According to the World Economic Forum, Baltic countries are among the most entrepreneurial in Europe.
Last year I profiled top 10 promising founders to watch in the Baltics. Today, I took a step further. I compiled a list of 30 most innovative and successful entrepreneurs from the Baltic states including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
Together, all three states have a bit more than 6 million people, but with every passing year, Baltic region strengthens its name as an emerging entrepreneurial hub.
Meet the top 30 entrepreneurs in no particular order who lead the change and innovation in the Baltic states.
Taavet Hinrikus, TransferWise, Estonia
Taavet Hinrikus is known as a co-founder and CEO of TransferWise. However, back in the day, he was also the first employee of Skype. TransferWise specializes in low-cost international money transfer. London based FinTech unicorn expects to make over $100 million in revenue this year, so its future looks secure. Despite the success, Taavet recently resigned as a CEO, handing the day-to-day tasks over to company’s co-founder Kristo Käärmann. The reason? He wants to continue disruption and development of the tech ecosystem. It indicates that more good things are likely to come from him anytime soon.
Milda Mitkute & Justas Janauskas, Vinted, Lithuania
Back in 2008, the couple randomly stumbled into an idea about the platform, where people could trade their second-hand clothes. Today, Vinted is the world's largest pre-loved fashion marketplace with a community of 12 million users in 10 countries. Milda and Justas are currently on a mission to make second hand the number one choice worldwide.
Kristel Kruustuk, Testlio, Estonia
Kristel is a CEO and co-founder of Testlio, professional testing service that helps developers by connecting them to the best testers all over the world. At 23, she became frustrated with the way testers were being treated in the industry and decided to build a platform where their work would be appreciated. Now, the business is growing rapidly and last year raised $6.25 million seed round from Altos Ventures and Vertex Ventures. Testlio clients include such names as NBA, Microsoft, CBS, Hotels.com and many others.
Matiss Ansviesulis, Creamfinance, Latvia
Matiss Ansviesulis is another exceptional achiever in this list. Creamfinance is the fastest growing European FinTech enterprise. It utilizes smart data to hand out smart consumer loans. Founded in 2012, it has already expanded to seven countries and employs over 200 people. Creamfinance is on the mission to be the first one-click consumer loan provider in the world by making money available anywhere and anytime. Also, Matiss writes a blog where he seeks to inspire and empower people through entrepreneurship.
Dalia Lasaite, CGTrader, Lithuania
Dalia Lasaite is a seasoned entrepreneur and has co-founded several startups, including Campalyst and Geogoer. Her next venture is CGTrader, the world's largest database of 3D models and designers. CGTrader is backed by Intel and Practica Capital and has a community of half million users. CGTrader is on a mission to empower 3D artists and help them make a living off their trade.
Armands Broks & Jevgenijs Kazanins, TWINO, Latvia
TWINO is another innovative FinTech service from Baltics. It is the fastest growing peer-to-peer investment marketplace that cuts out banks as a middle man. Armands first founded the company back in 2009 as a balance sheet lending service. In 2015, the company had changed its approach and launched investment marketplace. Since then, Armands and Jevgenijs led TWINO’s successful expansion to nine countries. As of today, the business remains highly profitable and seeks to become Europe’s number one lending platform.
Karoli Hindriks, Jobbatical, Estonia
Karoli Hindriks is a serial entrepreneur from Estonia. She was appointed a head of MTV Estonia at 23 and has launched 7 TV channels before she founded Jobbatical. It is a platform that empowers people to work wherever they want and assist workers with the immigration process. With Jobbatical, Karoli seeks to help the world cooperate and think beyond borders. The idea is also appealing to the investors as last year Jobbatical raised $2 million in venture capital.
Valery Vavilov, Bitfury, Latvia
Valery is the CEO and co-founder of the Bitfury group – world’s leading producer of semiconductors, servers and data center solutions for cryptocurrency industry. The company has raised over $111 million and is the most funded Latvian startup. First launched as a Bitcoin mining start-up, the company recently released its first enterprise grade blockchain software for businesses. Some sources state that Bitfury is already generating over $100 million revenue and that it expects to increase it up to $585 million by 2021.
Justas Malinauskas, Whatagraph, Lithuania
In 2015, Justas was struggling with Google Analytics. “It has been ten years of Google Analytics and nothing has changed!” he thought. Then he started doing research and the idea of Whatagraph came to his mind. Whatagraph is a web tool that automatically converts website and social media analytics data into engaging visual reports. Last year Whatagraph experienced 450% revenue growth and worked with such brands as Land Rover, Toshiba, Jaguar and Pfizer and many others.
Daumantas Dvilinskas, TransferGo, Lithuania
Another successful and inspiring FinTech figure from the Baltic states. Daumantas leads TransferGo, the fastest low cost international account-to-account money transfer service in the market. This year Daumantas has made it into a prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Finance list as one of the most promising and respected Europe’s FinTech advisors under 30.
