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Sunday, 18.02.2024

Important global news (economy, finance & tech) this week by fff.vc team 🟠:

📈 January wholesale prices rise more than expected, another sign of persistent inflation: the producer price index, a measure of prices received by producers of domestic goods and services, rose 0.3% for the month, the biggest move since August. Excluding food and energy, core PPI increased 0.5%, also against expectations for a 0.1% gain. PPI excluding food, energy and trade services jumped 0.6%, its biggest one-month advance since January 2023

🇪🇺 European regulators step up scrutiny of consumer companies over price rises: European competition authorities are focusing more on companies in the consumer sector as inflation heightens the risk of uncompetitive behaviour. Globally, the value of retail sales in the consumer products sector rose by an average of 10 per cent year on year in 2023, but three-quarters of the growth was a result of price increases, according to a report by management consultant Bain. Read here.

🏘 US homebuilding sees biggest drop since April 2020: housing starts, a measure of new home construction, fell by 14.8%, compared with the previous month, according to data released Friday by the Census Bureau. Read here.

👶 Birth rates are dropping to record lows in Europe: the average age of Europeans is 44 years and 6 months old. The population is not growing due to a decline in births and the closure of borders to immigrants. Read here.

📹 Open AI announced Sora, a text-to-video AI model: Sora is a new AI model that can create videos of up to 1 minute featuring highly realistic and imaginative detailed scenes, complex camera motion, and multiple characters with vibrant emotions from simple text instruction

🏆 How AI will transform consumer technology by a16z. Read here.

🛸 Counter-unmanned aerial systems by PitchBook: nets, lasers, GPS spoofers - VC opportunities in neutralizing drones. Startups are muscling into this dilemma with solutions that are more cost-effective than those developed by established defense contractors, while governments have earmarked significant funding for research and development.

Saturday, 17.02.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics by fff.vc team 🟠:

🧳 Venture capital news:

🇪🇪 Trind Ventures Backs Groover: Estonian venture capital firm Trind Ventures leads the $8M Series A funding of French music promotion startup Groover. The investment supports Groover's mission to connect independent artists with curators and labels, promoting new talent discovery across the music industry.

🇸🇪 Powertech Fever Secures €10M: Fever, a Stockholm-based innovator in the energy sector, lands €10 million to boost grid resilience through its API-centric virtual power plant platform, enhancing the integration of renewable energy sources.

🇸🇪 Life Inside Gains €350K: Stockholm's Life Inside raises €350k to redefine video marketing, offering businesses a platform for creating interactive video testimonials with minimal effort and cost.

🇸🇪 MANTLE Secures £2.4M: Stockholm's skincare brand MANTLE raises £2.4 million led by Venrex to expand its clean, effective skincare line in Europe and the US, aiming to strengthen the skin barrier with innovative ingredients.

🇱🇹 Cyber Upgrade's €650K Pre-seed: Lithuanian cybersecurity startup Cyber Upgrade bags €650k to bolster SMEs' defenses against cyber threats, focusing on AI-driven solutions for a safer digital environment.

🇱🇹 Walk15 Secures €1M: Lithuanian wellness tech startup Walk15 lands €1M from Coinvest Capital and NGL, aiming to propel its walking app into the German market, promoting physical activity and healthy living.

🇫🇮 CapitalBox Launches Collateral Lending: CapitalBox introduces a new SME-focused collateral lending program, offering loans up to €1M for European small- and medium-sized enterprises, enhancing their capacity for growth and innovation.

🇫🇮 Bob W's €40M Series B: Helsinki's tech-enabled hospitality operator, Bob W, secures €40M in Series B funding led by Evli Growth Partners to fuel its European expansion, blending hotel quality with the charm of short-term rentals.

🇫🇮 Vapaus Boosts Employee Mobility: Helsinki's Vapaus raises €15M from Norion Bank to expand its sustainable transportation benefits across Finland and Sweden, promoting well-being and environmental responsibility in the workplace

📈 Baltic public markets update:

Week 07 of 2024 at Nasdaq Baltic is vibrant with financial activities including government securities auctions, coupon payments by ELKO Grupa and Banga Ltd, and sales figures from Coop Pank and Enefit Green. Eleving Group and LHV Group report on their performance, alongside interim reports from Hepsor, Baltic Horizon Fund, Novaturas, Arco Vara, and others. Highlighting the week are an extraordinary general meeting by LITGRID and an investor event by EfTEN United Property Fund.

