Weekly Digest

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

Weekly Digest 07.04.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics

🇪🇪 Elcogen Secures Over €140M for Clean Energy Expansion: Tallinn's Elcogen raises more than €140 million to boost its green hydrogen and electricity production capabilities. The funding, from investors including Hydrogen One Capital Growth, HD Hyundai, and strategic investor Baker Hughes, aims to scale up manufacturing in Tallinn and propel its innovative solid oxide technology, supporting the global transition to cleaner energy.

🇪🇪 SuperSimple Raises $2.2M for No-Code Data Platform: Tallinn-based SuperSimple has garnered $2.2 million from investors like Tera Ventures and Specialist VC. The startup's platform allows users to interact with data through a no-code UI or plain English, aiming to become the operating system for data integration and insights across companies.

🇪🇪 Flowstep Granted €1M by Enterprise Estonia: Tallinn-based Flowstep receives a €1 million grant from Enterprise Estonia to boost its UX copilot tool, aiding users in creating superior designs. This funding will accelerate their AI and Design research, supporting Flowstep's mission to enhance design processes with innovative technology.

🇸🇪 Gaia Biomaterials Attracts $5M for Eco-Friendly Alternatives: Helsingborg's Gaia Biomaterials secures $5 million in a rights issue led by Almi Invest Greentech, focusing on Biodolomer, a compostable material made from limestone, to replace fossil-based plastics globally.

🇸🇪 Skåne Ventures Collects €2.9M for Startup Ecosystem: A collaborative initiative by Minc, Ideon Science Park, Hetch, and Krinova, Skåne Ventures has raised €2.9 million to support early-stage startups in Sweden, aiming for innovation and societal impact.

🇸🇪 Ironic Biotech Secures €1M to Combat Iron Deficiency: Lund-based Ironic Biotech raises €1 million in pre-seed funding from Nordic Foodtech VC. The startup develops plant-derived proteins for high iron bioavailability, targeting global iron deficiency and anemia with a scalable, side-effect-free solution.

🇸🇪 Telness Tech Raises €5M for US Expansion: Stockholm's Telness Tech secures €5 million to expand its digital solutions for mobile operators into the US, funded by Industrifonden and Viltor (JCE Group). This investment fuels their mission to revolutionize telecom with full automation platforms, now serving 18 operators globally.

🇸🇪 Scayl's €100M for European Fintech Lenders: Emerging from stealth, Stockholm-based Scayl announces a massive €100 million funding to empower European fintech lenders with efficient, transparent financing. Founded by seasoned fintech veterans, Scayl aims to bridge the lending gap and foster financial innovation across the continent.

🇫🇮 Onego Bio's €37M Series A for Egg-free Protein: Helsinki's Onego Bio, advancing sustainable food solutions, secures a €37 million Series A led by NordicNinja VC. Their Bioalbumen, an animal-free egg white alternative, promises significant environmental benefits and aims to revolutionize the food industry with scalable production.

🇫🇮 Polar Night Energy's €7.6M Seed for Sand Battery Tech: Tampere's Polar Night Energy raises €7.6 million in seed funding, led by Jonathan Oppenheimer, for its innovative Sand Battery technology aimed at boosting renewable energy usage and reducing reliance on fossil fuels. This marks a major step towards their global expansion and tech enhancement.

🇫🇮 Klu Wins €200K at Arctic15 Helsinki: In an impressive win at Arctic15 Helsinki, Finnish data management startup Klu secures €200K, spotlighting their revolutionary approach to data accessibility. Their aim to streamline business data handling is poised for significant growth and enterprise adaptation.

📈Baltic Public Markets Update:

This week in the Baltic financial markets sees a flurry of corporate and governmental activity, underlining the region's vibrant economic landscape. Government securities auctions by Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybė demonstrate ongoing efforts in state financial stewardship. Notably, the Silvano Fashion Group and Grab2Go convene Extraordinary General Meetings, signifying pivotal moments for corporate governance and strategic direction. The financial markets are also attentive to public offerings from Grenardi Group and Citadele banka, introducing fresh opportunities for investors. Amidst these developments, a series of annual general meetings, dividend announcements, and the release of audited annual reports from key players such as TextMagic, EfTEN Real Estate Fund, and Tallinna Sadam provide comprehensive insights into the fiscal health and future prospects of Baltic enterprises.

