Baltic startup scene report: €3.7B in revenue and €1.6B in investments
The Baltic startup scene continues to confidently develop. The growing number of startups is already generating a lot of economic growth, with the potential for an even bigger impact in the future. CIVITTA, an independent management consultancy in Emerging Europe, in collaboration with Google, has prepared, as it says, the most extensive report on the startup and venture ecosystem in the Baltic region. AIN.Capital shares the key points.
Baltic startup scene potential
In recent years, the Baltic countries experienced a growing number of startups:
- Estonia has over 1300 new startups.
- Lithuania has more than 1100.
- Latvia has over 600.
In 2021, they totalled €1.4 Billion in Estonia, €1.8 billion in Lithuania, and €400-500 million in Latvia.
The startups have a huge potential to become a major contributor to the Baltic region’s economies. To raise the ecosystem to the next level, though, the Baltic countries need more very successful startups (so-called “scaleups”), potentially employing thousands of people and generating significant revenues.
The number of startups in the Baltics grows every year, but only about 4-5% manage to scale-up and become successful businesses. A rather significant part of the startups in Baltics involves companies with less than 20 employees that are still struggling to become successful.
Among the two reasons preventing the startups from growing are the shortage of top-tier employees and shortage of funding.
Since 2017, venture funding in the Baltics has increased dramatically. The speed of growth in funding has accelerated as well — it takes less time to move to subsequent rounds. But funding options are still listed as the predominant challenge in the Baltics startup ecosystem.
In 2022 alone, Estonia has experienced a total of 55 deals, while Lithuania had 19, and Latvia — only 12.
The report states that it takes on average about 23 approaches to sources of venture capital to get funding – more persistent startups ultimately do get funded.
In addition to that, having a serial founder on the team correlates with greater success in attracting funding. 65% of startups that attracted funding in Estonia, 58% in Lithuania, and 59% in Latvia had at least one serial founder on their teams.
CIVITTA claims that creating more opportunities to network and exchange knowledge with serial founders would benefit the entire system. The work of startup associations like Unicorns Lithuania, Estonian Founders Society, and others are very important in this regard.