Tech News March 10: Czech Republic gets its third unicorn, Russia’s VC industry is dying


🦄 Czech Republic Gets Its Third Unicorn After Mews Raised $110M

Mews, a Prague-based hotel management software provider, secured an additional $110 million in funding led by Kinnevik. The last investment elevated its valuation to €1.1 billion, with participation from Revaia, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Notion Capital, and LGVP. Founded in 2012, Mews offers a cloud-based property management system for hotels and apartments, boasting over 350,000 hospitality spaces managed globally for 5,000 clients. The company plans to use the funding for global expansion, R&D, and strategic acquisitions to accelerate digital transformation efforts in the hospitality sector. [Source:]

💵 Market Research Startup Secured $328K in Pre-seed Round

Lakmoos, a Brno-based AI market research startup, secured around $328,000 (€300,000) from Presto Ventures to scale its test kits across banking, automotive, telco, energy, and healthcare industries. Lakmoos aims to revolutionize market exploration, saving billions in costs and hours of fieldwork by 2030. [Source:]


🇵🇱 Poland’s Hottest Startups in 2024

Borys Musielak, the founding partner at, released an updated list of the top Polish startups for 2024, featuring six established champions including DocPlanner, ICEYE, ElevenLabs, Booksy, Brainly, and Uncapped. Additionally, there are eight promising challengers like Ramp, Packhelp, Tylko, Vue Storefront, SunRoof, Spacelift, Silent Eight, and Infermedica. He also identified twelve rising stars such as Authologic, Enso, Nomagic, and others. Lastly, the list includes twelve “new kids on the block.” [Source: LinkedIn]

📉 Russia’s VC Industry Is ‘Dying’

In 2023, venture investments in Russia plummeted to $118 million, a significant decrease compared to $1.636 billion in 2021, with foreign investments shrinking to $55 million, accounting for nearly half of the market, according to a report by Russian-language business site InVenture. Over 80% of these investments came from Hong Kong, China, Kazakhstan, and Belarus. In contrast, pre-seed and seed investments dominated, signaling investor interest in emerging business models despite a decline in later-stage deals.                  [Source: InVenture]


🔥BRAVE1 Allocates $3M Toward Ukrainian Defense Innovation

Since April 2023, the BRAVE1 Defense Technology Cluster has disbursed over $3 million across 173 grants for defense innovation, with top areas including ground robotic complexes, UAVs, and defense systems. BRAVE1 aims to bolster battlefield capabilities against Russian occupiers, offering support ranging from idea inception to NATO-standard codification, with plans to allocate around $39 million (UAH 1.5 billion) for grants in 2024 and expand the number of grants available. [Source:]

💸 Flyer One Ventures Invested in HR/FinTech Platform During $5.5M Series A

Flyer One Ventures, a Ukrainian VC firm, participated in RemotePass‘s $5.5 million Series A round, led by Istanbul-based 212 VC, with Endeavor Catalyst and Khwarizmi Ventures also investing. Founded in 2020, RemotePass has doubled its revenue between 2022 and 2023, serving over 600 companies and 8,000 remote workers. With the new funding, the company aims to enhance its enterprise products and expand into Saudi Arabia. [Source: BalticVC] 

🛰️ Ukrainian-founded Kurs Orbital Raised $4M

Kurs Orbital, a Turin-based startup founded by Ukrainian space industry experts, secured a €3.7 million ($4 million) seed round led by OTB Ventures. The company aims to expand its team and develop an ARCap module for spacecraft docking, scheduled for launch in 2025. Co-founded in 202, the startup leverages the technological expertise of the Kurs rapprochement system, developed in the USSR, to enable cost-effective satellite docking without the need for extensive equipment development. [Source: InVenture]

💰US-founded Investment Fund to Invest in Ukrainian Startups

Green Flag Ventures, an American-founded investment fund, plans to invest in eight Ukrainian startups this year, with financial commitments ranging from $100,000 to about $1.2 million. The fund focuses on companies developing dual-purpose products, particularly in artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, fintech, and Greentech sectors, with a preference for early-stage Ukrainian startups like Astra Nav, which develops M-GPS technology for navigation in any conditions. [Source: Ukraine Business News]