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Important global news this week in economy, finance & tech

📈 Historic Quarter for US Equity Funds: In a record-breaking quarter since 2007, 64% of actively managed U.S. equity funds surpassed their Russell 1000 benchmarks, significantly up from 38% last year. This performance coincides with the S&P 500's remarkable 10.2% rise, its best start since 2019. The shift from megacap tech to broader stock gains was a key factor, with notable underperformance from Apple and Tesla benefiting funds underweight in these stocks. BofA highlights the potential for further market expansion and suggests leaning into value stocks.

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🌐 Eurozone Economic Recovery Gains Momentum: The Eurozone's economic recovery is gaining pace with the private sector experiencing a ten-month high in growth, thanks largely to a surge in the services sector. While optimism in business reaches a pre-pandemic high with Spain and Italy leading in service sector growth, rising oil prices present a potential challenge to future ECB rate decisions and inflationary pressures.

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🇬🇧 UK's Private Equity Sector Faces Potential Tax Hike: In 2022, UK private equity dealmakers earned £5bn in carried interest, spotlighting the debate over the taxation of such payouts. With the Labour party proposing an increase in the tax rate from 28% to 45%, there's concern over the potential impact on the industry and the risk of professionals moving abroad. The plan aims to raise an additional £400mn for the Treasury but could lead to significant financial implications.

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💼 Intel Faces $7 Billion Operating Loss in Foundry Business: Intel revealed a $7 billion operating loss in its foundry business for 2023, a stark increase from the previous year's $5.2 billion loss. This announcement marks a pivotal moment as Intel continues to advance its strategy under CEO Patrick Gelsinger, aiming for a turnaround by the mid-2030s, supported by significant funding from the CHIPS and Science Act and commitments from major companies.

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🔍 Google to Introduce Paid AI Search Features: Google is set to revamp its business model by offering paid "premium" AI enhancements to its search engine. Targeting subscribers of Google One and Workspace, this move is part of Google's strategy to integrate AI into its services without compromising its ad-supported search engine. The initiative aims to maintain Google's competitive edge in the AI landscape while safeguarding its substantial search advertising business. This move reflects Google's efforts to balance the adoption of AI innovations with the preservation of its $175 billion search advertising business amidst the growing competition from AI technologies like OpenAI's ChatGPT.

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Weekly Digest 24.03.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics

🇸🇪/🇪🇪 Crypto Rogue Games Gathers $1.5M for Web3 Gaming: Umeå and Tallinn-based Crypto Rogue Games secures $1.5M in seed funding to forge the future of web3 gaming. With a focus on developing immersive blockchain-powered games, their first title, "Crystals of Naramunz," promises a unique gaming experience combining action RPG elements with blockchain technology.

🇸🇪 BLIXT Sparks €5M Seed Investment: Stockholm's BLIXT electrifies the market with a €5M seed investment for its groundbreaking software-controlled electricity technology. Their innovations aim to enhance the efficiency and reliability of power systems, enabling smarter energy use and integration of renewable resources.

🇸🇪 CemVision Secures €10 Million for Green Cement: Stockholm-based CemVision bags €10M to lead innovation in the net-zero cement game. Their technology focuses on reducing the carbon footprint of cement production, a significant source of global CO2 emissions, aiming to transform the construction industry towards greater sustainability.

🇸🇪 Candela Charges Ahead with €25 Million: Candela, the Stockholm-based electric vessel maker, accelerates production with a €25M funding round. Their cutting-edge electric boats combine speed, range, and sustainability, setting a new standard for maritime transport and underscoring Sweden's leadership in clean energy solutions.

🇸🇪 Ingrid Secures €21M for E-commerce Innovation: Stockholm's Ingrid raises €21M to revolutionize e-commerce deliveries, led by Verdane with Schibsted Ventures participating. The funding will boost Ingrid's expansion across Europe, optimizing the retail and delivery experience.

🇫🇮 Perfat Technologies Innovates with €1M Seed: Helsinki-based Perfat Technologies secures a €1M seed round to revolutionize the food industry with its health-focused fat alternatives. Their innovative approach aims to create fats that not only taste good but also contribute to consumer health, marking a significant step forward in food science and nutrition.

