18 Latvian startups "graduate" to next level of funding

The first 18 startups financed by ALTUM accelerator programs have "graduated" to the next level of their business lives, a release from ALTUM said February 12.

The Accelerator Funds helping them: Overkill Ventures, Buildit Latvia and Commercialization Reactor Fund, provided acceleration services to the 18 most promising local and international startups selected from over 600 applications. The essence of Accelerator Funds is to help kick off innovative and promising early-stage businesses that are designed not only to profit but also to help address local and global challenges. The new funds are focused on the commercialization phase of companies and startups in the field of innovation and technology. Each of the funds also provides pre-seed investments and seed capital investments.

Startups that enrolled in accelerators represent industries such as the so-called "internet of things", smart living, health tech, smart mobility, and others.

In total, about 700,000 euros will be invested in the development of these companies and teams throughout the acceleration phase as a pre-seed investment for business launch, consulting and product development, research, evaluation, and validation.

During the three to six-month long accelerating phase, startups were focused on developing their ideas, and with the help of mentors and industry experts learned how to attract buyers, suppliers, partners, and investors. The most promising new companies will have the opportunity to qualify for the next phase of investment, which is another 250,000 euros of seed investment. Such investments are intended for further growth of the company, development of product and economic model.

Currently, Overkill Ventures, Buildit Latvia and Commercialization Reactor Fund have begun their next series of admissions. The second phase of the program is scheduled to start at the beginning of the second quarter of this year, and it is planned to provide acceleration services for up to 30 startups at this stage. Such admissions will continue until 2021: each fund manager will announce five admissions with a total of 150 companies and startup teams.

Juris Vaskans, Member of the Board of ALTUM said: “Already in the first stage of the development of startups, truly promising companies and bright minds for the next stage of investment have been noticed. We are pleased that Latvia, with the support of ERDF funding, is becoming a part of global venture capital in the field of global acceleration funds, where both Latvian accelerators and every Latvian and international startup compete on equal terms and without geographical boundaries.”

Accelerators that were chosen by the Development Finance Institution ALTUM in public selection, have received 15 million euros from the European Regional Development Fund and public funding to be invested in companies and startups by 2021. In addition, fund managers have attracted a further 1.35 million euros from private investors, increasing their support to 16.35 million euros. Currently, it is the largest venture capital for early-stage business projects that have ever been available in Latvia.

From more than 600 applications that were submitted to participate in accelerator programs, 40% were Latvian representatives or mixed teams, 40% from Central and Eastern Europe, and 20% from Western Europe, USA, and other countries.

ALTUM is a state-owned development finance institution, which offers state aid for various target groups with the help of financial tools (such as loans, credit guarantees, investing in venture capital funds, etc.). ALTUM develops and implements state aid programs to compensate for the market's shortcomings.

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