💵 Estonian Investment Firm Participated in $5.1M Funding Round for UK Crypto Startup

Taavet+Sten, an Estonian investment firm, has joined a $5.1 million (€4.7 million) funding round for London-based crypto startup Superfluid, led by UK-based Fabric Ventures. Superfluid, founded in 2020, specializes in real-time cryptocurrency transactions, aiming to streamline digital payments and empower developers with its innovative platform. It has already facilitated $150 million in total transaction volume. The new investment will support the company’s growing developer ecosystem, expand the team, and launch distribution pools. [Source: BalticVC]


👔 Lithuanian Second-hand Clothing Company Acquired Danish Marketplace

Vinted, a Lithuanian second-hand clothing company has acquired Danish marketplace Trendsales, aiming to strengthen its presence in Denmark. Founded in 2008, Vinted boasts over 80 million registered users across 20 markets. The acquisition aligns with Vinted’s expansion strategy, which includes recent ventures into Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. [Source: BalticVC]

🚀 Four Estonian Startups Joined Incubation Program Organized by Swiss VC

Four Tallinn-based startups join Tenity‘s Nordics & Baltics incubation program, receiving around $54,000 (€50,000) each for a 2.5% equity stake and approximately $10,900 (€10,000) program fee, with the potential for $275,000 (€250,000) follow-on investments. The program focuses on impact fintech solutions, offering workshops and mentorship, and culminating in a demo day on May 20, 2024, aiming to support startups like life insurance and wellness platform Lyfery, no-code data management Sweephy, finance cryptocurrency application Ziv4, and cloud-based software for law companies Lawato in their growth and development. [Source: BalticVC]

💼 Lithuanian Co-Founded Employment Verification Platform Raised $30.1M

New York-based income and employment verification platform Argyle, co-founded by Audrius Zujus, raises around $30.1 million (€27.5 million) led by Rockefeller Capital Management, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures, SignalFire, and Checkr. Founded in 2018, Argyle automates employment verifications, aiding in fraud reduction and borrower assessment. With the new investment, it plans to enhance its platform. [Source: BalticVC]

🧩 Lithuanian LEGO Sorting AI Solution Received Investment 

Sort a Brick, a Lithuanian AI-powered LEGO sorting solution, received investment from SOFIGAMA Investments, Reiz Tech, and Baltic business angels in convertible loans. Founded in Vilnius, the company restores old LEGO bricks using AI. It plans to raise further funds in a priced pre-seed round in Q3 2024 after joining Firstpick‘s acceleration program in September 2023. [Source: BalticVC] 

🚗 Estonian Car Rental Startup Entered Polish Market

Beast, a Tallinn-based sustainable mobility startup, expanded into Poland, adding to its presence in seven European markets. The company offers electric Tesla car rentals via a per-minute billing or subscription. It plans for further market expansion and enhanced eco-friendly shared vehicle options. Founded in 2020, Beast’s automated mobile app-driven rental service facilitated nearly four million kilometers of travel, reducing CO2 emissions by 464 tons compared to traditional combustion vehicles. [Source:]


🤝 Hub for Kazakh Startups Opened in Dubai

Qaz Steppe Innovation Hub, operating within the pavilion of the Trade House of Kazakhstan in Dubai, is helping 15 Kazakh startups promote their IT solutions in the Middle East market. Co-founder Timur Mauleshov highlighted the hub’s role in facilitating partnerships and investments for Kazakh IT companies. The initiative aims to capitalize on Kazakhstan’s potential in exporting high-tech solutions abroad, especially the UAE and Middle East markets. [Source: Digital Business]

📈 GoatChat.ain Attracted 5M Users Worldwide

Bakytzhan Dos, CEO of, celebrated the one-year anniversary of the product’s beta launch, revealing a user base of 5 million, according to Facebook post. He highlighted the company’s achievements, including pioneering Small Language Models and collaborating with top US AI researchers to democratize AI accessibility and promote benefits beyond well-funded corporations. [Source: Digital Business]