🇫🇮 Steady Energy Warms Up with €10M: Steady Energy, based in Helsinki, raises €10M to develop nuclear-based carbon-neutral heating solutions. This funding will enable them to bring sustainable heating technologies to homes and offices, promising a greener future by reducing reliance on fossil fuels for heating.

Baltic Public Markets Update

This week, the Baltic financial markets are buzzing with key events, including government securities auctions by Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybė and a public offering from Storent Holding across Tallinn, Riga, and Vilnius. Important corporate gatherings are on the agenda, with Tallinna Kaubamaja Grupp holding its Annual General Meeting and INVL Baltic Real Estate, Coop Pank, and LHV Group presenting their audited annual reports. Meanwhile, Summus Capital and REFI Energy are set for coupon payments, and Tallinna Vesi is preparing for an Extraordinary General Meeting. These activities highlight a week filled with significant financial disclosures and meetings in the Baltic states. Nasdaq Baltic investor calendar - week 12/2024 →

Important global news this week in economy, finance & tech

🛍️ Investors Rally Behind European Consumer Stocks as Economic Optimism Surges: With growing confidence in the European economy, investors are flocking to European travel, retail, and luxury goods shares, anticipating a consumer spending spree on holidays and high-end items. Major companies like Renault and Stellantis have seen their stocks soar over 25% since early February, with Eventim and Pandora also enjoying significant gains. This investment trend is buoyed by the belief that central banks have managed to curb inflation without inducing a downturn, alongside expectations for the European Central Bank to cut rates soon. The Stoxx indices for European consumer discretionary shares and carmakers have risen notably, broadening the rally of the Stoxx Europe 600 index. Fund managers favor retailers and luxury groups, anticipating a brighter economic future for Europe, supported by a drop in natural gas prices and a reservoir of excess savings.

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🍏 Apple Considers Google's Gemini for iPhone AI: Apple Inc. is in discussions to integrate Google's Gemini, a set of generative AI models, into the iPhone's software to enhance new AI-driven features. Besides Google, Apple has also engaged with OpenAI as a potential AI model provider. This collaboration could extend the longstanding search partnership between Apple and Google, blending Gemini's capabilities with the billions of devices under Apple's ecosystem. While the specifics of the deal are still under negotiation, this move signals Apple's search for robust cloud-based generative AI functionalities, including image creation and text generation, to complement its own AI models focused on device-based operations.

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📊 Buyout Firms Seek Private Credit Solutions for Asset Liquidity: In the face of challenges offloading companies due to higher interest rates and valuation disputes, buyout firms are turning to the $1.7 trillion private credit market for solutions. Firms like Blackstone Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., and Neuberger Berman Group are offering a lifeline through preferred equity investments, enabling private equity firms to return cash to investors during a period marked by slow asset sales and IPOs. This approach not only provides necessary liquidity but also allows private equity to bypass valuations that might not reflect their assets' perceived worth. With preferred equity investments yielding returns of 13% to 15% for credit firms, this strategy is emerging as a mutually beneficial solution amidst the current exit environment.

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🤖 AI Funding Soars but M&A Activity Lags: While venture funding for AI startups surpassed $50 billion in 2023, M&A activity in the sector has slowed, showing a 31% decline from the previous year. Despite high valuations and significant public market interest, with companies like Nvidia gaining prominence, most AI startups are seeing mergers and acquisitions as a more likely exit strategy than public offerings. However, this anticipated route has been quieter than expected, with fewer deals closing than in past years. This trend suggests a cautious market, where potential buyers may be waiting for valuations to adjust. The current environment poses challenges for startups seeking exits at peak valuations, indicating a potential reevaluation of investment strategies in the AI space.

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Weekly Digest 17.03.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics

🇪🇪 BotGuard OÜ Raises €12M for Cybersecurity: Tallinn-based BotGuard secures a €12M Series A investment led by MMC Ventures to protect SMEs from malicious bots. The funding will drive technology development, team expansion, and global scaling efforts.

🇪🇪 Latitude59 Announces Pitch Competition 2024: Estonia's premier tech conference, Latitude59, sets a €1M prize for its 2024 Pitch Competition, inviting entrepreneurs from Ukraine. It stands as the largest competition of its kind in the Nordic countries and Baltics, fostering innovation and collaboration.

