Jankus became CEO of the hosting and related services group Hostinger, where he previously worked for 6 years as Head of Marketing. The previous HM, Arnas Stuopelis, is now the group’s Chairman of the Board. In 2022, Hostinger’s consolidated sales revenue increased by 64% (€69,6M). The group concluded last year by having 1.53M users across 150+ countries. According to D. Jankus, the group is growing at a similar pace each year, which keeps building momentum. Their goal is to continue growing and become the world’s #1 hosting service provider.

10. TransferGo. In mid-2023, Daumantas Dvilinskas, CEO of the international money transfer startup TransferGo, publicly stated that the company has taken a big step towards unicorndom – operating profitably – and might reach a billion euro valuation in 2-3 years, although that will depend on the market situation. To date, TransferGo has raised $127M in capital. Its platform currently has 5M+ registered users in 160 markets. The company now employs 350+ talents, with its representative offices being located in Vilnius and London. In 2023, the company also appointed a new COO, Monika Snitkė, who was previously responsible for financial operations.

11. Ovoko, operating in Lithuania under the name RRR.lt, manages one of the largest e- commerce platforms for used car parts in Western and Northern Europe. Founded in 2016, the company at first brought together only 10 sellers. The most important year for Ovoko was 2020, because upon raising its first €1M in capital, it started to grow and expand rapidly in Western Europe. The breakthrough allowed the company to enable scrap yards pursuing the sale of car parts to conduct business abroad, and developed a modern solution for users interested in buying them. Ovoko’s currently employs 130+ professionals. Its platform has 2,700 sellers across the world, totaling 12M different items available to buyers. This year, the company also received the Rising Star trophy at the Vilnius TechFusion Startup Awards.

12. Oxipit, a Lithuanian biotechnology startup, has harnessed AI and image recognition technologies to advance the field of medicine. Experts hail this as a monumental stride in healthcare, drawing considerable global attention. The tools developed by the Lithuanian team aim to streamline the work of doctors and enhance diagnostic precision. Presently, the company offers two products: "ChestEye" and "ChestLink." In the early part of the last year, Oxipit secured an investment of 3.8 million USD. The Oxipit team is comprised of seasoned professionals with noteworthy accomplishments in the realm of AI, many of whom have previously contributed to world-class AI solutions in other companies.


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