Naco Technologies – 10 000 000 EUR
Thus far, the largest amount of funding attracted by Latvian startups has been Naco Technologies with 10M EUR from the European Innovation Council’s (EIC) EIC Accelerator program. That includes 2.3M EUR non-equity grant, while the rest is an equity investment toward the startups' work in the field of green hydrogen production.
Naco Technologies aims to help industrial hydrogen producers that are driving the clean energy revolution. The startup creates specialized nano-coatings and new materials that replace the need for platinum and other expensive materials in the production and usage of hydrogen at a massive scale. Naco Technologies improves the performance of hydrogen systems, provides unique material recipes and coating solutions, and significantly reduces hydrogen system costs.
As Naco Technologies is finalizing paperwork to receive the funds, they advise other startups who plan to attract grants and investment from EU funds – definitely get the help of a consultant who is an expert in EU bureaucracy, as to them it was invaluable. So was the support of future clients, who could attest that the innovation is important to them, and that they are ready to adopt it. But of course – there is no one success formula.
Even without the incoming EIT Accelerator funds, Naco Technologies had their business development plans in order and projects have been lined up. As a result, they are growing their team – one specialist has already been hired with several other vacancies to be filled soon (using Startup Law to help ensure competitive salaries). Additionally, Naco Technologies are moving toward scaling their production and have started actively working on a factory, which will be finished in autumn 2023.
Hyperjob – 435 000 EUR
Hyperjob has raised 435k EUR towards new product features and continued expansion of their platform across US and Europe markets. This funding round was led by SMOK.vc, with the participation of both local and foreign angel investors.
Hyperjob modernizes recruitment by integrating proven marketing techniques into their talent attraction platform. That includes features like interactive vacancy pages, as well as automated and hyper-personalised Linkedin and email outreach sequences. Results have shown a 3-6 times increase in conversion rates, with 70% of candidates preferring Hyperjob vacancy pages to regular job ads.
New features will include personalised vacancy pages for each candidate, AI-driven candidate sourcing and matching, and candidate subscriptions to company talent pools.
Weedbot - 425 000 EUR
The high-precision laser weeding technology startup WeedBot has raised 425k EUR to fund the production of its first commercial machine, while continuing to raise a larger funding round for the eventual mass production and expansion.
Both existing (Weedbot had raised 400k EUR before this round) and new investors have contributed. The main investor is the Latvia-based Overkill Ventures, together with its Danish partners Accelerace, joined by several angel investors and a UK-based vegetable seed breeding and production company.
Weedbot prototypes thus far were mostly for testing features in real-world scenarios. The new commercial version will allow the startup to demonstrate to customers how their tech can replace manual weeding or reduce herbicide usage. Major organic carrot growers from France, Germany, Austria and the UK have already signed up to test the commercial machine.
FIS.solutions – 250 000 EUR
Latvian startup FIS.solutions builds customizable loan management solutions for banks, consumer lenders, and the broader fintech industry – with the aim of being able to respond to real-time changes in a rapidly developing industry.
To assist in transitioning toward a complete no-code loan management system (LMS), FIS.Solutions have raised a 250k EUR investment from Expansion Captial. The new LMS will be a freemium SaaS model, and automate the full lending lifecycle, while also allowing each company to tailor the solution for their specific product or service.
Additionally, the startup is using the funding to expand their team – to offer a better service to clients, especially ones without a dedicated IT team, thus expanding their client-base. Next, FIS.Solutions are already preparing to open a Series A investment round within a year – both to accelerate expansion and to become the first 100% no-code lending solution.
Aimy – 250 000 EUR
Nordic-Baltic venture studio Vntrs, has made their first investment in Latvia - 250 000 EUR for Aimy, the Latvia-based personal AI assistant who ensures optimal staffing using artificial intelligence. Aimy is used in 90 stores across Northern Europe.
Aimy will put the investment towards boosting its growth across the region and building up a competence centre for tech in Riga. Especially because of the establishment of a new competence center, the Aimy and Vntrs deal is expected to bring significant benefits to the Latvian tech industry and support Aimy’s further growth internationally.
Aimy is an amazing example of how a startup founder from abroad can thrive in Latvia while supported by the local ecosystem – in this case notably Latvian Startup Association Startin.LV who connected them with the local community, Latvian Business Angel Network where they were matched with VNTRS and other investors, and The Latvian Institute of International Affairs (LIIA).
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.