Friday, 16.02.2024

Workshop announcement 📣

Since a lot of members are interested in health & longevity topics, we approached Dr. Desmond Wilson MD who will share 1 hour workshop - Healthspan Optimization 101!

1.⁠ ⁠🍋 Introduction to HealthSpan: Dr. Wilson explores the concept of healthspan versus lifespan, emphasizing the importance of quality life years free from chronic diseases and disability.

2.⁠ ⁠⁠💡Bridging the Gap: Insights into the widening gap between lifespan and healthspan, highlighting the need for integrated strategies to enhance health outcomes.

3.⁠ ⁠👀 Chronic Disease Impact: A deep dive into how chronic diseases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality, and strategies for prevention and management.

4.⁠ ⁠🧰 Toolkit for HealthSpan Optimization: An overview of the tools available for healthspan optimization, including personalized medical care, lifestyle choices, and cutting-edge scientific advancements.

5.⁠ ⁠♾️ Future Frontiers: Dr. Wilson discusses emerging research in aging, targeting cellular senescence, and the potential of interventions like senolytics to extend healthspan and improve quality of life.

In your inboxes you can now find invites to our workshop on 28th of February.

Thursday, 15.02.2024

Our portfolio company Teamdash is voted the HR solution of the year by Estonia HR Society! Congrats all syndicate members!

Thursday, 15.02.2024

Y Combinator has updated their “request for startups” list. Shows what the best startup accelerator sees as the most promising categories right now:

  • Applying machine learning to robotics
  • Using machine learning to simulate the physical world
  • New defense technology
  • Bring manufacturing back to America
  • New space companies
  • Climate tech
  • Commercial open source companies
  • Spatial computing
  • New enterprise resource planning software (ERPs)
  • Developer tools inspired by existing internal tools
  • Explainable AI
  • LLMs for manual back office processes in legacy enterprises
  • AI to build enterprise software
  • Stablecoin finance
  • A way to end cancer
  • Foundation models for biological systems
  • The managed service organization model for healthcare
  • Eliminating middlemen in healthcare
  • Better enterprise glue
  • Small fine-tuned models as an alternative to giant generic ones

Wednesday, 14.02.2024

Sven Illing shared the report about Lithuanian startup ecosystem in 2023:

Tuesday, 13.02.2024

Summary from the DefenceTech meet-up in Tallinn

Main business logic: strategies for scaling and reducing the production cost of a new type of flying drones.

Almost zero money available for the defencetech. Estonia should attract it.

What we can offer?

1.⁠ ⁠Our easy-to-setup business infrastructure; 2.⁠ ⁠⁠Cooperation with the government; 3.⁠ ⁠⁠Our startup and tech community.

What startup ideas they look for?

Gov representatives ask to thinks about solutions to fight against shahed drones.

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Mikhail Chuprynski, a Belarusian who joined the Ukrainian army, shared his story from the front lines. He explained that a 1km frontline is typically manned by 10-12 people. He believes there is a need for qualified drone pilots and autonomous, radio-silent flight operations for the last mile due to signal jamming. With modern perimeter antennas and satellites, they are now able to predict enemy operations.

Thousands of teams are working on drone creation in their garages. The information transition cycle from these new drones is incredible - they manufacture drones, soldiers deploy them to the front lines, and by the same evening, they receive real-time data from the front lines.

Monday, 12.02.2024

Congrats ⁨Aurimas Bakas⁩ with the pre-seed round! Get cybersecurity back to your company with CyberUpgrade.

Sunday, 11.02.2024

Important global news (economy, finance & tech) this week by fff.vc team 🟠:

🆙 201 billion was added to the US national debt in just one month. In addition, household debt reached a new high of $17.5 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2023, with credit card debt and mortgages contributing the most to the increase. Read about consequences here, here and here.

💬 Inflation, retail sales, and corporate earnings: what to know this week.

🇪🇺 EU member states and MEPs struck a preliminary deal on Saturday to ease the bloc's stringent fiscal rules giving governments more time to reduce debt as well as incentives to boost public investments in climate, industrial policy and security. Read about next steps.

🇪🇺 Probability of recession this year is high in EU - check the results of a survey of experts that showed elevated recession risks due to geopolitical conflicts and heightened energy costs in Europe.

