The biggest investment deal of 2022 - 30M EUR series A investment round – was snuck in at the last few days before 2023 by Aerones - robot-enabled wind turbine maintenance and inspections service provider – who already had a 9M seed round earlier in the year.
Aerones is planning to use these funds to keep up with the rising demand, while also putting more effort into marketing and sales to keep that upward trajectory. The end of 2022 had Aerones lay the groundwork for expanding into Australia as well as some Asian markets, and this investment will allow them to build on that expansion.
The startup also strategically expanded their workforce, as not only the planned expansion would require larger operations (like field-deployed robot service teams), but also with a goal to accelerate R&D processes. That means the need for senior engineers and robotics specialists – which are not easy to find in Latvia, and for now Aerones is only hiring locally. Having the option of offering more attractive employee packages should enable Aerones to fill their human resources needs.
Meanwhile, a fairly unusual investment has taken place with Trace.Space attracting 1.5M USD funding – while still being in the ideation stage – a record amount for such a startup in Baltics. Trace.Space is working on AI-enabled software for industrial and automotive product engineers and manufacturers – allowing them to develop complex products faster.
Mostly, the funds will go toward hiring new talent – a front-end developer and product designer. The latter is considered especially important because currently the team lacks that kind of expertise – not just solving the problem, but designing a product that fully fits the needs of a client and is comfortable to use. Once these two roles are integrated and the development has progressed, a full-stack developer would round out the initial team. Also, once Trace.Space will have attracted around 10 design partners / excited potential customers they will start aiming for a Seed phase investment.
The success of Trace.Space could open up Latvian startup ecosystem to more early-stage investments – so it’s important to keep an eye on them.
InDemo - a startup that provides an investment platform that connects small and medium-sized businesses with investors - recently closed a 500 000 EUR seed funding round led by a group of investors including the Latvian Business Angel Network and the Estonian Business Angels Network. The platform aims to simplify the investment process and offer an efficient way for businesses to raise capital.
This new funding will be used to expand the platform's reach and to develop new features to better serve their users. The company plans to focus on the Baltic and Nordic regions for now, but aims to expand to other European markets in the future. Sergejs Viskovskis, the CEO of InDemo believes that while the money itself is very helpful, this investment – in the current conservative investment landscape - acts as proof of the potential of their upcoming product, the strength of InDemo team, and the vision of investment democracy.
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.