Latvian Startups with the biggest changes in last few months
All startups aspire to constantly reach new heights, but some do it literally. UAV developer FIXAR is continuing to make news after successfully operating a drone at 6000m above sea level. After actively using Startup Law and financial aid for export events, as well as attracting more than 2.2 million EUR investment, FIXAR keeps steadily growing and expanding, as well as taking part in the local innovation ecosystem as a member of Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV.
At the beginning of summer, FIXAR announced their new drone model – FIXAR 025 – and have been actively working on developing it. That includes adding new integrations through partnerships – the biggest recent one being a sensor from YellowScan with an increased range. That will enable FIXAR drones to better meet needs of both commercial and industrial applications – such as aerial mapping and inspections, aerial imaging, precision agriculture, oil and gas pipelines monitoring, surveillance and border control, and more. In preparation for the release of model 025 at the end of 2022, FIXAR is also expanding dealer partnerships – with SkyLink (Japan), IntelliTECH (Israel), OmniCad (Ghana), and Pryzm3 (USA).
FIXAR is rapidly expanding their intellectual property portfolio – currently 18 total patents, between the already approved ones (like the 2022 Edison Awards bronze medal winning FIXAR 007 drone and a solids dispenser for agricultural use) and those that are being processed. Innovation is not slowing down either as FIXAR is currently participating in the EIT Urban Mobility urban air traffic management project where they have partnered with Istanbul Kultur University.
It’s always a big event when a startup exit happens, and this summer the spotlight was on data analytics startup Nordigen which was acquired by GoCardless. Its co-founder Rolands Mesters spoke at Startup Day 2022 about the importance of “startup village” in the growth and success of the company, but now that the dust has settled, work begins on realizing the full potential of the new partnership. Not only do existing products need to be improved and existing R&D projects continued, but also new synergies with GoCardless products need to be developed. GoCardless aims to become the world’s banking payment network and the role of Nordigen is mainly to develop better open banking capabilities. The exit will also help ensure that the talent of Nordigen is well compensated – as the startup had actively used Startup Law support which expired shortly before the announcement.
It is becoming more and more apparent how important it is for Latvian startup ecosystem is to build reputation in the world. Because of that, startups like Longenesis are so amazing to see succeed – like making to the TOP5 selection of sTARTUp Pitching 2022 (after first being selected from 380 applicants from 47 countries and making it through the competitive TOP 40) and receiving a 100k EUR syndicate investment from .Cocoon Ventures. Longenesis will also be representing Latvia in the Entrepreneurship World Cup after being chosen by a jury during the Latvia finals.
On the research front, Longenesis has recently started their participation in the ChallengeEIT program hosted by EIT Hub Israel, where they are partnering with Novartis and their network of innovation hubs – Novartis Biome. Longenesis has had previous successes in EIT Health programs, which alongside Startup Law support has helped them reach a successful seed funding round of 1M EUR last year.
Continuing to drive rapid growth, print-on-demand and e-commerce platform Printify's management team in the past few months has been joined by a number of industry leaders with rich past experience at globally successful companies such as Amazon, Zalando and Twino. Anastasija Oleinik has been appointed as the new Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Ashish Chopra has assumed the role of Chief Product Officer (CPO) and Scott Richardson has joined the team as Chief Delivery Officer (CSO) with the aim of driving Printify's global success to the next level. Printify's mission in the rapidly growing e-commerce industry is to move from mass production to on-demand production, which is why they needed strong leaders who understand the needs of modern, diverse and technology-oriented organizations.
A huge amount of work from the equity crowdfunding platform CrowdedHero has resulted in successfully acquiring an operation license with EU passporting – allowing them to start crowdfunding projects involving startups and investors from all over the EU. This comes with a lot of challenges, as they are subject to more regulations – which means more operational costs. However, their first project – diaper ecommerce startup GeGe – has successfully concluded, and CrowdedHero are working on onboarding and launching new and bigger projects.
The most valuable current partner is Bank of France associated startup company Lemonway – an integrated payment solution provider which services the financial flow of the investment process as CrowdedHero does not directly interact with investment funds.
Another huge leap forward for CrowdedHero is the Mastercard Lighthouse program. First stage has already taken place, and Raimonds Blumbergs, Director Of Marketing And Business Development, sees it as an extremely valuable opportunity that has exceeded CrowdedHero expectations, as he recommends all Latvian startups to apply for the program next year. It gives startups AWS related opportunities (knowledge, credit, all kinds of services and even help with attracting investment), advice from experts, networking with investors from Scandinavia, and more.
Finally, CrowdedHero is also actively participating in the Latvian innovation ecosystem – actively participating in the Latvian Crowdfunding Association, using LatBan opportunities, cooperating with Latvian Startup Association, and others.
This publication is prepared by Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV and supported by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia and the European Regional Development Fund.