TechChill: investor sentiment remains generally positive

In a survey in which 51 investment funds participated, the majority of respondents indicated that this year they plan to invest in start-ups in the Baltic region as much as last year, or even more.

According to the investors' own forecasts, the overall amount of investment in Baltic startups could increase by as much as 60%.

The survey was conducted by the start-up and technology conference "TechChill", which annually gathers a large number of representatives of investment funds in Rīga. Therefore, the organizers have at their disposal a fairly large database of investors who have already invested in the Baltic States region or say they are about to do so. Taking into account the various news from the market regarding how interesting this region is for investors at the moment, due to both geopolitical and economic challenges, this year the organizers of "TechChill" decided to survey fund representatives themselves to understand their mood.

Answers to the survey questions were submitted by 51 investment funds. The majority of respondents are from Europe: the Scandinavian countries, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Hungary. Five fund representatives indicated that the Baltic countries will not be the focus of their investments this year.

80% of investors who were ready to reveal their plans for investments in 2024 as part of the "TechChill" survey indicated that they plan to invest as much or more in Baltic startups this year than in 2023. Examining the estimates given, it can be concluded that the expected increase in the volume of investments this year could be in the range of 60% – though obviously it should be taken into account that there may be a tendency for investors to 'talk up' their investment plans as a matter or course.

"I am pleased with the most important conclusion of the survey - investors confirm their desire to invest the same [amount] or more. We can clearly see that startups in the Baltic States have good opportunities to receive investments. For example, the venture capital fund "Practica Capital" founded in Lithuania with a representative office in Latvia has attracted 80 million euros for its third and largest fund, which will be invested only in startups in the Baltic countries," said Annija Mežgaile, head of the TechChill startup and technology conference.

"The Latvian State Development Financial Institution "Altum" will announce the results of the competition this summer and it will be known who will manage the common fund of 60 million euros, and below the already selected start-ups to invest in. To me, this proves that startups have been able to prove themselves as a future-oriented industry important for the development of the national economy," added Mežgaile.

Those representatives of investment funds that reduced their amount of investment in the Baltic region in 2023 cite as the reasons fewer start-ups that would meet their requirements and a focus on other regions. Two investors say they are also worried about the geopolitical situation.

This year, the start-up and technology conferences "TechChill" will be held for the 13th time from April 17 to 19 at the Fantadroms and Hanzas Perons venues. The event is expecting approximately 2,300 guests, of which more than 200 represent investment funds. As usual, the visitors include both start-ups and local entrepreneurs, investors and authors of innovative ideas.

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