Tech Updates Dec. 18: Estonian Carbon Removal Startup Plans European Expansion


🌱 Estonian Carbon Removal Startup Raised $6M in Investment

Arbonics, a forest carbon removal platform in Tallinn, raised $6 million (€5.5 million) led by NordicNinjaVC with support from Plural and Tilia Impact Ventures. Founded in 2022, Arbonics connects property owners with carbon-paying companies and offers digital tools for reforestation land identification and potential carbon income calculation. Operating in the Baltics and Finland and serving 4,000+ landowners, this investment will fuel Arbonics’ expansion across Northern and Central Europe. [Source: BalticVC]

🚨Estonian Crime-Fighting Platform Secured $4.25M From Existing Investors

Estonian RegTech platform Salv received $4.25 million (€3.9 million) in funding from existing investors like Passion Capital, Giesecke+Devrient Ventures, ffVC, and undisclosed newcomers. Founded in 2019 in Tallinn, Salv’s Bridge platform aids banks in preventing financial crimes, collaborating with 53 institutions, conducting nearly 7,000 investigations, and preventing up to $6.5 to $7.6 million (€6-€7 million) in fraud cases. This investment will help Salv expand into the UK, hire 10-15 new employees, and follows an earlier funding round. [Source: BalticVC]

🤖 Estonian Drone Manufacturer Raised $333K in a Pre-seed Round 

Skycorp Technologies, an Estonian hydrogen drone developer, secured $333,023 (€305,000) in a pre-seed round led by Singaporean Destiny Energy and Vilnius-based Baltic Sandbox Ventures. Their Generation 2 e-Drone Zero, founded in Tartu in 2023, offers extended flight times and quick refueling for various applications. This funding will accelerate the company’s drone market launch in 2024, while Syda Ventures, established in 2022, invests in healthcare, education, renewable energy, and agriculture, and Baltic Sandbox Ventures supports early-stage deep tech and life science startups. [Source: BalticVC]

🍏 Food Hygiene Inspection Platfrom Raised $436K in Pre-seed Round

Inspectle Food, an Estonian automated food hygiene inspection platform, secured $436,000 (€400,000) in a pre-seed round led by Change Ventures, with participation from Firstpick and Heartfelt VC. Founded in Tallinn in 2022, Inspectle Food aids food producers in efficiently conducting hygiene inspections and addressing non-compliance issues with safety regulations, allowing for swift removal of potentially risky foods from production lines. This investment will facilitate their expansion across Europe and the US, with notable clients including Lallemand from the US and Saarioinen from Finland. [Source: BalticVC]

🌳 Estonian Reforestation Startup Announced $2.7M in Seed Round Funding

Ecobase, an Estonian reforestation startup, secured $2.7 million (€2.5 million) in a seed funding round to expand its pan-European reforestation program, aimed at supporting property owners and encouraging sustainable forestry practices. Founded in 2021, Ecobase incentivizes native forest creation, providing landowners with alternative income sources beyond timber value, according to founder and CEO Jaan Sepping. The investment, led by Combiwood Grupp, will enable Ecobase to enhance its platform and introduce new products in the near future. [Source:]

🐑 Estonian Protective Wool Packing Startup Raised $2.7M in Funding

Estonian firm Woola, specializing in eco-friendly wool packaging, secured $2.7 million (€2.5 million) in a funding round led by Metaplanet, with Future Ventures and Lemonade Stand as collaborators. Founded in 2020, Woola focuses on sustainable e-commerce packaging using leftover wool, aiming to replace traditional plastic options. With the new funding the company plans on expanding its product range to include luxury goods, and enhancing its sales and marketing team. [Source:]

🏠 Short-tem Rental Platform Received Investment from Estonian Karma Ventures

Karma Ventures, an Estonian firm, invested in Minut, a solution for monitoring short-term rentals, in a $5.02 million (€4.6 million) round with global investors. Minut’s sensors, developed in Sweden, oversee noise, occupancy, and smoke. The investment will go toward product growth and team expansion in Europe and the USA. [Source: BalticVC]

⛽ Lithuanian VC Invested $8.07M in Swiss Developer of Cleaner Fuels

Lithuanian Contrarian Ventures led a$8.07 million (€7.4 million) seed round for climate tech startup Metafuels, a Swiss sustainable aviation fuel developer, alongside Energy Impact Partners. Metafuels’ green methanol-based aerobrew serves as a kerosene replacement without airplane or infrastructure modifications, with plans to build a pilot plant in Switzerland using the investment. Contrarian Ventures focuses on climate startup investments in Europe and Israel, typically investing between $1.6 to $4.36 (€1.5M to €4M). [Source: BalticVC]

