Startup Lithuania’s Wrap Up of the Year: 316 Startups Operating, 1560 People Employed
There currently are at least 316 startups operating in Lithuania, a 15,8% increase from the past year. They paid a total of 7,49M EUR employee taxes (13,8% increase), and their workforce has grown by 13,9% to 1560 employees.
The total revenue of Lithuania’s startup sector has grown by 28,8% to 35,3M EUR in 2015. However, they raised just 5,8M EUR in funding this year, representing an eightfold decrease from 2015. This drop was mostly due to a high comparative base set by significant investments in Vinted last year.
These numbers, compiled by Startup Lithuania and Creditinfo, were revealed at Startup Lithuania’s wrap up of the year event last week.
Year of maturity
A panel discussion with startup industry leaders took place at Vilnius Tech Park after the numbers were introduced. The panelists agreed that although the capital startups raised was modest comparing with last year, there were impartial reasons for that such as high comparative base and an EU-facilitated VC fund gap that is due to be filled in 2017 with 4-5 funds set to launch.
Also, all panel members suggested that 2016 was the year then our startup ecosystem matured. Experiences such as Vinted’s partial move to Berlin and YPlan’s sale taught the ecosystem some priceless lessons, and events such as seminars, workshops and hackathons became increasingly organized by non-governmental bodies.
At the same time, 2016 in Lithuania was the year of serious leaps in terms of infrastructure and tax/legal environment: Vilnius Tech Park and Rise Vilnius were opened, startup visa and crowdfunding laws were passed, and also employee stock options and ridesharing were favourably regulated.
Areas to improve
And yet, panelists claimed there are many things to improve in Lithuania’s startup ecosystem and environment. The key areas mentioned were:
Further improvements of taxation and legal environments
Launching accelerators and incubators
Startup and creativity-oriented education initiatives across schools and universities
Easier access to capital
Nurturing a stronger angel investor ecosystem
Launching flexible and well written EU-sponsored VC funds
You can find slides by Rimante Ribaciauskaite from the wrap up event here, and also the updated Lithuanian startup database here. You can also watch the recording from the event here.