📈 Bitcoin climbs above $47K for first time since spot ETF approvals. The nine newborn U.S. spot bitcoin ETFs, excluding Grayscale’s converted fund, now hold over 200,000 BTC in assets under management. IBIT and FBTC’s holdings lead the top 25 newborn ETFs overall after one month of trading

😎 The Frame glasses offer AI visual analysis, translation, and web search right before your eyes. Check here.

🚀 OpenAI CEO Sam Altman seeks as much as $7 trillion for new AI chip project.

Saturday, 10.02.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics by fff.vc team 🟠:

🧳 Venture capital news:

🇪🇪 SensusQ's Defense Tech Advancement: Estonian SensusQ secures a pivotal investment from Specialist VC, embarking on a mission to refine military intelligence through AI. This move signals the expanding interest of VCs in defense technology, with SensusQ at the forefront of this transformative trend.

🇪🇪 Tuum's Banking Breakthrough: With a €25M Series B round, Estonian fintech Tuum is set to globally transform banking. Its modular platform promises rapid and smooth rollouts of financial services, signaling a new era in banking efficiency and innovation.

🇪🇪 Starship Technologies' Delivery Revolution: Originating from Estonia, Starship Technologies secures €83.6M to expand its fleet of autonomous delivery robots, targeting a major shift in last-mile logistics with an eye on reducing carbon emissions.

🇱🇹 Leya AI's Edtech Evolution: Vilnius's Leya AI receives €1M in pre-seed funding for its AI Tutor, aiming to revolutionize language learning worldwide by making it more accessible, engaging, and effective.

🇱🇹 Axiology's Fintech Innovation: Lithuanian startup Axiology lands €2M to lead the charge in tokenized securities trading within the EU, leveraging advanced DLT technology to open up capital markets like never before.

🇸🇪 Xensam's €37M Revolution: Stockholm-based Xensam, leveraging AI for software asset management, lands a €37M investment from Expedition Growth Capital. This infusion is aimed at global transformation, offering unparalleled savings and efficiency in software management.

🇸🇪 Myrspoven's €5.4M Green Mission: From Stockholm, Myrspoven secures €5.4M to lead the real estate sector into a new era of energy efficiency. With a focus on reducing carbon emissions, this AI startup is managing vast spaces across Europe, pioneering sustainability in property management.

🇸🇪 Froda & Ageras Expand to Germany: Swedish SME financing specialist Froda collaborates with Ageras to offer 50,000 entrepreneurs in Germany easy financing solutions through Visa Business cards, marking a significant step in their expansion strategy.

🇸🇪 Northe & Brite Payments Innovate EV Charging: In a move to streamline EV charging payments, Sweden's Northe and Brite Payments unite, aiming to improve the charging experience for fleet operators and advance greener transportation solutions.

🇫🇮 Reveel's Digital Exploration Leap: Helsinki's Reveel secures €650K in pre-seed funding from Inventure VC, ready to redefine tourism with innovative digital guidebooks. Powered by AI, Reveel aims to revolutionize the way we discover the world, offering smart, immersive travel experiences.

🇫🇮 3TS Capital's €111M Tech Boost: Split between Helsinki and Vienna, 3TS Capital Partners closes Fund IV at €111M, setting sights on nurturing Europe's next tech giants. With a history of over 50 investments, 3TS Capital is poised to reshape the TMT sector, driving innovation and growth.

📈 Baltic public markets update:

Nasdaq Baltic is bustling with activity, featuring government securities auctions, coupon payments, and a range of financial reports. Highlights include coupon payments from CrossChem and Admirals Group AS, sales figures from Tallink Grupp, and interim reports from LHV Group, SAF Tehnika, Nordecon, and more. Snaigė's takeover offer period, along with Merko Ehitus and Coop Pank's annual reports, underline a week rich in investment moves and market dynamics.

Friday, 9.02.2024

🌿🫀🤸‍♀️Longevity docuseries for this weekend:

What's the secret to living to 100? National Geographic explorer Dan Buettner has been probing that question for decades now. For a new book and a documentary series on Netflix, Buettner traveled to so-called longevity hotspots all over the world and met people who are living longer without really trying.

It’s a four-part docuseries on Netflix titled Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones takes viewers around the world to investigate the diet, behavior and lifestyles of those living the longest, most vibrant lives.

