Lithuania’s Startup Ecosystem Moved to the Frontline in CEE 2024

February 13, 2024
Lithuania’s Startup Ecosystem Moved to the Frontline in CEE 2024

Looks like the Lithuanian startup ecosystem remains resilient, dynamic, and hungry for growth. The newly released Dealroom report highlights the stable performance of Lithuania’s startup ecosystem and its significant upward shift in the ranking for Central and Eastern Europe.

Based on a recent report, Lithuania took the position as the steadily growing startup ecosystem in the Baltic region, raising €292.3 million in Venture Capital (VC) investment for Lithuania HQ and founded startups in 2023. According to the reviewed 2022 Dealroom data, the Lithuanian ecosystem secured €414.3 million in VC investment instead of the previously declared €295 million (mainly due to the later discovered Venice Swap round from April 2022).

While VC investment In Europe and Globally decreased by 38% on average, especially due to a decrease in late-stage rounds, VC investment in Lithuania HQ & founded startups has decreased by around 30% since 2022 but remains above the pre-pandemic level. This result is noteworthy, representing Lithuania’s seven-fold enterprise value increase from €1.9 billion in 2018 to €13.7 billion in 2023, surpassing the growth values of both the Baltics and CEE regions.

„Today, Lithuania ranks as the second-largest venture capital investment destination in Central and Eastern Europe. This is a massive accomplishment that we can all be proud of. For our startup community, I have one message – the government is here for you. Together, we will nurture an ecosystem where innovative businesses can thrive,” says Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of the Economy and Innovation of the Republic of Lithuania.

“The success of our startup ecosystem lies underneath the immense talent pool, stable growth, international recognition, and collaborative mindset of our entrepreneurs, backed by the support of the government, organizations, and academia. The ability to operate in European, American, and Asian markets, attracting investments from a diverse range of foreign investors proves the global nature of Lithuania’s startup ecosystem, solidifying its position as a key player in the European and global startup ecosystem,” marks Gintarė Narakienė, Head of Startup Lithuania.

Armed with software, security, and energy

According to Dealroom, Lithuania has successfully attracted investment across various industries, with enterprise software, security, and energy emerging as the top sectors. While the UK, Sweden, and Germany led for total climate tech VC in 2023, Iceland, Lithuania, and Bulgaria recorded the fastest climate tech VC growth compared to 2022.

Lithuanian startups PVcase, Nord Security, and Cast AI have raised substantial investments of €89 million, €89 million, and €51.6 million, respectively. It is noteworthy that Argyle, CityBee, TransferGo, PVcase, Kevin., Venice Swap, Cast AI, and ZenithChain are among the Lithuanian startups to become unicorns in the future.

Vilnius is the epicenter of Lithuania’s thriving startup ecosystem, with approximately 890 startups, including notable players in fintech, ICT, and gaming development. In 2023, the capital attracted an impressive €281 million in funding and increased its ecosystem value from €2.5 billion in 2019 to €12.4 billion in 2023. Vilnius alone accounts for 91% of the combined enterprise value of Lithuanian startups and is home to all three Lithuanian unicorns. Comparing the ratio of the value of unicorns to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), Lithuania ranks first in the Global Innovation Index, equal to Estonian, Israel, and the USA’s startup ecosystems.

The Dealroom review was initiated by the Innovation Agency division “Startup Lithuania”, “Practica Capital”, “Triniti Jurex”, “Go Vilnius”. You can find the full review here.


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