🇪🇪 GScan's €3M Seed for Advanced Scanning: Estonian deep tech GScan garners €3M in seed funding for its cosmic ray muon tomography technology. Supported by notable investors, the company seeks to offer non-intrusive scanning solutions across various sectors, including defense, healthcare, and national security.

🇪🇪 Themo Secures €1.3M for Smart Energy Solutions: Estonian startup Themo, specializing in smart thermostats, raises €1.3 million in funding, led by renewable energy investor Sunly. Successful testing with Finland's Fingrid ensures Themo strengthens its market position, focusing on intelligent energy solutions that optimize electric heating based on market prices and allow participation in energy reserve markets.

🇱🇹 HeavyFinance Partners with EIF and InvestEU: Lithuanian fintech HeavyFinance teams up with the European Investment Fund and the InvestEU program, securing €50M to support agricultural SMEs' transition to greener farming practices in multiple European countries.

🇱🇹 Broswarm Raises $100K for Mine-Detecting Drones: Lithuanian startup Broswarm secures $100K to develop drones for landmine detection. The investment, led by ScaleWolf, aims to enhance demining operations worldwide, with a focus on saving lives and restoring land safety.

🇱🇻 Mapon's €3M Bond Issue for Fleet Management Growth: Riga-based Mapon raises €3M through a bond issue, aiming to finance acquisitions and bolster its European expansion. The fleet management solution provider plans to strengthen its market position and explore new territories.

🇸🇪 Younium's €2.7M Boost: Stockholm's Younium clinches €2.7M to enhance its SaaS platform for subscription management. Backed by Partinc Capital, Younium aims to solidify its European presence, supported by a strong performance with €4.8M in recurring revenue and 60% growth.

🇸🇪 Voi Accelerates with $25M Funding: Stockholm-based micromobility provider Voi raises $25M to expand its e-scooter and e-bike fleet across Europe. This round, participated by existing shareholders, fuels the company's fleet growth and sustainability goals, following a year of over 68 million rides and significant tenders in key cities.

🇸🇪 Legitify Raises €1.5M for Online Notarization: Stockholm and Dublin-based Legitify closes a €1.5M seed round to redefine the online notarization process. Verb Ventures leads the investment, aiming to streamline cross-jurisdictional certification and notarization for businesses and individuals with AI enhancements.

🇫🇮 Teamspective Secures €900K for Employee Engagement: Helsinki's Teamspective raises €900K in pre-seed funding to revolutionize employee engagement with its network-aware solutions. Backed by angel investors and Business Finland, the startup aims to enhance organizational health and performance through AI-powered insights.

🇫🇮 Sooma's €5M Funding for Depression Treatment: Helsinki-based Sooma secures €5M to expand its at-home depression treatment solutions. The investment, led by Voima Ventures and Verge HealthTech Fund, supports the development of Sooma’s neuromodulation devices for accessible mental health care.

🇫🇮 Tesi Exits Ultimate: Finnish Industry Investment Ltd (Tesi) exits Ultimate, an AI company acquired by Zendesk. This move integrates Ultimate's AI solutions into Zendesk's customer experience offerings, marking a successful journey of Finnish expertise in AI reaching global markets.

🇫🇮 Infinited Fiber Company Gathers €27M: Finnish Infinited Fiber secures €27M to advance its technology that transforms textile waste into sustainable fibers. Backed by prominent investors including Inditex Group, this funding propels the company towards launching its first commercial-scale fiber production facility.

🇫🇮 NordicNinja Leads $24M Round in Griffin: Finnish VC firm NordicNinja spearheads a $24M investment in Griffin, a UK-based Banking as a Service platform. This investment will scale Griffin's operations and enhance its banking infrastructure.

Baltic Public Markets Update

This week's financial agenda in the Baltic region is bustling with activities, ranging from government securities auctions by Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybė to sales figures announcements from Enefit Green, Coop Pank, and LHV Group. Noteworthy events include the initial listing of Sun Finance Treasury Limited and an investors event by Storent Holdings. Additionally, Storent Holdings is engaging in a public offering, and K2 LT is set to disclose its audited annual report, alongside scheduling a general meeting. A dividend payment date for Arco Vara and sales figures from Novaturas round off a week full of diverse financial events across the Baltic states. Nasdaq Baltic investor calendar - week 11/2024 →

Important global news this week in economy, finance & tech

📈 VCs Turn to Secondary Markets in 2024 for Liquidity: Amid a quiet IPO scene in Q1 2024, VCs are increasingly leveraging secondary markets for liquidity, sidestepping traditional public offerings. With major IPOs scarce and market conditions less than ideal, the secondary market's growth offers a compelling alternative. Companies like Stripe highlight this trend, opting for secondary sales over IPOs, while VCs and LPs find flexibility in managing their investments. This shift underscores a strategic pivot towards alternative liquidity avenues in the face of ongoing market challenges.