Episodes range from 30 to 45 minutes, and each dives into one or two of the six Blue Zones around the globe— the Italian mountain villages of Sardinia, Japan’s famous Okinawan people, the family- and wine-oriented Greek Ikarians, the farmers of Costa Rica’s Nicoya region, the tight-knit Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda, and the surprising rise of centenarians in Singapore.

Friday, 9.02.2024

1.⁠ ⁠⁠🇱🇹 Arnas Stuopelis - https://www.linkedin.com/in/arnas-stuopelis-52395a6 / Chairman of the Board at Hostinger

2.⁠ ⁠⁠🇱🇹 ⁠Andrius Juozapaitis - https://www.linkedin.com/in/andriusjuozapaitis / Founder of Algori

3.⁠ ⁠🇱🇹 ⁠Mindaugas Petronis - https://www.linkedin.com/in/mindaugas-petronis-5a828112 / Founder of Hector

Thursday, 8.02.2024

Oksana Tolmatšova is a member of our community and since there was some interest towards ESGrid we are happy to share the opportunity that is being syndicated by EstBan (ca.200k committed already).

💡
Please note, we did not perform a deep DD on this deal and fff.vc is just passing on the information. We are not investing ourselves as the community.

General overview: Esgrid helps enterprises and banks manage value chain ESG impact from the bottom up by unlocking easy-to-use sustainability tools for value chain SMEs. Pitchdeck:

Esgrid – Pitch.pdf648.0KB

Q&A call will take place next Tuesday, at 16.30 Tallinn time.

Convertible note: Valuation floor: 1 000 000 € Valuation cap: 2 500 000 € Discount rate: 20% Interest rate: 8% Maturity date: 30.09.2025

Wednesday, 7.02.2024

Requests from the members: Lion Martinez: wild request but does anyone have a connection to an entrepreneurial engineer who has experience building medical/health devices (such as chromatograpy devices)? Hugues Flament: anyone in the drug discovery unit of a pharma company ? The startup cellboxlabs (Latvia) is raising funds in that sector. Given the very specific market I was wondering if someone has an opinion on their product? Kristaps Prusis: quick question to the Lithuanian members, is there a service you can recommend to check Lithuanian companies (latest annual reports, potential tax debts or other issues etc)?

Tuesday, 6.02.2024

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We are organising a fff.vc breakfast in Vilnius.

🍳 Let’s gather for a cozy brekkie on the 7th of February, @Daily Poison at 9am to make the community feeling stronger and build the relationships!

🙏 Let us know if you can make it: https://tally.so/r/3EWpzr

Monday, 5.02.2024

Our member, ⁨Silver Kalmus,⁩ and Sorainen published a webinar titled "The latest developments in the pan-Baltic bonds market."

Agneta Rumpa presented the EU Green Bond Standard and Silver⁩ shared his view on Baltic region's sustainable bond market, along with providing insights on structuring green bonds following the International Capital Market Association Green Bond Principles.

New members (Week 5)

  1. 🇬🇧 Pamela Hsieh - https://www.linkedin.com/in/pamelahsieh/ Angel & ex-Alibaba
  2. 🇪🇪 Gert Lõhmus -https://www.linkedin.com/in/gertlohmus / Data @ Vinted
  3. 🇱🇹 ⁠Rapolas Peciulis - https://www.linkedin.com/in/rapolaspeciulis / Finance & M&A
  4. ⁠⁠🇱🇹 Tomas Kemtys - https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-kemtys-0920ba22 / Partner at Contrarian Ventures
  5. ⁠⁠🇱🇹 ⁠Edvardas Tamkevicius - https://www.linkedin.com/in/edvardas-tamkevičius-558477a2 / Finance & Real Estate

Sunday, 4.02.2024

🇪🇪 🚀 Estonian Startup Awards 2023 results. fff.vc members are rock stars.

Congrats Alvar Lumberg with winning the GreenTech of 2023 nomination and Oliver Ahlberg⁩ & Taavi Madiberk, Avery Schrader⁩, ⁨Siim Teller⁩, Sten Tamkivi on being among top 3 nominees in different categories. Summary here.

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Saturday, 3.02.2024

Important global news (economy, finance & tech) this week by fff.vc team 🟠:

⬇️ ⁠The Euro Area Inflation Rate for January 2024 is 2.8%. This is according to a flash estimate released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. It represents a slight decrease from the 2.9% inflation rate observed in December 2023.

