Tech Headlines Nov. 20: Estonian Gametech Startup Raises Over $15M from Gaming Veteran Investor


🚀 Bragiel Brothers Launches A Virtual Fellowship Program for Aspiring VCs

An intense, 10-week fellowship program for aspiring VC professionals by Bragiel Brothers is accepting applications, which is 100% remote and welcoming individuals from diverse backgrounds. Ideal candidates have strong determination and resourcefulness, especially those interested in exploring emerging markets, agtech, and the sports/entertainment sectors (music/film). Interested applicants can apply here. [Source: LinkedIn]


🎮 Gametech Group Secured $15.2M in Funding

Tallinn-based Sisu Group recently secured $15.2 million (€14 million) in funding led by Level Up Entertainment. Founded by gaming veteran Jan Svendsen, the startup aims to merge consumer-facing products with a robust technology platform, catering to both consumers and other gambling operators, prioritizing a workplace fostering inspiration and employee satisfaction. The investment highlights the company’s disciplined financial strategy, while Sisu Group prepares to onboard its first technology platform customer by 2025 and expand its team to over 60 employees soon. [Source:]

💰AI Startup Fyma Secured $2.1M From Quandri Ventures

Fyma, an Estonian AI startup, secured $2.1 million in an investment round led by Quandri Ventures. Founded in 2019, Fyma’s AI technology enhances property management by analyzing existing camera networks, offering insights like occupancy analysis, footfall tracking, parking management, and tenant experience data for global real estate firms. The investment will bolster Fyma’s go-to-market strategy, aiding product development and integration with LLM providers, and leveraging generative AI for enhanced object detection learning.


⚕ Estonian HealthTech Raised $2.2M From Investors

Estonia’s Haut.AI, a health tech company founded in Tallinn in 2018, secured a $2.2 million (€2 million) investment from Latvian LongeVC and the venture capital division of Brazilian beauty conglomerate Fundação Boticário. Haut.AI specializes in SaaS tools for beauty brands, offering AI-powered skin analysis, including its latest tool, SkinGPT, enabling virtual skincare try-ons and personalized product suggestions. The startup’s clients include German skincare company Beiersdorf and US beauty retailer Ulta Beauty. LongeVC continues to back innovative startups globally, recently investing in healthcare, diagnostics, and technology companies across the US and Europe. [Source: BalticVC]

👕Estonian Business Angel Invested In Danish Fashion Startup

Tarmo Renter, an Estonian business angel, has invested in Danish fashion startup Virtuall, securing a $902,718 (€829,000) pre-seed round led by EIFO, Italian fashion tech accelerator Styleit, and Swedish accelerator Antler. Virtuall, founded in 2022 in Copenhagen, offers a virtual brand management platform for fashion companies, enabling product showcasing and virtual trials across various digital channels like Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, and gaming platforms such as ROBLOX and ZEPETO, aiming to revolutionize the way consumers interact with fashion items through augmented reality (AR) technology. The company plans to use the investment to develop its platform and improve the speed of delivery using scaling sales and automation. [Source: BalticVC]

🏆 Estonian BioTech Received $32K Tech Award

ÄIO, a Tallinn-based biotech startup, was honored with a $32,000 (€30,000) Tech Validation award at the EIT Food Accelerator Network event. Founded in 2022, ÄIO focuses on replacing environmentally harmful oils with sustainable alternatives derived from agricultural and wood industry side streams, having previously secured $1.09 million (€1million) to expand its alternative oils’ production capacity. The company will use this investment to product tech development. [Source:]

🏛️ Estonian Customs Company Declared Bankrupt by Harju County Court

Estonia’s Harju County Court declared Eurora bankrupt with liabilities exceeding $6.9 million (€6.4 million), including unpaid taxes and rent. The company, once backed by a $40 million investment in 2022 from various Baltic investors, faced financial distress, resulting in layoffs and a subsequent bankruptcy filing due to insufficient funds, leading to an investigation into potential mismanagement. Anneli Aljas and Kaie Hansson, former heads of Eurora, must confirm financial details under oath, with potential legal action from creditors looming. [Source: BalticVC]

📈 Estonian Tech Companies Show Growth In Turnover By 11% In 2023

Estonian tech companies experienced an 11% growth in turnover, reaching $1.84 billion (€1.69 billion) in the first nine months of 2023, with Bolt, Veriff, Swappie, Crezu, and VisevenMarTech leading in turnover. During this period, these startups paid $176.9 million (€162.5 million) in employment taxes, employing 9,600 individuals locally, and witnessed increased investment of $160.4 million (€147.3 million), marking 45 venture deals, including significant investments in Binalyze, Funderbeam, RangeForce, Planet42, and EFENCO. Additionally, five exits were recorded. These insights were detailed in a report published by Startup Estonia, a government-backed initiative supporting Estonia’s startup ecosystem through various activities and funding from the European Regional Development Fund. [Source: BalticVC]