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🏘️ Real Estate Investment Alert from Blackstone's President: Blackstone Group President Jon Gray advises that now is the prime time to invest in real estate, suggesting the market has reached its lowest point and is on the brink of recovery. With interest rate cuts on the horizon, Gray sees current negativity as an opportunity for savvy investors. He notes the slump was driven by remote work impacts and rising interest rates but believes central bank rate cuts will soon boost the property market. Gray emphasizes seizing the moment in sectors like logistics, digital infrastructure, and student housing to capitalize on the coming uplift.

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📉 Global Corporate Defaults at a Peak Since the Financial Crisis: S&P Global Ratings reports an alarming increase in corporate defaults worldwide, reaching the highest pace since the global financial crisis, fueled by high interest rates and stubborn inflation. With 29 defaults recorded since the year's start, surpassing the early-year numbers since 2009, the crisis touches various sectors, notably health care and media. European companies are defaulting at a notably high rate, with eight defaults already, indicating a troubling trend. This surge in defaults, including notable names like AMC Entertainment, signals a challenging economic landscape ahead, with expectations for defaults to remain high, especially in Europe.

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📅 Fed Meeting March 2024: Holding Steady on Rates: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is set to meet on March 19-20, 2024, with expectations to maintain the current interest rate at 5.25%-5.50%. Despite previous aggressive rate hikes aimed at curbing inflation, the Fed signaled a potential for future rate cuts, depending on inflation's trajectory and economic conditions. This meeting follows a pause in rate changes since July 2023, reflecting a careful approach amid concerns about the banking sector, stock market stability, and global economic uncertainty. Investors and economists are keenly watching for any shifts in policy that could influence market dynamics and economic growth.

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🚗 Breakthrough in EV Battery Technology with Microsoft's Help: Microsoft and the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have made a significant leap in electric vehicle (EV) battery tech, potentially reducing lithium usage by up to 70%. By harnessing AI, researchers sifted through 32 million materials to find a solid-state electrolyte named N2116, marking a major step toward more sustainable EV batteries. This innovation addresses the environmental concerns associated with lithium mining and could lead to batteries with longer ranges, faster charging, and safer usage. The discovery of N2116 could pave the way for future batteries that eliminate the need for lithium, aligning with global efforts to find more eco-friendly power sources for EVs.

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Weekly Digest 10.03.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics

🇪🇪 Beast Powers Through to Poland: Estonian eco-friendly Tesla rental Beast zips into the Polish market, aiming to electrify with its sustainable mobility charm. Already cruising in 7 European territories, Beast is accelerating the green revolution, one Tesla at a time.

🇪🇪 Estonia Supports UK Startups Facing Regulatory Challenges: Estonia's Accelerate Estonia program offers a lifeline to UK startups struggling with regulatory and legal changes. It fosters experimental collaborations between businesses and one of the world's most digitally advanced governments, promising a sandbox for innovation and a potential route to EU scalability.

🇱🇹 Vinted's Fashionable Expansion: From Vilnius to Copenhagen, Vinted acquires Trendsales, Denmark's largest second-hand fashion marketplace. It's a stylish stride towards Nordic dominance, further weaving Vinted's mission to make second-hand the first choice across Europe.

🇱🇹 Argyle Nets $30M Series C: The US-Lithuanian Argyle secures a hefty $30M, led by Rockefeller Asset Management, turbocharging its automated income and employment verification platform. It's a data-driven dash towards operational efficiency, with Argyle's sights set on financial fluidity by 2026.

🇸🇪 eComID's AI-Driven €2.75M Debut: Stockholm's eComID lands a hefty €2.75M in pre-seed funding. This AI maven is on a mission to slash e-commerce returns, sweetening the deal for retailers and planet alike with smarter, sustainable shopping decisions.