👩‍🌾 Farmers’ protests have erupted across Europe. Farmers across the bloc say that the costs of energy, fertilizer and transport have risen, particularly in light of Russia’s war in Ukraine. On top of this, governments have been trying to reduce rising food prices amid inflation. Farmers, particularly in Eastern Europe, continue to voice grievances over the cheap agricultural imports from Ukraine, including grain, sugar and meat. The EU has waived quotas and duties on Ukrainian imports in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In France, a government plan to phase out a tax break for farmers on diesel fuel, as part of a wider energy transition policy, has also sparked anger. What’s being done to calm the protests? Read here.

📈 S&P 500 hits record high after jobs report, tech earnings thrill investors. Read here.

✂️ Fed rate cut not likely in March, Powell says at press conference. The Fed is waiting for greater confidence in sustainable inflation before considering rate cuts. Overview here.

🇨🇳 China faces severe real estate woes, deflation, and an exodus of global investors. The Chinese stock market, for one, has shed roughly $6 trillion in value since peaking in 2021. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index is still in the red this year to date, trading 9% lower so far this year and down 4% from a week ago. Meanwhile, the CSI 300 — which tracks 300 Shanghai and Shenzhen-listed stocks with the largest market capitalizations — is about 6% lower so far this year and 4% lower from a week ago. Foreign investors are so unenthusiastic about China that they have pulled out nearly 90% of the money they put into Chinese stocks in 2023, according to a Financial Times analysis of data from Hong Kong's Stock Connect last month. A record downturn in its dominant real estate market, high youth unemployment, deflation, and a rapidly falling birthrate are just some of the issues ailing the world’s second-largest economy.

♊ Google is reportedly rebranding Bard to Gemini and plans to launch a dedicated app. Per the leaked document on X, Gemini Advanced will give users access to the Ultra 1.0 model of Gemini, which is “far more capable at highly complex tasks like coding, logical reasoning, following nuanced instructions, and creative collaboration.” It’ll be available in over 150 countries and optimized for the English language at the start.

😎 The first Reddit reviews of the Vision Pro are in. Check here.

Friday, 2.02.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics by fff.vc team 🟠:

🧳 Venture capital news:

🇱🇹 Practica Capital's €80M Milestone: Setting a new standard, Practica Capital unveils the Baltics' largest-ever seed fund at €80M, targeting SaaS, marketplace, and Deep/Industrial tech sectors, aiming to elevate the Baltic startup ecosystem.

🇸🇪 Cake's End of Road: Sweden's electric motorcycle innovator Cake declares bankruptcy after raising $74.4M, showcasing the challenges of ambitious tech ventures.

🇸🇪 Heart Aerospace's $107M Leap: Securing a massive $107M Series B, Heart Aerospace is pushing its hybrid-electric ES-30 plane towards eco-friendly regional aviation, marking a significant stride in sustainable air travel.

🇸🇪 Roro's Gaming Universe: With €1.5M in funding, Roro, born from Toca Boca and Mojang veterans, is crafting a unique, non-toxic mobile gaming space, promising a creative and liberating 3D digital experience.

🇸🇪 Version Lens Innovates Product Management: With a €1.5M pre-seed from People Ventures, Version Lens introduces a pioneering co-pilot tool for product managers, aiming to transform Product Operations through automation and insight.

🇫🇮 Dagsmark Joins Forces with VAFO: In a move to dominate the Nordic pet food scene, Finland's Dagsmark Petfood merges with the VAFO Group, focusing on sustainable, locally sourced premium products.

🇫🇮 Paptic's Sustainable Packaging Push: Paptic raises €27.5 million to disrupt the packaging industry with sustainable wood fiber solutions, targeting a significant global market expansion.

🇫🇮 Order of Meta's Gaming Venture: Helsinki-based Order of Meta garners $3.3M for Cargo Hunters, introducing a novel mobile PvPvE shooter concept, backed by GEM Capital for a pioneering venture into the extraction shooter genre.

📈 Baltic public markets update: In the fifth week of 2024, the Nasdaq Baltic saw government securities auctions, numerous coupon payments from companies like Eleving Group and mogo, and interim reports from EfTEN Real Estate Fund and Storent Holdings. Tallinna Vesi shared their annual report and hosted an investor event, marking a week full of financial activities. Check here.

🎧 Featured talks: A catchy episode of The Knowledge Project, where Shane Parrish and Tom Gayner, a good friend of Charlie Munger, discuss life lessons, long-term game strategies, and the value of simplicity in management.

