Baltic Startup Mafia
By Ieva Treija
Baltic Startup Mafia is a podcast and page on Facebook and LinkedIn, where anyone in the world can get quick and easy access to startup news from three countries in the Baltic region: Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
World’s largest provider of 3D models from Lithuania. Story of CGTrader.
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 The co-founder of the Lithuanian startup CGTrader Dalia Lasaite joined the team as Head of Marketing two years after the company was established. She left behind two failed startups and the dream to become rich fast and retire soon. In 2 years Dalia became a co-founder and CEO of the CGTrader that is currently the global leader of the 3D model industry. She fell in love with the startup journey that has just started for her. Also, check out the Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Companies included - unicorn companies Wise and Bolt. As well as startups GetID, Skeleton Technologies, and Single.Earth from Estonia 🇪🇪, Brolis and Synder from Lithuania 🇱🇹 as well as Longenesis, Sonarworks and Nordigen from Latvia 🇱🇻. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
August 23, 2021
Fighting global spreadsheet madness. Story of Katana.
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 The co-founder of the Estonian startup Katana MRP Kristjan Vilosius says: "It is crazy what businesses people have built with spreadsheets." His startup is trying to challenge this approach by offering easy-to-use and understand software for small and medium-sized manufacturers. Katana aims to become the nr 1 manufacturing platform for such companies. Do they have the ambition to become the unicorn? "Focus on customers and solving their problems in the first place," says Kristjan. Also, check out the Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Companies included - unicorn companies Printful, Vinted and Wise. As well as startups Veriff, Skeleton Technologies, and Pactum from Estonia 🇪🇪, Interactio, DappRadar, and Halo.rent from Lithuania 🇱🇹 as well as Longenesis and Fixar from Latvia 🇱🇻. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
May 26, 2021
Neobank with the aim to become AI assistant. Story of Zelf.
Latvian startup neobank Zelf is building a platform on top of existing tech giant products - WhatsApp, Messenger, Viber. Are they not afraid of being shut down by those platforms someday? They are not! The Zelf founder and CEO Elliot Goykhman explain how his startup is helping those platforms to earn more. And neobanks have a bright future because they are able to offer innovations. Elliot says that relationships between traditional banks and innovations can be described as relationships between deer and headlight - deers freeze when they see a headlight. The same happens with banks when they meet innovations. Also, check out the Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Companies included - both new unicorn companies Zego and ID.me as well as startups Skeleton Technologies and Scoro from Estonia 🇪🇪, Affise and CGTrader from Lithuania 🇱🇹 as well as Jeff App and Zelf from Latvia 🇱🇻. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
March 26, 2021
Startup with 5 co-founders. Story of Droplet Genomics
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Deep tech startup from Lithuania Droplet Genomics recently raised 1 million euro in funding from venture capital. Juozas Nainys is the CEO of the company and one of 5 (!) co-founders. He will share some insights on how it is to live in the world where every decision should be made by five people. Jouzas will also describe deep tech startup ecosystem in Lithuania, explain why he is not complaining about the lack of talent and convince that science will save us from the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, check out the Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Companies included - Bolt, Pipedrive, Elunow, Starship, and Inzmo from Estonia 🇪🇪, kevin. and Amberlo from Lithuania 🇱🇹 as well as UAV Factory and Smartomica from Latvia 🇱🇻. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
February 22, 2021
Estonians doing business in SouthAfrica. Story of Planet42
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 3 years ago 2 guys from Estonia went to South Africa with the business idea. A couple of months ago their startup Planet42 raised 10 million dollars that make a total investment of 20 million invested in Planet42. How have they got so far? How are they doing in South Africa? And what are their next milestones? Find out more in the interview with Eerik Oja, CEO, and co-founder of Planet42. Also, check out the Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Companies included - Bolt, Veriff, Modularbank, and Rendin from Estonia 🇪🇪, Eneba and Ondato from Lithuania 🇱🇹 as well as Design Scan from Latvia 🇱🇻. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
January 20, 2021
Camera as a service. Story of Giraffe360