🇸🇪 Rescue for Cake by CEO Espen Digernes: In the wake of bankruptcy, Cake, a Swedish electric motorbike manufacturer, has been acquired by Espen Digernes. The acquisition's impact on the company's future and its previous employees remains to be seen as it navigates through bankruptcy proceedings and aims to sustain its innovative electric motorcycles.

🇸🇪 Cellcolabs Raises $8.7M for Stem Cell Innovation: Swedish biotech startup Cellcolabs secures $8.7M to make high-quality stem cells accessible and affordable. Aiming to revolutionize healthcare with stem cells known for their regenerative properties, the company is backed by significant investment to scale up its operations and development.

🇫🇮 Kvanted Ignites €2M in SynergyXR: Finnish fintech Kvanted spearheads a €2M investment into Danish SynergyXR, powering up the future of XR-driven industrial transformation. It's a blend of virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, reimagining workplace training and collaboration.

🇫🇮 Nordic Science Investments Unveils €60M Fund: Finland's NSI opens the lab doors with a €60M fund, aiming to transform Nordic university spin-outs from scientific sketches to market stars. It's a bet on deep tech's brightest minds, turning revolutionary research into commercial triumphs.

🇫🇮 SpinDrive's Magnetic €2.5M Lift: Lappeenranta's SpinDrive attracts a €2.5M grant from the EIC Accelerator. Their goal? Spinning the industry on its head with advanced magnetic bearings, promising frictionless futures and eco-efficient revolutions.

Baltic Public Markets Update

This week in the Baltic financial markets is packed with pivotal events across Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Highlights include Ekspress Grupp's extraordinary general meeting, a series of government securities auctions by Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybė, and additional listings by Saunum Group. Investors should also watch out for Tallink Grupp's sales figures, AUGA group and MADARA Cosmetics' investor events, and a range of dividend dates and coupon payments from companies like Arco Vara and Attīstības finanšu institūcija Altum. This week exemplifies the vibrant activity and diverse opportunities within the Baltic financial markets.

Nasdaq Baltic investor calendar - week 10/2024 →

Important global news this week in economy, finance & tech

💪 In February, the U.S. economy boasted the addition of 275,000 jobs, nudging the unemployment rate to 3.9%. The surge in employment was led by health care and government sectors, adding 67,000 and 52,000 jobs, respectively. Remarkably, the job market for teenagers and adult women showed a noticeable shift, with their unemployment rates climbing to 12.5% and 3.5%. This period also highlighted the stability of long-term unemployment, representing 18.7% of the total unemployed, pointing to enduring challenges in the job market.

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📈 Global equity funds witnessed inflows of $6.5 billion in a week, spurred by hopes of interest rate cuts, influenced by weak U.S. manufacturing data and Federal Reserve policymakers' comments. This enthusiasm drove the MSCI World Stock Index to a record peak. Asian, European, and U.S. funds enjoyed substantial inflows, with the tech sector leading at $1.45 billion. In contrast, the financial sector saw withdrawals. Bond funds experienced their largest weekly influx since April 2021, with a notable $18.04 billion, while precious metals and energy funds faced outflows. Emerging market debts continued to see a sell-off, marking a cautious stance among investors.

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💻 Tech stocks experienced their largest weekly outflow on record, with investors withdrawing $4.4 billion, as per Bank of America's analysis using EPFR data. This historic sell-off occurred in the same week that U.S. tech shares, including Apple, plummeted after reports of declining iPhone sales in China. Despite this, tech shares have somewhat recovered, with the S&P 500 reaching new highs, largely driven by major tech firms. Meanwhile, investment grade bonds and cash saw significant inflows, $13.3 billion and $32 billion respectively, marking a shift towards more secure assets. This move reflects a broader trend of investors seeking safety in cash equivalents, bolstered by attractive yields. Additionally, real estate and crypto funds saw notable inflows, highlighting diverse investment strategies amid fluctuating market sentiments.

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Weekly Digest 03.03.2024

Private & public markets in the Baltics & Nordics

🇪🇪 Roofit.Solar Wins iF Design Award: Estonian startup Roofit.Solar, known for its solar roofs, has won the prestigious iF Design Award. The award recognizes the company's innovative combination of steel roofing and solar technology, marking a significant achievement in sustainable building products. Congratulations @⁨Raimond Russak⁩

🇪🇪 Rendin Secures €1.8M: Operating in Estonia and Poland, Rendin has raised nearly €2M in preparation for its Series A funding round and expansion into current and new markets. The funding round was led by Tera Ventures and included contributions from approximately 100 landlords through the Startup Wise Guys fund.