📆 Upcoming events: March 15-16, CEE VC Summit - The premier gathering in Central and Eastern Europe for VCs, angel investors, startups, and entrepreneurs to connect, share insights, and explore investment opportunities.

Thursday, 1.02.2024

CB Insights and OliverWyman published generative AI predictions for 2024. The most complete research we have seen so far around AI:

OW GenAI & Business & Society 2024.pdf5775.5KB
CB Insights Generative AI Predictions 2024.pdf23546.3KB

Wednesday, 31.01.2024

Our co-founder, Tim Vaino, Change Ventures and FirstPick have just published the Baltic Startup Scene Report H2 2023.

Dive into the report for insights on 🌱 pre-seed & 🌿 seed stages - think valuations, sizes, revenues, and much more.

Tuesday, 30.01.2024

The first fff.vc retreat has come to an end 🔥

It was a mind-blowing experience: we visited a Kood / Jõhvi 👩‍💻, cooked fish soup 🐟 & tomahawks 🥩, rode snowmobiles ⛸️, hung fish nets 🎣, followed local traditions 🍾, took part in bathing rituals 🧖‍♂️ and more.

We discussed life experiences, investing, and laughing. We very appreciate our new friendship.

It was truly inspiring - thank you ⁨Arho Anttila⁩, Patrick van Hoof⁩, ⁨Hugues⁩ Flament, ⁨Pavel⁩ Ruben, ⁨Samuel Jaeger⁩, Armando Copolla.

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Monday, 29.01.2024

Akim Arhipov attended a panel discussion with Sam Altman. Notes from the session 📄:

  1. ⁠Continuous AI embedding in the world is happening now;
  2. ⁠Little productive investment done in covering AI risks - OpenAI aim to do it themselves;
  3. AI for better education, health, entertainment;
  4. “We learn and listen users what they want and apply it in new releases. That’s why App Store and you own GPT agent. We did safety tests before releasing the ChatGPT 4 for 8 months. We build systems, not products”;
  5. AI role next year (US presidential elections btw): Sam worried about deepfakes - customised one on one persuasion ability of the models. Moderator: “Like ChatGPT influencing your decisions in chat window (people laughing)?”;

7.⁠ ⁠People should trust the companies to educate governments on new possible legislations.

New members (Week 4)

  1. 🇪🇪 Remo Holsmer - https://www.linkedin.com/in/remoholsmer / Business and Leadership
  2. ⁠🇱🇹 ⁠Arturas Svirskis - https://www.linkedin.com/in/arturassvirskis / Angel investments and Fintech
  3. 🇱🇹 ⁠Vytenis Kinduris - https://www.linkedin.com/in/vyteniskinduris / Business Development & Defence

Sunday, 28.01.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics by fff.vc team 🟠:

🧳 Venture capital news:

🇪🇺 Plural's Tech Revolution: Plural launches a €400M fund, targeting trailblazing tech startups. Spearheaded by industry giants, it's a game-changer for European innovation.

🇪🇪 Cleantech Fund Ignites Estonia's Green Future: 2C Ventures unveils a €50M fund, laser-focused on boosting early-stage cleantech heroes in Estonia and beyond.

🇪🇪 ESGrid Wins at sTARTUp Day: Estonian ESG data startup ESGrid clinches the sTARTUp Day pitch contest's top prize - up to €200,000 syndicate investment from EstBAN. With an exceptional team and an innovative concept that aligns with EstBAN's mission to support fledgling startups, ESGrid is poised to disrupt the market.

🇱🇹 AskToSell's €100K Pre-Seed Triumph: Vilnius-based AI innovator AskToSell secures €100,000 in pre-seed funding. Their autonomous AI sales agents aim to revolutionize SMB sales, a venture backed by Startup Wise Guys and Specialist VC, marking another successful collaboration with founders Laimonas Noreika and Karolis Januškas.

🇫🇮 The closing of a CardioSignal's Series A: With a robust $10M Series A funding, Finnish CardioSignal is set to revolutionize heart disease detection using smartphones. Backed by DigiTx and others, their game-changing tech promises a new era in cardiovascular healthcare.

🇫🇮 Vegemi's Healthy Boost: Helsinki's Vegemi snags €500k from angels! It's revolutionizing kids' health education through XR tech – fun, engaging, and oh-so-nutritious!

