Vilnius-based startup Walk15 has raised €600K. EIT Urban Mobility, an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) joined the round with other investors. This is the first significant commitment of support and therefore, a partnership agreement, of one of Europe’s largest urban mobility funds in Lithuanian venture. Walk15 is a sustainable walking platform that offers a smart steps challenge solution for companies. Right before the closing of the year, the platform attracted the first investment of EIT Urban Mobility Impact Ventures, the largest European sustainable community, to Lithuania. This investment also became the first foreign capital attracted by Walk15.
“We met the representative of the EIT Urban Mobility in Lisbon, at the Lithuanian stand set up at the Web Summit event. We were invited to present our decision to the initiative’s internal and external jury. After just a few days, we received a positive response! Walk15 ends the year with great motivation and enthusiasm. Among the main goals for next year is the completion of the self-service platform for creating step challenges and entering the German market. That’s where the attracted investment will be allocated to. In the near future we will seek to attract new ones to fully complete these goals”, says Vlada Musvydaitė-Vilčiauskė, founder and CEO of the startup Walk15.
The decision of EIT Urban Mobility to allocate investment to this startup was made after a rigorous two-stage process, after screening dozens of highly competitive applications submitted to the Startup Investments Open Call – a vehicle through which EIT Urban Mobility invests in the sustainable mobility open market. The entire process was supervised by an internal and external jury of experts.
“Our goal is to become the first non-local investor in emerging startup ecosystems, and Walk15 sets an example on how EIT Urban Mobility’s impact footprint is gaining momentum all across Europe”, says Pablo Garrido, EIT Urban Mobility Impact Fund Investment Principal.
According to an investment analyst at EIT Urban Mobility Impact Fund, it was not about a single reason but rather multiple positive signals supporting the final investment decision.
“Walk15 unquestionably fits our Investment Thesis, both in terms of the stage and financial metrics, as well as the addressed sector. At the same time, the solution addresses active mobility and thus, supports (or even nudges) people in the introduction of positive mobility patterns into their daily activities. The startup has clear unique selling points framed in a defensible business model, both towards the public and private sector, making the company not only an advocate of a healthy lifestyle but also a self-sustainable business. Finally, one of the most important things, is a strong and competent team with sector expertise, demonstrating strong engagement and dedication to the project since our very first interaction”, says Mateusz Kałuża, Investment Analyst at EIT Urban Mobility Impact Fund.
Speaking about the potential of the startup in the future, the representative of EIT Urban Mobility Impact Fund singled out another strength of Walk15 – timeless relevance.
“Startup addresses an infinite market or better said – a habit that should be adopted by everyone. Whatever technology we will be using, no matter how advanced humanity will be in 5, 10 or 20 years, one must move to keep his body healthy and to contribute to sustainable, walkable cities”, says M. Kałuża.
The decision to invest in Walk15 was also made by the 70V fund operating in Lithuania. This is the fund’s second investment in a walking platform.
Back in November, the Lithuanian business angels and the Business Angels Fund II also invested in Walk15. Several of them – for the second time. Together with EIT Urban Mobility fund, the investment amount reaches 600,000 euros.
“The main goal for the next year is to attract 1,000,000 euros for establishing in the German market“, says V. Musvydaite-Vilciauske.
The walking platform Walk15, which offers a smart step challenge solution for companies, calculates that since July 2019, more than a thousand companies in Lithuania, Latvia, Denmark, Germany, and other European countries have used the solution.
The startup was recognized as the best solution in Europe at the “European Young Innovators” awards and won the Public’s favorite title in the “Vilnius TechFusion Startup Awards”.