👓 Lithuania Laser Optics Provider Acquired Apline Research Optics

Vilnius-based Altechna acquired Boulder’s Alpine Research Optics (ARO), aiming to triple their laser technology income in five years by merging 60 years of combined industry expertise. This collaboration, led by Travis Green from ARO, aims to elevate global laser industry standards through ARO’s UV laser optics proficiency and Altechna’s laser optics and assemblies design excellence. Altechna plans to expand its laser technology solutions, creating job opportunities while Travis Green remains President of ARO post-acquisition. [Source:]


📈 IT Research Ukraine Predicts IT Export Revenue Could Reach $7.18B in 2023

According to the Lviv IT Cluster report, the Ukrainian IT industry hosts approximately 307,600 specialists, with a growing trend in female representation at 29% in C-level positions. In 2023, while the number of specialists in Ukraine rose by 6.1% compared to the previous year, the industry’s export revenue ranged from $6.78 to $7.18 billion, marking a slight decrease from the previous year’s figures. The IT sector plays a significant role in Ukraine’s economy, contributing to 4.9% of the country’s GDP and representing a crucial source of foreign currency income, accounting for 45.1% of service exports. [Source:]

💵 Total Value of Ukrainian Startups Estimated at $25.4B

The value of Ukrainian startups reached $25.4 billion (€23.3 billion) in November 2022, a $4.3 billion (€4 billion) decrease from the previous year according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation. Over the last five years, the value of these startups has surged more than ninefold, rising from $2.7 billion (€2.5 billion) in 2017, while the country hosts 1,500 active startups and employs over 285,000 IT specialists. Moreover, more than 600 startups have been established by Ukrainians or university graduates, and over 500 foreign startups have established offices in Ukraine, showcasing interest in the local market’s potential. [Source:]

📚 Educational Startup To Raise $10M from EBRD, IFC and Horizon Capital

Preply, a Ukrainian EdTech startup founded in 2013, has received co-investment from EBRD, IFC, and Horizon Capital, aiming to boost research, development, and AI integration for enhanced language learning experiences. With a global community of approximately 40,000 teachers, Preply stands as a leading online language learning platform, showcasing the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian tech sector. [Source: InVenture]

💵 D3 Investment Fund To Increase Volume by $11M in 13 Ukrainian Startups

D3 Venture Capital, currently valued at $19 million, aims to reach $30 million by mid-2024, with a focus on supporting Ukrainian defense startups. Managed by Evelyn Buchatsky, the fund has already invested in seven Ukrainian defense startups and intends to expand its portfolio to at least ten companies by the year-end, partnering with industry leaders like ex-CEO Google Eric Schmidt in the Dare to Defend Democracy (D3) initiative. [Source: InVenture]


💵 Kazakh Startup Citix to Earn Over $10B in 2023

Citix to exceeded its 2023 revenue target by $2.7 billion (1 billion tenge), projecting $12.1 billion (5.6 billion tenge) by year-end, marking an 86% increase from 2022 as shared by Freedom Holding. The company expanded globally by launching a network of 50 smartboards in Istanbul, receiving interest from New York for pilot projects, and joining the World Out of Home organization as the inaugural representative from Kazakhstan. Additionally, plans are underway to install pilot smartboards in Dubai by the year’s end. [Source: Digital Business]

💲GoDays Received Funding from My Ventures

GoDays, a Kazakh startup focusing on employee burnout prediction using AI and keystroke data, received additional funding from My Ventures after initial investment in summer 2023. Founder Elnur Kai highlighted the company’s growth, securing $500,000 of $700,000 investment proposals, reaching over 30 clients, and expanding operations in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, South Korea, Japan, the USA, and Kyrgyzstan, with plans to focus further on the South Korean market, which generates over 65% of profits. [Source: Digital Business]

🌲Reforestation Platform Won Pitch Competition Receiving $100K

Dana Shukirbaeva, CEO of Forest Hero, won a women entrepreneurs’ climate change pitch contest by the US State Department and received $100,000 along with Google Startups Cloud Program support at the UN Climate Change Conference. Forest Hero, Kazakhstan’s pioneering ClimateTech startup, uses machine learning to optimize reforestation by advising on ideal tree planting locations and enhancing tree growth monitoring. [Source: Digital Business]


🚀 Business Angel School To Launch in Tashkent

A two-day intensive course (Dec. 18-19), “Business Angel School,” will take place in Tashkent, organized under the joint project of the Ministry of Economy and UNDP, aiming to enhance economic opportunities through digitalization for youth. Partnering with MOST Hub, UMAY, and UzAngels, the program will educate business and academic figures interested in investing in startups, covering diverse topics from investment strategies to legal transaction analysis, led by prominent venture investment experts such as Alim Khamitov, Mirat Akhmetsadykov, and others. [Source:]

🍕Dodo Pizza Expands in Uzbekistan

Dodo Pizza has steadily expanded its presence in Uzbekistan since its inception in 2015, culminating in 10 pizzerias by 2021 and a target to reach 44 pizzerias by 2027. Noteworthy features about Dodo in Uzbekistan include specialized dessert recipes from an in-house production facility, the use of house-made flatbread for their signature Dodster wrap, and a unique pizzeria constructed from four shipping containers in Tashkent. [Source: LinkedIn]


💰 AVIVO Capital Accounced Three Investments Totaling $6M

AVIVO Capital, based in Warsaw and Palo Alto, closed three investments worth $6 million (€5.5 million) within six months. Among its new portfolio companies is German startup GRID eSports, focusing on global tech startups. The fund’s initial investments span diverse tech sectors across Poland, Germany, and the USA, featuring GRID eSports for its pioneering role in gaming data processing and major partnerships with Riot Games and Ubisoft. AVIVO Capital plans to expand its investment portfolio by supporting innovative global tech ventures in the future. [Source:]

🪑Next-Generation Furniture Startup Received $8.1M from European Investment Bank

Warsaw’s furniture innovator Tylko received $8.1 million (€7.5 million) from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to enhance its furniture design software. Known for personalized, high-quality shelving and an AR App serving nearly 60,000 clients globally, Tylko aims to use this investment to advance new technologies and product offerings while benefiting from EIB’s expertise and network. [Source:]

🛍️ E-commerce Platform Received $504K in Investment

Boxmarket, an e-commerce platform specializing in packaging, secured around $504,000 (€462,000) in funding led by Tar Heel Capital Pathfinder. caters to small and medium-sized online businesses, optimizing shipping and warehousing. Tar Heel Capital Pathfinder aims to support Boxmarket’s growth in digitization and marketing efforts, foreseeing its potential expansion in the international e-commerce industry. [Source:]

👥 HR Tech Company Raised Additional Funds

Staffly, a Warsaw-based HR tech startup, received additional funding from US-based VC fund Freya Capital, reaching a valuation of $3.2 million (PLN 13 million). Founded in 2020, Staffly utilizes psychometric tests and machine learning to assess candidate traits, experiencing a fourfold growth in 2023 and expanding its clientele to include recognized brands like T-Mobile, Credit Agricole, and Greenpeace. The undisclosed investment will support Staffly’s product development, focusing on alternative sales channels and adapting its tests for international users. [Source:]

🩺 Telemedi Acquired By Mavie, Marks Third Exit for Black Pearls VC

Telemedi, a digital healthcare platform combined with in-house doctors and a network of physical clinics, was acquired by Austrian healthcare provider Mavie, marking Black Pearls’ third exit this year. The acquisition aims to expand Telemedi’s medical services and reach in Central and Eastern Europe, guided by Mavie’s strategic support. [Source:]


👛Fintech Startup Raised $2.5M in Seed Round

Prague-based fintech startup Digitoo secured $2.5 million (€2.3 million) in a seed funding round led by Reflex Capital, enabling the company, founded in 2019, to enhance its AI-based platform for automating accounting tasks, freeing accountants from manual work. The partnership with Reflex Capital signifies a significant step for the company’s growth, aiming for foreign expansion and further innovation with the raised capital as part of its long-term development strategy. [Source:]


💶 AI Tech Provider Raised $2.1M in Seed Round

Vienna-based EnliteAI, specializing in AI solutions focused on Reinforcement Learning and Computer Vision/geoAI, secured $2.1 million (€2 million) in funding from investors including Breeze Invest, Speedinvest, and Floyd Ventures. EnliteAI transitioned into a SaaS startup and expanding their team to 15 members. The recent investment, co-led by Breeze Invest, Speedinvest, and Floyd Ventures, aims to support EnliteAI in advancing the next generation of AI SaaS solutions. [Source:]

🔋Production Planning Solution Closed $8.5M Round

Austrian-based HYDROGRID secured $8.5 million in Series A funding, co-led by Inven Capital and Karma Ventures, to expand its global presence. Founded in 2016, HYDROGRID provides a production planning solution for hydro-power assets, using machine learning for optimization, aiming to maximize power market revenues while ensuring environmental compliance. The startup targets to save over 50 million tonnes of CO2 by 2033 and strives to elevate hydropower’s role in the future energy landscape.[Source:]


🚗 Electric Mobility Company Secured $220K in Pre-seed Funding

Ride Colibri, a Romanian electric mobility company, secured $220,000 from six business angel investors and plans to expand to Asia, South America, and Africa. The startup’s flagship product, the Ride Colibri M22 electric two-wheeler, boasts an impressive range of up to 200 km, features three removable lithium-ion batteries, and has already sold 44 units generating over $230,000 in revenue. With the recent investment, the startup aims to accelerate production, fulfill orders, and further penetrate international markets. [Source:]


🛡️Brightside AI Recieved $1M from Social Links

Brightside AI secures a $1 million investment from Social Links to bolster its SaaS platform addressing social-engineering cyber-attacks intensified by the widespread use of generative AI. With a focus on combatting phishing threats, Brightside’s collaboration with Social Links aims to leverage OSINT infrastructure to enhance cybersecurity measures against increasingly personalized and sophisticated attacks. [Source:]

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