🇫🇮 Chipmetrics' Growth Investment: Chipmetrics lands a whopping €2.4M! This Joensuu-based ALD tech star is set to skyrocket in the semiconductor galaxy with its cutting-edge metrology solutions.

🇸🇪 The Biggest Amount This Week: H2 Green Steel secures 48 billion SEK in loans and 3.4 billion SEK in new investments, including Microsoft, for its green steel project in Boden.

📈 Baltic public markets update:

During the fourth week of 2024, the following events occurred in the Nasdaq Baltic market. Check here for more details.

🎧 Featured talks:

Join seasoned venture capitalists Jeff Rinvelt and Martin Tobias as they reveal their insider knowledge and strategies for navigating the VC world.

📆 Upcoming events:

February 12-16, Stockholm FinTech Week 2024 - Meet startup founders, industry experts and investors. Thanks to ⁨Armando Coppola⁩ - we have a discount of 20% to get tickets: https://ti.to/sfw/stockholm-fintech-week-2024/discount/WELLSTREET2024

Friday, 26.01.2024

Our member, Oksana Tolmatshova & ESGrid wins the sTARTUp Day pitching 2024. Big congrats from fff.vc team and members!

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Thursday, 25.01.2024

Our friends from byFounders have prepared a 2023 report on New Nordics:

Here are some key points:

  • Overall Trends in New Nordics (2023): Early-stage funding in the New Nordics (Nordics and Baltics) saw only a 9.7% decline from 2022, with a significant 59% increase in the second half of the year. The year witnessed a 22% increase in early-stage funding rounds, totaling 196 compared to 161 in 2022. Energy and climate emerged as the most popular sector, followed by fintech and digital health.
  • Finland and the Baltics Performance: Finland led with the highest number of funding rounds (43), totaling €197 million. Estonia closed 30 rounds (€75 million), Lithuania had 15 rounds (€45 million), and Latvia secured 5 rounds (€9 million). Estonia and Iceland notably had higher invested capital per capita, despite Estonia's decline from €155 million to €75 million.
  • ⁠Average Round Sizes: The average round sizes across pre-seed, seed, and Series A varied, with Finland averaging €7.9 million, Estonia €3.7 million, Lithuania €2.7 million, and Latvia €1.8 million.
  • New Early-Stage VC Funds: 2023 saw four new early-stage VC funds in the New Nordics, three of which originated from Finland. These include Kvanted Ventures' €70 million fund, Failup Ventures' €30 million fund, and Greencode Ventures' €40 million fund focusing on green startups.
  • Notable Investments: Finland's Lifeline Ventures was the most active, making 9 new deals. Prominent funding rounds included Lithuania's Atrandi Biosciences (€4.5 million Series A), Latvia's Trace.Space ($1.5 million), Estonia's Arbonics (€5.5 million seed round), and Finland's ReOrbit ($7.4 million seed round).

Wednesday, 24.01.2024

fff.vc padel club is in full swing and bursting with energy!

Well done Reet Kaurit, Kairi Pauskar, Erik Kaju, Joosep Kõljalg, Mikk Oja and Søren Hejnfelt.

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Tuesday, 23.01.2024

Our friend Dave Lishego shared The Founder’s Guide to Financial Modelling.

This is one of the most comprehensive guides for pre-seed to around A startups. Please share with your founders.

Financial Modeling Primer.pdf2957.6KB

New members (Week 4)

  1. 🇱🇹 Mantas Vičius - https://lt.linkedin.com/in/viciusmantas / Edtech & Sales
  2. 🇱🇹 Domas Janickas - https://www.linkedin.com/in/domasjanickas / Serial Entrepreneur
  3. 🇱🇹 Jurate Stanisauskiene - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jurate-stanisauskiene / Venture Building
  4. 🇱🇹 Mantas Staliūnas - https://www.linkedin.com/in/mantas-staliunas-cfa / - Finance
  5. 🇪🇪 Vladimir Babich - https://www.linkedin.com/in/babichvladimir/ - Global Head of Business Analytics at Bolt
  6. 🇪🇪 Siim Maivel - https://www.linkedin.com/in/maivel - ex-Head of Data Science at Bolt

Sunday, 21.01.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics by fff.vc team 🟠:

🧳 Venture capital news:

🇪🇪Bilance App Raises €300K: Estonian app secures €300,000 funding to improve financial literacy and user experience.

🇫🇮DelSiTech's €10M Financing Round: Finnish pharma innovator DelSiTech lands a €10 million investment to advance their biodegradable drug delivery technology.