🚀Saudi Arabia Opened Innovation Hub for Kazakh Startup and IT Companies

The Al-Farabi Innovation Hub, launched in Riyadh, aiming to support Kazakhstani projects in expanding their global presence. It offers incubation, acceleration programs, and initial investments from Tumar Venture Fund. Minister of Digital Development highlighted the hub’s potential to strengthen economic ties between Kazakhstan and Saudi Arabia, an to cultivate at least 3 “unicorns” within 5 years while attracting investments for startup growth and export services. [Source: Digital Business]


🏢 IT Park Branch Opened in Navoi

A new branch building of the IT Park has opened in Navoi. It featurs eight computer laboratories, with five designated for resident companies and three for training sessions. The complex also offers auxiliary spaces, including a co-working area for aspiring programmers and a meeting room for resident company employees, aiming to support the growth of the local tech. [Source: Spot]

🕶️ VR School Won Third Place at Techstars Startup Weekend

Mirjalol Shavkatov, the project manager of VR School startup and a participant in the Swift Launch Accelerator, along with his team, secured third place during Startup Weekend in Uzbekistan. VR School specializes in developing curriculum-oriented virtual reality (VR) labs and classes for schools. As part of their victory, the team received approximately 10 million Uzbek soms, equivalent to around $800, as a prize for Content AI. [Source: LinkedIn]


🩸Early Diagnosis HIV Rapid Test Registered by Resident of The Rapid Bio Company

Rapid Bio, a Skolkovo resident, has developed a rapid HIV test, providing results in eight minutes, aiding in early disease control. With a production capacity of 15 million tests per month, the test is developed and produced within the Skolkovo Innovation Center, offering a simple, speedy, and effective diagnostic solution. [Source: SK]

⚽ inDrive’s “Supernovas” Program Brings Football to Small Towns 

InDrive‘s non-profit “Supernovas” program provides free football training for children aged 6 to 12 in small towns. The company rents the field, hires and trains coaches, provides a computer system for training, as well as other equipment. Operating in six countries and nine small towns in Kazakhstan, the initiative aims to bring happiness and access to sports where children may otherwise be deprived. inDrive plans to extend its impact through collaboration with education departments to reform physical education classes in schools. [Source: LinkedIn]


💉 MedTech Powerful Received $8.2M from European Innovation Council

Powerful Medical, Bratislava-based medical device manufacturer, secured around $2.7 million (€2.5 million) grant and a subsequent $5.4 million (€5 million) investment from the European Innovation Council (EIC) to advance its AI-driven heart attack diagnostics through PMcardio. Co-founded in 2017, the company’s platform enables healthcare professionals to swiftly identify acute heart attacks and cardiac abnormalities using AI, aiming to redefine care coordination and streamline patient assessment pathways within hospital workflows. [Source:]


💶 CRM Platform Secured $2.5M for European Expansion

Livespace, a Warsaw-based B2B CRM platform provider, secured approximately $2.5 million (€2.3 million) in its second investment round led by INventures and ARIA Fund. Founded in 2013, Livespace offers a cloud-based CRM platform for sales automation, aiming to dominate the niche of optimizing sales processes for SMEs in the European market. It plans to utilize the funding for product development, infrastructure scaling, and international expansion. [Source:]


🩺 MedTech Raised $547K in Investment

Timisoara-based Rayscape, a provider of a digital assistant for radiologists, secured a $500,000 investment from Fortech Investments through Rubik Garage Accelerator for expansion into the USA. Co-founded in 2018, Rayscape develops a complex digital assistant utilizing AI algorithms to enhance the accuracy and speed of medical imaging analysis for radiologists. [Source:]


🍎 FoodTech Startup Closed Series A Round and Launched in Romania

Munch, a Budapest-based foodtech startup, closed a Series A round led by Piton Capital, with FJ Labs‘s and existing investors’ participation in expanding its food management platform for restaurants and other stores. Co-founded in 2020, Munch has already saved over 800,000 food packages from waste, preventing nearly 2 million kilograms of CO2 emissions. With the new investment, it will launch operations in Romania with plans to further its impact in reducing food waste. [Source:]

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