🇱🇹 EF EVE Acquired by Djinn Technologies: Lithuania & UK-based volumetric capture pioneer EF EVE has been acquired by Djinn Technologies and rebranded as SpatialScan3D. This move enhances Djinn's 3D scanning and streaming capabilities, promising advanced solutions in volumetric video technology.

🇱🇹 Walk15 Secures €1 Million: Vilnius-based Walk15 raises €1M for its sustainable mobility app, planning to expand into the German market. With over 640,000 users, Walk15 aims to promote health and sustainability globally.

🇸🇪 Bionamic Raises €350K: Lund's Bionamic secures €350K to fuel its AI-driven biopharma solutions, aiming to revolutionize antibody research with its platform. The funding will support European expansion and enhance research efficiency.

🇫🇮 Boksi Acquires The Influencer GmbH: Helsinki's Boksi enhances its European reach by acquiring German influencer marketing agency The Influencer GmbH. This strategic move strengthens Boksi’s presence in Central Europe, leveraging advanced software solutions for improved campaign efficiency.

🇪🇺 EIC Accelerator Fuels Finnish Innovation: The European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator's latest funding round pours €285M into deeptech ventures across Europe, spotlighting Finnish startups at the cutting edge of technology. With grants and equity investments, the EIC propels these pioneers towards global impact: 🇫🇮 IQM Finland, 🇫🇮 SpinDrive Oy, 🇫🇮 Basemark Oy, 🇫🇮 VEXLUM Oy.

Baltic Public Markets Update

Week 09 of 2024 at Nasdaq Baltic is packed with significant events, featuring government securities auctions, a wide array of financial reports, and numerous investor activities. Highlights include government securities auctions by Lietuvos Respublikos Vyriausybė, annual and interim reports from companies like Infortar, LHV Group, INDEXO, and Ignitis grupė, alongside multiple investor events for Infortar, INDEXO, and Tallinna Sadam. The week also sees an extraordinary general meeting by Ekspress Grupp and numerous coupon payment dates, showcasing a diverse and active week in the Baltic financial markets: Nasdaq Baltic investor calendar - week 09/2024 →

Important global news this week in economy, finance & tech

🌍 Immigration Fuels Economic Comeback: The U.S. economy is bouncing back with a vengeance, and immigrants are at the heart of this revival. Between January 2023 and January 2024, they've been pivotal, accounting for half of the labor market's expansion. Immigrant workers are quickly filling the voids left by the pandemic, securing jobs faster and enjoying substantial wage increases. While the topic of immigration often sparks debate, its boon to the economy is unmistakable. Projections are optimistic, anticipating a 5.2 million increase in the labor force by 2033 through net immigration, potentially adding an astonishing $7 trillion to the economy over the next decade.

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🤖 Microsoft's AI Game-Changer for Finance Folks: Meet Copilot, Microsoft's latest AI marvel designed for the finance sector. Embedded in Excel and Outlook, Copilot is here to simplify everything from variance analysis to data reconciliation, and it's friendly with SAP and Microsoft Dynamics 365 too. While we're still waiting on the price tag, the promise is clear: less time on mundane tasks, more on strategic decisions. Dentsu, the Japanese ad agency, is among the early adopters, highlighting the tool's potential to free up employee time for more strategic work.

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🔬 Hong Kong's Tech Ambitions Skyrocket with HK$24B Investment: Hong Kong's not just dipping its toes but plunging into the tech pool with a HK$24 billion investment aimed at the 2024-25 innovation sector. This hefty sum will kickstart various schemes, including a HK$10 billion New Industrialisation Acceleration Scheme and a HK$3 billion AI Subsidy Scheme, focusing on health tech, AI, and new energy. It's a clear signal that Hong Kong is serious about becoming a leading global tech hub and fostering high-quality economic growth through innovation.

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Weekly Digest 25.02.2024

A lot of speculation around recession, overheated markets, Bitcoin halving, Google pausing Gemini and Reddit IPO. 