🇫🇮Paptic's €27.5M Funding Success: Papticc, from Finland, raises €27.5 million to expand its sustainable, wood fibre-based packaging materials.

🇸🇪Northvolt's Green Milestone: Northvoltt secures a record $5B green loan, powering up its expansion and marking a major leap in Europe's sustainable energy journey.

🇸🇪TrusTrace's €22M Growth Investment: Stockholm's TrusTrace secures €22 million led by Circularity Capital, gearing up to revolutionize global product traceability and support sustainable supply chains.

🇸🇪Aira's Clean Energy Surge: Aira raises a whopping €145M in Series B, gearing up to transform Europe's home heating with clean, efficient technology.

📈 Baltic public markets update:

During the fourth week of 2024, the following events occurred in the Nasdaq Baltic market. Check here for more details.

🎧 Featured talks:

Explore the dynamic world of venture capital in 'Liquidity', where industry experts Michael Kim, Jason Calacanis, and David Weisburd delve into the intricacies of fund valuations, leadership shifts, and ethical investing.

📆 Upcoming events:

February 5-8, EDTECH Week Lithuania 2024 brings together the country's education, science and innovation community, foreign guests, experts, solution developers.

Saturday, 20.01.2024

Important global news (economy, finance & tech) this week by fff.vc team 🟠:

🌎 The World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting took place in Davos from 15-19 January 2024. Check takeaways from prominent sources: •⁠ ⁠10 takeaways from McKinsey •⁠ Takeaways from CNBC •⁠ Takeaways from New York Times

⬆️ ⁠Euro Area Inflation Rate: increased to 2.90% in December from 2.40% in November of 2023, meets market consensus. The core inflation rate, excluding volatile food and energy prices, cooled to 3.4% in December 2023, the lowest since March 2022.

⬇️ ZEW Economic Sentiment Index in the Euro Area decreased to 22.70 points in January from 23 points in December of 2023. The ZEW Economic Sentiment Index is a survey-based indicator used to measure the economic outlook of financial experts for the Euro Area over the next six months. A less optimistic economic outlook could affect stock markets, bond yields, and investment in certain sectors. Companies might become more cautious in their investments, expansion plans, or hiring if they anticipate a slower economic growth. A less optimistic economic outlook might weaken the Euro against other currencies.

🏦 UBS argued Friday that equities and bonds have more room to rally in 2024, with the investment bank tilting towards the AI and the semiconductor areas of the market.

👓 Apple's Vision Pro saw demand popping when it allowed pre-orders to begin Friday morning. Starting at $3,499 a pop, if Apple produces 1M units in 2024, which is in the estimate range, it could result in $3.5B in sales this year for the tech giant. Evercore believes this could reach as high as $19B within five years, especially as Apple lowers the price to appeal to a wider consumer base.

🗣 FED meeting in January: 2 different forecasts: •⁠ ⁠Forecast #1 •⁠ ⁠Forecast #2

Thursday, 18.01.2024

In an interview with Bill Gates, Sam revealed some key milestones OpenAI is working towards that likely be what GPT5 is:

  1. ⁠Multi-modality: Sam believe firmly video is a key aspect, and likely can take video in/out;
  2. Much much better reasoning: "GPT4 can only reason to an extremely limited ways", the current GPT4 reasoning ability might seem like child to GPT5, and very likely he is referring to unlocking System 2 cognitive ability (Think slow for complex situation)
  3. ⁠Reliability: "If you ask GPT-4 a question 10,000 times, one of those 10,000 is probably pretty good, but it doesn't know which one"; GPT5 might be able to learn & remember the best version of performing tasks, so it can perform consistently;
  4. Customisation & personalisation: "People wants very different things from GPT4, different styles, we will make that all possible; Also use your own data, connect to your calendar, email, knowing when to book appointment, connecting to external data source"

Tuesday, 16.01.2024

  1. 🤯 I just spoke to a founder who raised $30M from Tier 1 VC firm in 2021 and hasn’t touched the principal. He funds his entire company off of the 6% interest while he is finding product-market fit.

  1. fff.vc padel club is on! Great game Erik Kaju, Søren Heijnfelt, Mikk Oja, Kaspar Hanni, Indrek Prants and Kristjan Novitski.
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Sunday 14.01.2024

We have compiled the latest 2024 outlooks from top Wall Street investment banks and asset managers: