Winners of LOGIN Startup Fair Establishing a Company in Lithuania
Fatmap, the mobile 3D ski map app and the winner of Friday’s Startup Battle final at the Login Startup Fair, in launching a company in Lithuania to handle the development of 3D client side. The Vilnius office is expected to expand to a 10-strong developer team in 18 months, Paulius Liekis, Head of 3D technology at Fatmap, informed startuplithuania.com.
We had a quick word with the Fatmap, the winning startup at LOGIN Startup Fair 2016. It is an interactive, high resolution 3D map set and mapping engine for mountain sports (skiing, hiking, biking, etc.) The app combines mapping, routing, the social aspect and the local knowledge.
Headquartered in London, UK, Fatmap has recently closed a 1M GBP angel round from high profile angels and currently looking for talent. They went viral with 120K users in just 15 weeks after the launch. While the 3.000 EUR cash prize from TRINITI for the first place at the Startup Battle is obviously of value and LOGIN Startup Fair was abuzz with international investors, P. Liekis says was slightly different.
So what was the reason behind taking part at the Login Startup Fair?
Paulius Liekis: We didn't take part at the Login Startup Fair for finding an investment as most other startups did. Our primary reason is search for talent – good developers. We also want to increase visibility of FATMAP as a product in Lithuania. Even if there are no mountains in Lithuania, there are plenty of enthusiasts of ski/snowboarding. With our summer product, which we're going to launch in a few weeks, we're going to serve maps for hikers, mountaineers and bikers and there is a plenty of Lithuanians who are interested in that.
And so winning 1st place at Login placed us on a map of Lithuanian startup scene as one of the successful international startups that is hiring in Lithuania.
Could you elaborate a bit further on your Vilnius operations and plans?
We're quite a spread out company. We have headquarters with business development, marketing and server-side development in London. There is a mapping team in Bristol, UK. Some business development and map data development in USA. And we're establishing a company in Lithuania now. Vilnius office will handle development of 3D client side. We want to have 10 developers in 18 months in Lithuania. That might not sound as a lot, but that's exactly what you want as a startup – grow your customer base, not your head count in a company. Everyone in FATMAP is some kind of mountain enthusiast – either skier, snowboarder, mountaineer, hiker or biker. Well…everyone except Lithuanians. We're people of flats – we have no mountains.
How did you enjoy Login Startup Fair in general?
It was great! We're glad that there is such conference in this region. For startups it is a awesome place to meet investors, because you get the best of both worlds: you find international level investors and competition between startups on a regional level.
I've met some people who are curating local mountaineer and biking groups, and some developers too, so it was very valuable.
In way there is too much going on when you're a startup at Login Startup Fair. You have a choice between meeting investors, doing the pitch, manning the booth, attending the talks, checking out what other startup do and just meeting people. This year it was 3 of us splitting all these activities, so it was manageable, but any other startup that had less team members at Login were having problems dealing with this load.
Whom would you recommend taking part at LOGIN Startup Fair?
I would recommend participating in the Startup Battle to anyone who needs to raise money. I would recommend participating in the LOGIN Startup Fair to anyone who has a product or a working prototype already and wants to spread the knowledge to consumers, potential hires, investors, etc.
By the way, our CEO postponed his flight home twice and spend a bunch of $$$ on it… so we simply HAD to win the pitch battle in order to compensate for these expenses 🙂 Also, we were really concerned about the competition, because a wife of the founder for Kindervibe gave birth to a child on the day of the finals 🙂 The only way to compete with that was to come on stage and say "I became a father of twins today" 🙂
LOGIN Startup Fair was organised by Enterprise Lithuania and Startup Lithuania. Startup Valley was powered by Vinted, and Startup Battle was Powered by TRINITI. LOGIN Startup Fair was a part of the EC initiative of Single Marker Forum.