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 "We knew that we are going to have a subscription business model before we even had the business," says Mikus Opelts, CEO and the founder of the company Giraffe 360. "What is so special about our camera? Well, it is yellow!" he smiles. To be more precise - the camera does what nobody else in the proptech industry can. We talked about the business, all-in company culture, and how hard it is to rise money for the hardware company. "The peak is only halfway because you still have to go down. And most of the injuries happen there," says Mikus. Also, check out the Baltic startup ecosystem update. News from the Baltic Unicorn company Bolt. Other companies included - Drops and Planet42 from Estonia 🇪🇪, TransferGo and RRR.lt from Lithuania 🇱🇹 as well as Mintos and F3 from Latvia 🇱🇻. Recent reports covering the Baltic startup ecosystem - Baltic Startup Funding Report by Change Ventures and 2020 Report: Baltic Startup Scene by Startup Wise Guys. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
December 21, 2020
Fully remote global business raises 20 million dollars. Story of Argyle
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Audrius Zujus is from Lithuania and currently, he is CTO and founder of Argyle - a company that is based in New York but run globally. A team of 55 people is located in various countries and even continents. The company is fully remote from day one. And it doesn't mean that the whole team is spending their days on never-ending Zoom calls. "Remote work culture is not difficult. It is different. You have to trust people and you have to give them clear goals and responsibilities," says Audrius in the interview. Tune in for more! Also, check out the Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Companies included - Pipedrive, Skeleton Technologies, and Warren from Estonia 🇪🇪, Vinted and SME Finance from Lithuania 🇱🇹 as well as Printful, Gamechanger Audio, and Altero from Latvia 🇱🇻. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
November 22, 2020
Stone age industry digitalization by accident. Story of Lokalise
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 When Petr Antropov left the founding team of Odnoklasniki, he thought that the value of his shares has reached the highest point. The reality was harsh - a bit later he could have been sold his shares for the price that was 40 times higher! Petr doesn't want to make the same mistake again in his new startup Lokalise that has just raised 6 million dollars in funding. And he also has an interesting opinion on how government can ruin startup growth. Tune in! Also, check out the Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Companies included - LongeVC and a bunch of startups from Latvia 🇱🇻 who are getting ready for Slush, CoInvest Capital, Fertrado, Act On Crisis and Viezo from Lithuania 🇱🇹, as well as Klaus and Sentinel from Estonia 🇪🇪. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
October 15, 2020
Fortumo. Startup Pioneer Acquired For 45 Million Dollars
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Estonian startup Fortumo actually is not a startup anymore. A few months ago it was acquired by another industry leader Boku. But Fortumo's journey is worth paying attention to. The company started as a spin-off in 2010 when only a few people knew what the word "startup" actually means. And startup pioneers had to specify that Estonia is actually a country. Now Fortumo works with the 3 biggest tech companies in the world out of 10. "You should never relax. The moment you relax you are stopping to be the startup and you open doors and new opportunities for another startup," says COO of Fortumo Andrei Dementjev. Listen to the full interview in the podcast. Also, check out the Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Startups included - Lokalise from Latvia 🇱🇻, Turing College, and Inion LT from Lithuania 🇱🇹, Cachet, and Tax Scouts from Estonia 🇪🇪. #startinlatvia #startinlv #LTStartups #Estonianmafia #balticstartupmafia
September 15, 2020
Scalling cybersecurity. Story of RangeForce
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Estonian startup RangeForce has just raised 16 million dollars to develop further the platform that is on the mission to make IT professionals the strongest link in cyber defense. Co-founder and CEO of the company Taavi Must have experience working for NATO’s Cyber Range: "It is very simple - if you want to make systems secure, you just shut them down. But this is not the option, of course." In the interview, Taavi introduces other options, the platform itself, the role of artificial intelligence in the cybersecurity in the future as well as his experience in managing a global business from a small country in Baltics. In this episode also Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Startups included - Transformative.ai and Montonio from Estonia 🇪🇪, Ligence and Fjord Bank from Lithuania 🇱🇹, Printful and Printify from Latvia 🇱🇻. Here is the link to first-ever Latvian fintech report. Listen to the podcast here and on the biggest podcast services.
August 15, 2020
There is a lighthouse in identity verification sector. Story of Veriff.
🎙 Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Kaarel Kotkas is only 26 years old, but the company he has founded and led - Veriff - has recently closed 15,5 million USD financing round. Kaarel has never worked in big corporations and always built projects and companies according to his own understanding of what he wants the company to be. Veriff is his 12th project: "I recommend everybody to start a business as early as possible cause you will make a lot of mistakes, but then you still got a roof above your head and breakfast, lunch and dinner at home." In this episode also Baltic Startup ecosystem update. Startups included - Whatifi and Pactum from Estonia 🇪🇪, Aerones and Solfeg.io from Latvia 🇱🇻, Transfergo and Ziticity Lithuania 🇱🇹. Listen here and on the biggest podcast services.
