Lithuania is more than just a country with beautiful nature and high-speed internet.
Lithuanian capital Vilnius is one of the largest financial centres in the Baltic states. Photo: Shutterstock
Lithuania might be a small country somewhere in the Eastern Europe, but it has already established its name in the startup scene. Big names like Vinted, Pixelmator or GetJar already raised more money than an average person earns in his or her lifetime – And these companies have gotten a lot of coverage in the international media.
So let’s shift our attention from mature Lithuanian startups to fresh ones – which have great potential in becoming the country’s next unicorns.
Nerd.lt is a team of 4 physics students, who are trying to solve installation difficulties of smart house technology appliances – And also lower the price of the technology.
The solution is a simple one. A smart plug and extension strip system that they call MultiCord. Using smartphone app or internet browser users are able to see status of all the plugged devices in real-time.
MultiCord system measures the amount of consumed energy, so users are able to see how much running household electronics cost. The solution enables also automating home appliances as much as possible.
Nerd.lt‘s biggest competition are other smart home application providers, such as Cofizy or HomeControl, but most of them are focusing more on the control of the devices – not electricity consumption.
Even if In 2014 smart house device market was valued at 18 billion euros, Nerd.lt is still seeking for seed round investments.
“With the current projections this particular system can generate profit but as all start ups it needs investment in order to compete and succeed in such a harsh market,” says Miglė Radžvilaitė, the project manager of Nerd.lt.
Infinite Loop is a very simple, relaxing and never ending game of which concept, design, music and development was created by Jonas Lekevicius. The player’s goal is to turn all forms on the grid so that there would be no open connections. Most levels are algorithmically generated and randomly coloured, so after successfully completing each level you will be rewarded with a beautiful design that you’ve designer yourself during playing.
This very simple – yet addictive game – has scored amazing statistics only 8 months after their launch – It has over 3,3M downloads and 220k daily active players from all around the world. Infinite Loop has also been featured on the App store and on Google Play market under “Top trending” category.
At the moment the game is free of charge, but in the next version you will be able to unlock additional challenges with a in-app purchase, reveals Lekevicius: “We have been working on version 3 for the last two months. It’s going to have an additional game mode (we call it dark mode) with very different rules and design. It will be available as one-time in app purchase.”
During his Masters studies in Laser Physics in 2013, Evaldas Pabrėža invented a technique that can be used for label-free identification of materials within analytes.
In short, various materials scatter light in their own ways and they are different for every substance. When there’s a very low concentrations of material to capture it you need special sensors which, until now, were very expensive. AtoID managed to develop a technology which allows to reduce cost of this technology at least to 10 times smaller and increases the productivity up to 15 times more efficient.
The market of analytical instruments and sensors in food safety alone sums up to 14 billion euros – And with medical diagnostics the sum is even bigger. Demonstrating new applications with AtoID technology opens new markets and there is plenty of potential. For the very beginning they are focusing on food safety, which, according to Evaldas, is relatively easier market to enter. Mainly their solution competes with other sensing technologies, like gas chromatography, mass spectrometry and imuno-assays.
“In the same technology we have 3-5 competitors and one of the biggest ones just stopped their activity. Why? We would like think – that’s because of us,” says Pabrėža, the CTO of AtoID.
“Many women around the world are striving for beautiful and healthy looking skin. Proper skin care really helps, but often there is no easy way to tell which product will match your personal needs,” says Veleza Founder Martynas Nikolajevas. With almost 20 years of working experience in startups, he believes that consumers are still discovering suitable products through trial and error – which is quite a wasteful in terms of time and money.
In cosmetics field there are some players, like PrettyInMyPocket or ThinkDirty, but it seems that this is an emerging market without clear category leader. In iOS mobile app Veleza you discover skin care that matches your skin type. It was released in in December 2014 and now they have nearly 5000 users. According to Nikolajevas they are growing 20% per month on average.
Veleza’s business is built on multiple revenue streams. For cosmetics brands, they will bring value in the form of communications channel to their loyal and potential customers. “A consumer research product based on real-life product usage data is second value generating option,” Nikolajevas states.
At this moment Veleza is focusing on 2.5 billion euros skin care product vertical in the UK. They already have 15 000 skin care products available in the UK in their database.
Veleza has already raised angel round of €220 000 in March. With a help of 6 talented individuals with past product, Nikolajevas is focusing to release their app on Android by the end of October.
Brolis Semiconductors is a laser laboratory which was created by three brothers – Augustinas, Kristijonas and Dominykas Vizbaras. Augustinas and Kristijonas are taking care of commercial and technical activities while Dominykas is the CEO of the company.
Brolis Semiconductors lasers are ideal for security in field applications requiring long battery lifetime, light payload and operation in remote areas for extended periods of time such as airborne surveillance, UAV and covert operation behind the enemy lines.
This year they introduced first in Europe analogue SWIR camera ”Observer S100” for surveillance. Their clients are NATO/ES countries as well as, police force, firefighters.
Brolis Semiconductors also develops lasers for medical applications such as skin rejuvenation, ophthalmology, blood and breath analysis. This technology also allows real-time breath diagnostics to monitor asthma, cancer and other diseases.
The company has 10 big clients and many small ones. Also, they are working closely with EU and their support funds. In 2013, EU funded 2,1 million euros in developing
In 2013, three brothers also received 4 awards: Global Lithuanian Awards: “For bringing back international experience and implemented innovations”; BZNstart: “Spin-off start-up of the Year”; Lietuvos Garbė: “Accomplishment of the Year” and Preis der Deutschen Wirtschaft in Lithuania. Photo: brolis-semicon.com
This year Brolis Semiconductors started management buy out process and they’ve attracted strategic investors such as Eksma and Light Conversion.
Even though these 5 startups are working in different fields, they all have one great thing in common – They make Lithuania stronger and more powerful in the international level.
New inventions, mobile apps and games are just a small part of what Lithuanians can do. So remember these names, as a year or two from now it might be most influential people not only in Europe, but in the whole World as-well.