🔋Estonian CleanTech Raised $1.4M From Investors

Efenco, an Estonian cleantech firm, secured $1.4 million (€1.3 million) in funding led by Ivo Remmelg, and other EstBAN business angels, bolstering their innovative HERC chip technology for industrial boiler combustion. Efenco’s chip technology significantly boosts fossil fuel combustion efficiency by over 18%, reducing CO2 emissions, with plans to extend its impact to hydrogen and natural gas combustion, leveraging cold-plasma-assisted combustion. The company partners with industry leaders and secures substantial grants from the EUeic, Estonia’s Archimedes Foundation, and an equity commitment of $8.7 million (€8 million) from the EIB to further product development and material integration. [Source: BalticVC]


👩 Roberta Rudokiene Becomes The New CEO of Lithuanian Business Angel Network

Roberta Rudokiene, former head of Vilnius-based Startup Lithuania, takes on the CEO role at Lithuanian Business Angel Network (LitBAN), replacing Justinas Pasys. Pasys, who founded NGL, a business angel syndicate, will continue managing angel investments and startup advisory boards. Under Rudokiene’s leadership, Startup Lithuania saw Lithuania’s startup count grow from 350 to 1,000 and facilitated partnerships like bringing the Plug and Play accelerator to the country. LitBAN, founded in 2017, expanded its network from 40 to 340 angels and increased yearly investments from $1.9 million (€1.8 million) to $15.7 million (€14.5 million) during Pasys’ tenure, focusing on early-stage ventures in the Baltic region. [Source: BalticVC]

🚶Lithuanian Wellness Tech Platform Raised $542K

Walk15, a Lithuanian wellness tech platform, raised $544,000 (€500,000) from LitBAN business angels and Mantas Mikuckas, co-founder of Vinted and Practica Capital, at a $16.3 million (€15 million) valuation. Founded in 2019, Walk15 incentivizes physical activity by converting steps into discounts, showing an eightfold revenue increase and collaborations with over 1,300 international companies. The funding aims to expand into Germany, explore a B2C model, and introduce diverse activity challenges beyond walking. [Source: BalticVC]


💶 Latvian Ministry of Economics Plans to Allocate $435K To Startups in 2024

The Latvian Ministry of Economics is set to boost startup support, planning to allocate $435,614 (€400,000) in 2024—twice the amount from 2023—spread across entities like Latvian Startups Association, TechChill, LatBAN, LVCA, Riga Technical University, and TechHub Riga. This financial aid aims to fuel international startup events, investor sessions, and training, with subsequent plans to maintain similar funding levels in 2025 and 2026 to bolster the startup ecosystem’s growth, as Latvian startups raised $101 million (€93 million) in 2022, creating over 3,200 jobs, with future projections foreseeing a $326 million (€300 million) investment increase and an additional 1,500 startup employees by 2025. [Source: BalticVC]


💵 Ukrainian and Moldovan Startups Receive $4M From 

The fund disclosed its highest investment since the onset of Ukraine’s war, channeling funds into various startups, including Instock, Haiqu, Cloudprinter, NewHomesMate, Speedsize, Bloomcoding, and several undisclosed companies. Established in 2017 by the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, has invested over $7.5 million in 23 Ukrainian and Moldovan startups, supported by the US government via the US Agency for International Development (USAID), demonstrating the fund’s commitment to backing small and medium-sized enterprises across the region for over 29 years. [Source: InVenture]

💻 IT Company Vakoms Received Investment from InSoft.Partners 

Kyiv’s InSoft.Partners recently invested in Vakoms, marking its seventh investment post-conflict, supporting the IoT and Embedded systems company. Established in 2020, Vakoms specializes in diverse software development areas and operates across Ukraine, Poland, and Switzerland with over 130 employees. InSoft.Partners strategically acquire stakes in IT firms, aiding their operations, as seen in recent ventures like Digis and Noltic. Their recent investment included Poland-focused IT company Digis and stake acquisition in Noltic. [Source: TechUkraine]

📚 Headway Included On Most Promising 2023 EdTech Startups in Europe

Headway, a Ukrainian EdTech company, secured a spot in HolonIQ’s Europe EdTech 200, which celebrates innovative digital education entities. Recognized for its commitment to online learning, Headway’s microlearning products have garnered global acclaim, including awards and millions of users for its top educational app. [Source: TechUkraine]

🌎 Ukrainian IT Company Alcor Enters Latin American Market 

Alcor, a Ukrainian IT company known for establishing R&D centers, is expanding into the Latin American market, targeting Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile. CEO Dmytro Ovcharenko sees vast potential in this move, aiming to facilitate development opportunities for US and Western European IT firms. [Source:]

💰EBRD Increases Capital By $4B To Invest in Ukraine

The Board of Directors of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) proposed a $4.3 billion (€4 billion) capital increase, aiming to bolster investments in Ukraine. Pending formal approval by the end of 2023, this increase, the third in EBRD’s history, is expected to enhance annual investment to $3.2 billion (€3 billion), twice the wartime level and thrice the pre-war average, starting in 2025.

