Companies founded in Central and Eastern Europe now have a combined enterprise value of more than EUR 186 billion, 19 times more than in 2010! One reason for this boom is that the region has strong entrepreneurial fundamentals and an ability to create sustainable and scalable startups. For example, Estonia has one of the largest startup ecosystems in Central Europe: it has more startups per capita (1,048) and has raised more investment per capita (€1,967) than any other country in Europe. One of the best examples is Estonia, where there is one of the largest increases in capital investment. Other measures have been put in place in the Baltic States, such as Latvia which has also introduced a tax exemption and tax deductions for any start-up that is less than five years old and in which at least EUR 30,000 of venture capital has been invested
Lithuania has a favourable environment for the establishment of start-ups. Several measures have been put in place. One example is the “start-up visa” scheme, which allows start-up founders from non-EU countries (and their family members) to obtain temporary residence permits on an accelerated basis. The country has also produced its first unicorn, our member Vinted, with a fundraising of 128 million euros. The country is also in the top 5 in Europe regarding startups per 1M inhabitants.
In Lithuania, the number of start-ups has grown from 70 to 450 in just six years. This is due to the measures put in place by the country: the possibility to create a company in three days, easy access to banking licences. Also, the STIG (Start, Technovate, Invest, Grow) allows companies to benefit from tax incentives, open regulations and administrative facilities. In addition to these governmental measures, Lithuania offers the possibility of recruiting cheap labour for a level of technical competence higher than the European average.
Our member Vinted was the first Lithuanian unicorn. Vinted was founded in 2008 in Vilnius, Lithuania, and provides a mobile peer-to-peer experience for users to sell, buy and trade second-hand clothes. Thanks to these fundraisings and the attractiveness of Lithuania, Vinted has big plans to use the funding to double the headcount in the product and technology teams, invest in technology to improve the value proposition for users, strengthen member support services and continue to grow and connect its strong pan-European member base! Recently, the company raised a new record amount of €250 million, passing the €3.5 billion mark in value.