July 14, 2020
AskRobin. Creating fintech tsunami
🎙 NEW EPISODE - Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Baltic Startup ecosystem update - May 2020. Startups included - Brainbase and EstateGuru from Estonia 🇪🇪, Printful, and AirDog from Latvia 🇱🇻 as well as first start-up center Tech Loft at Vilnius, Lithuania 🇱🇹. Listen here and on the biggest podcast services. Interview with the startup AskRobin co-founder and CEO Rain Sepp. He enjoys his time on a small island in his home country as much as in Latin America where his business is located. Rain started as a hippie without experience in finances but ended up in one pool with big sharks. His startup AskRobin just completed a 1,6 million euro seed round to develop product functionality and increase its market share in Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia. We talked about the future of financial services, banks, and fintechs as well as the fact that buying new car is cool, but borrowing money for that is not. #balticstartupmafia #startinlatvia #LTStartups #Estonianmafia
June 15, 2020
Electrical vehicle innovations from Lithuania
🎙 NEW EPISODE - Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Baltic Startup ecosystem update - April 2020. Startups included - AskRobin and Dashbird from Estonia 🇪🇪, Printify and Sonarworks from Latvia 🇱🇻 as well as Tasker and In Balance Grid from Lithuania 🇱🇹. Listen here and on the biggest podcast services. Interview with the startup In Balance Grid CEO Simonas Stankus. The startup recently raised 950 000 eur for further development. The round was joined by Mantas Mikuckas - the cofounder of the first Lithuanian unicorn Vinted. In Balance Grid is about using electricity effectively to charge electric vehicles. It provides three advantages - smart software, unique hardware, and payment solution. We also talked about how Lithuania is doing with the implementation of electric vehicles and broader - on attracting talent to the country. #balticstartupmafia #startinlatvia #LTStartups #Estonianmafia
May 13, 2020
Winner of the First Ever Online Hackathon - Lauri Sokk
Lauri Sokk and his team formed and started to work while returning from skiing holidays right before the Europe lockdown on March 2020. Lauri experienced the whole beauty of closing borders, staying in quarantine, and winning the hackathon. What else is interesting? He used to organize hackathons himself but never had time to participate in one. Lauri is also the organizer behind Startup Day Tartu – one of the biggest events on Baltic Startup Scene. And he has been a Head of the Smart City Tartu project.
April 28, 2020
Digitalized emotional support
🎙 SPECIAL EPISODE - Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Interview with the startup Act on Crisis founder and CEO Ieva Vaitkeviciute. The team is a 2nd place winner of The Global Hack - virtual event gathered over 15 000 participants from 100+ countries who submitted over 1000 projects with the aim to fight COVID19 in 2020. The project was born over the weekend during the online hackathon in Lithuania and it offers emotional help to people that might need it during the crisis. Soon to follow a special episode with the team from Estonia that took part in the first-ever online hackathon that happened in Estonia.
April 20, 2020
Hacking the Crisis Latvian Style
🎙 NEW EPISODE - Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Baltic Startup ecosystem update - March 2020. Startups included - Mailigen and Trauma Simulator from Latvia 🇱🇻, Pipedrive and Fully Verified from Estonia 🇪🇪. Also, a couple of policy-related stories from Lithuania 🇱🇹 and Latvia 🇱🇻 included. Interview with the startup Trauma Simulator co-founder and CEO Sandis Kondrats. He and his team during the first online hackathon in Latvia Hack Force built a tool that will help medical professionals follow procedures of dressing properly before visiting COVID-19 patients. Soon to follow special episodes with two other teams from an online hackathon in Lithuania and Estonia.
April 7, 2020
From hackathon idea to closing seed round of $1 million - story behind Timbeter & other news from Baltics
🎙 NEW EPISODE - Baltic Startup Mafia podcast! 🎧 Baltic Startup ecosystem update - February 2020. Startups included - KPI Berry and Edurio from Latvia, Timbeter from Estonia, and Trafi from Lithuania. Interview with the startup Timbeter co-founder and CTO Martin Kambla. Timbeter was born during the Garage48 hackathon in 2013. There were 7 co-founders, but only 3 of them stayed with the company. Timbeter is a Tallinn-based company that has developed a smartphone application that measures timber quickly and accurately. The biggest customers are located in Latin America and Africa, so Martin in the interview also shares some tips & tricks on how to cross borders. #balticstartupmafia #LTstartups #estonianmafia #startinlatvia
March 6, 2020
Baltic Startup Mafia Episode 03
Baltic Startup ecosystem update - January 2020. Startups included - Juro and Jeff App from Latvia, Katana and 99Math from Estonia, Eddy Travels and GoRamp from Lithuania. Interview with the startup Juro co-founder Pavel Povalevitch. Juro has just closed Series A funding round with 5 million dollars investment. The round was led by New York-based Union Square Ventures. Juro team also after Brexit will remain in two countries - Latvia and Great Britain. How they will organize work? And why they are still working in Baltics? Find out more in this episode. #balticstartupmafia
February 6, 2020
Baltic Startup Mafia Episode 02
This is the episode where the data about the year 2019 in Baltic startups is reviewed. The data has been initially collected by local startup organizations. The biggest investments in December 2019 received Estonian startup Salv and Lithuanian startup Gosu.ai. The episode includes the interview with the CEO and Founder of Salv - Taavi Tamkivi. Taavi is the former employee of two Estonian startup success stories - Skype and Transferwise. He has built technologies to detect and fight financial crime for both of them. After leaving Transferwise he took a year off. Taavi used paternity leave - he stayed at home with his 4th kid. That was the moment when he came up with some good ideas and decided to create Salv. #balticstartupmafia
January 5, 2020
Baltic Startup Mafia Episode 01
This is the first episode that will continue as a series of podcasts for people interested in the startup ecosystem of Baltic countries. In this episode, we congratulate Lithuanians with the first unicorn - company Vinted, Latvians with the Sage Group acquisition of the startup Cake HR and Estonians as still being leaders of the investments received #startupmafia
December 3, 2019