[Source: UkraineBusinessNews]


🏦 Kazakh Company Develops Service For Issuing Microloans

A Kazakh company collaborated with Uzbekistan’s Davr Bank to introduce a Telegram bot and web application for instant microloans, allowing clients to easily access loans ranging from $11,000 to $561,000 (1 to 50 million soums) in a few steps. Leveraging Telegram’s popularity in Uzbekistan, Davr Bank aimed to fulfill the demand for swift and convenient lending, emphasizing the simplicity of the interface and verification process through selfies and ID documents. [Source:]

👥 EdCrunch 2023 International Conference Held in Almaty

EdCrunch X, a recent education conference in Almaty, drew over 3,000 attendees and more than 120 speakers addressed various facets of education. Sayasat Nurbek, Kazakhstan’s Minister of Science and Higher Education, highlighted efforts to elevate the country’s education by creating a ‘Study in Kazakhstan’ brand and emphasized advancements in AI and digitalization. Speakers like Isyl Boy Ergul cautioned about critical questioning in AI education, while Dale Johnson expressed concerns about data usage in artificial intelligence, suggesting potential exploitation by tech networks. [Source:]


💲Mastercard Report Showcases Fintech Changes in Uzbekistan 

Uzbekistan’s fintech sector has rapidly evolved, witnessing a surge in online transactions and remote banking services. Fueled by increased internet accessibility and shifting consumer behavior due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of online transaction users spiked from 8 million to 30 million (2018-2022), accompanied by a significant rise in QR code payments from $1.4 million to $17 million. Government-led banking reforms led this growth, resulting in an increase in the number of bank cards in circulation to 34 million from 19 million over the past four years, indicating considerable potential for further fintech development in the country, supported by demographic shifts, rising incomes, and urbanization prospects. [Source:]

⭐ EBRD Star Venture Boosts Uzbekistan Startup Scene

The EBRD launched the Star Venture Program in Uzbekistan to bolster local startups, led by Sherzod Akbarov, highlighting its aim to propel these startups to international success amid Uzbekistan’s growing ecosystem supported by government initiatives and venture capital. Akbarov emphasized Uzbekistan’s unique potential as an innovation hub, urging startups to apply for the program, which offers tailored support and resources to address their specific needs and foster growth within the country’s evolving startup environment. [Source: Daryo]


🚗 InDrive Launches A New Venture to Invest In Emerging Markets Startups

InDrive, a Russian-founded bid-based ride-hail platform prominent in Latin America and Asia, unveiled its New Ventures arm aiming to invest up to $100 million in startups across emerging markets, diversifying revenue streams as it eyes profitability. Headed by Andries Smit, the division will target post-seed/Series A-stage companies with substantial growth metrics and aims to leverage InDrive’s market access and technology, fostering rapid scaling for portfolio companies within its extensive user base of over 200 million customers across various regions and service offerings beyond ride-hail. [Source: TechCrunch]


💡Icanpreneur Raised $905K in the Pre-seed Round

Sofia-based startup Icanpreneur concluded its pre-seed funding at $905,000 (€830,000), totaling over $1.09 million (€1 million) raised, led by Sofia Angels Ventures and supported by MFG Invest and a lineup of angel investors. Founded in 2021, Icanpreneur pioneers an Accelerator-as-a-Software platform aiding tech entrepreneurs in their journey from idea creation to product-market fit, offering essential tools for a systematic and scientific approach in product development, marking a significant shift in the startup landscape. The firm plans to use the investment to accelerate the development of its product and expand to its go-to-market. [Source:]

🛒 NV3 Invests in Local Ancestral Superfoods

Sofia-based NV3 invested $218,105 (€200,000) in Ancestral Superfoods, alongside over 12 angel investors, to accelerate the development of health-enhancing foods. Ancestral’s focus on “live and functional” foods supporting various health aspects has gained traction in nine diverse markets, with NV3 recognizing its passionate team and impressive market success. The startup plans to use the investment towards accelerating its mission and developing functional foods and dietary supplements. [Source:]

Add comment