This week, we decided to take a different approach and share the most interesting independent analysis we read:

🥵 Overheated markets: the article provides a comprehensive analysis of current market conditions and financial trends. Key insights include:

•⁠ ⁠Investment-grade and high-yield credit default swaps reaching lows not seen since early 2022, indicating market optimism or potential underestimation of risk.
•⁠ ⁠Significant capitalization gains in tech giants like Nvidia, pointing towards a surge in market valuation amid speculative trends.
•⁠ ⁠De-risking and deleveraging activities impacting the Chinese stock market, highlighting concerns about sustainability and stability.
•⁠ ⁠Analysis of global and US monetary policy directions, suggesting potential long-term debates on the effectiveness and timing of these policies.
•⁠ ⁠Observations on the state of financial markets, including stock, credit, and commodity markets, suggesting a broad range of overheating signals across asset classes.

Link here

🇺🇸 US dominance: the article outlines the increasing dominance of US equities in the global market. Key points include:

•⁠ ⁠US stocks make up about 70% of the MSCI global stocks index, with major US tech companies leading.
•⁠ ⁠The S&P 500 has surpassed the 5000 level, emphasizing the value concentration in US markets.
•⁠ ⁠Challenges in the Chinese and European markets have indirectly bolstered the relative strength of US equities.
•⁠ ⁠The rise of technology as an economic force and innovations, including AI, further cement US dominance.
•⁠ ⁠The liquidity and prestige of US markets attract international companies to list in the US, reinforcing this trend.

Link here

Weekly Digest 24.02.2024

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

🇪🇪 Cognitiwe's €1M Funding: Estonian AI startup Cognitiwe raises €1M for its Vision AI to help retailers reduce food waste, enhancing efficiency and sustainability in daily operations.

🇱🇹 Evergrowth's €2M Pre-seed: Vilnius-based Evergrowth secures a €2M pre-seed investment for its AI-powered B2B sales platform, aiming to eliminate spam in sales and expand across the US and Europe.

🇫🇮 Desentum Raises €12M: Espoo-based Desentum secures €12M from Springvest Oyj for advancing allergy vaccine development, targeting improved treatments for various allergies with its innovative hypoallergens.

🇫🇮 TILT Biotherapeutics' $2M Grant: Helsinki's TILT Biotherapeutics receives a $2M grant from the US Department of Defense for ovarian cancer immunotherapy research, marking significant progress in their clinical trials for TILT-123.

🇸🇪 Dealguru's €900K Funding: Lund's Dealguru attracts €900K from Finnish VCs Gorilla Capital and Innovestor, aiming to become Sweden's largest community for shopping deals, with plans for an app to simplify offer navigation.

🇸🇪 Serverpod's €1.7M Pre-seed: Stockholm's Serverpod, enhancing the Flutter framework for app development, lands €1.7M in pre-seed funding from PSV Tech01, aiming to simplify and accelerate app development processes.

🇸🇪 Digmi's €0.5M Round: Swedish SaaS company Digmi raises €500k, revolutionizing the beauty industry with digital solutions for hairdressers, planning for national and international growth.

🇸🇪 Codicent's Investment: Gothenburg-based AI startup Codicent secures its first funding round to develop AI-driven logbooks for effective knowledge management and sharing within organizations.

📈 Baltic public markets update:

Week 08 of 2024 at Nasdaq Baltic features a diverse array of financial events, including government securities auctions and a series of notable corporate activities. Key events encompass coupon payments by Eco Baltia and Latvenergo, comprehensive annual and interim reports from companies like Bigbank, Tallinna Kaubamaja Grupp, and Harju Elekter Group, alongside extraordinary general meetings by Snaigė and Latvijas Gāze. Additionally, several investor events by companies such as Akola Group, Tallink Grupp, and Baltic Horizon Fund are scheduled, highlighting a week rich in investor communications and corporate disclosures.

Weekly Digest 18.02.2024

📈 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: overview 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. Read here.

Weekly Digest 11.02.2024

🆙 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.

Weekly Digest 8.02.2024

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

🇪🇪 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.

Weekly Digest 3.02.2024

⬇️ ⁠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.

Weekly Digest 2.02.2024

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

🇱🇹 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.

Weekly Digest 9.01.2024

🆙 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.

Weekly Digest 28.01.2024

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

🇪🇺 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

Weekly Digest 21.01.2024

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

🇪🇪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.

Weekly Digest 20.01.2024

🌎 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