Edgars Rozentals, Airdog, Latvia
Edgars Rozentals is an experienced entrepreneur. At the moment he is busy with Airdog – the world’s first high performance, auto-follow camera drone. As a hands-on tech CEO & Founder, he leads by example and enjoys accepting challenges that others were not able to solve. This spirit perfectly reflects in his product, as Airdog is designed to help action sports enthusiasts. The idea is set to disrupt the drone industry and attracts lots of attention from investors.
Lukas Lukosevicius, TableAir, Lithuania
Back pain can be good sometimes, especially when it motivates you to start a business. Lukas Lukosevicius was designing a table which would suit his aching back. Now he is a CEO and co-founder of TableAir. TableAir is an employee-centric office solution that integrates workspaces into a single operating system. It uses IoT sensors, cloud SaaS and mobile app to create a dynamic working environment. As a result, it increases employee engagement, retention and health. With the help of TableAir, Lukas hopes to change the way how people interact with their working environment.
Alise Semjonova, Infogram, Latvia
Alise Semjonova is a co-founder of Infogram, web-based data visualization tool that helps users to make easily understandable graphs, maps and infographics. Recently, Infogram was acquired by presentation giant Prezi. Moreover, Alise has made it into a Forbes 30 Under 30 Media 2017 list and was recognized amongst 100 Europe’s successful female founders by The Hundert.
Pavel Kovalevich, Juro, Latvia
Pavel is a co-founder of Juro, a smart and innovative way to manage contracts. Founded only over a year ago together with former lawyer Richard Mabey, Juro is a London based AI software that helps to save time on legal matters. It helps people with automatic contract generation, management, e-signing and negotiation. This year it has already secured $750 thousand seed from five investors and in the upcoming years, it will continue to disrupt legal services.
Gunita Kulikovska, Vividly, Latvia
Gunita is another successful Latvian female entrepreneur with a background in architecture and urban design. She is a founder of Vividly, an immersive tool that lets users walk through buildings before they are built by combining VR and 3D models. With this app, Gunita seeks to empower a new generation of architects and designers to produce great design and innovation.
Aurelijus Liubinas, Deeper, Lithuania
Aurelijus is a CEO and Chairman of Deeper, a startup that develops next generation experience gadgets. Its last product was Deeper Sonar, a smart system that revolutionized fishing. At the moment Aurelijus and the team are launching another smart device - Deeper Lock, an intelligent bike security lock that connects to your smartphone and prevents bikes from theft.
Matas Jakutis & Danielius Jakutis, Filippo Loreti, Lithuania
Two brothers decided to give watch lovers an offer they cannot refuse – a luxury watch for 200 euros. Although affordable luxury watch may sound suspicious at first, Matas and Danielius deliver superior quality by cutting out the middlemen. Also, every watch of Filippo Loreti is handcrafted, which makes its every collection unique and limited edition. The brothers are so confident of the Filippo Loreti quality that they even for ten years guarantee for their product. These and many other perks helped them to raise $5,370,490 in their last Kickstarter’s venture, which also gives Filippo Loreti the title of the world’s most funded timepiece project in crowdfunding history.
Company: Filippo Loreti
Arno Kutt, Cleveron, Estonia
EY’s Estonian entrepreneur of the year, CEO & founder of Cleveron and co-founder of Wisemile, Arno Kutt is a real deal maker. It all started in 2006 when Cleveron was created as an online furniture retailer. Today, Cleveron produces automated parcel delivery solutions utilizing robots and parcel machines for logistics and retail businesses. Recently, it has made its mark in the media as the world’s fastest public drone delivery service providerand sold 100 of their next generation pack-robots to US retail giant Walmart. This is just a start for Arno and his team because their plans include becoming number one sector leader in EU and USA.
Mait Muntel, Lingvist, Estonia
Mait Muntel is a CEO and co-founder of Lingvist, an online language learning platform that uses big data to enhance the learning process. Mait encountered a problem – none of the online courses were good enough to learn the language fast. Therefore, he applied a scientific solution and that is how Lingvist was born. Currently, it offers Spanish, Russian, French, German and basic Estonian courses for English speakers and also a number of classes for people who speak other languages.
Edmundas Balcikonis, TrackDuck, Lithuania
Edmundas Balcikonis is a CEO and co-founder of visual design feedback company TrackDuck. Recently, TrackDuck was acquired by InVision, one of the world’s leading prototyping, collaboration and workflow platforms. Edmundas now also operates as a product manager at InVision, but he still remains one of the most active members of Lithuanian start-up community.
Tonis Kusmin, Tebo, Estonia
Education and learning environment improvement is Tonis’ passion. Therefore, he created Tebo - online teacher's book. It operates as a personal virtual assistant for teachers and helps them to communicate with each other, share, create and design learning media. Students can connect with any internet-connected device and lecturers receive full analytics on their progress. The platform already gets traction and is used by over 9,000 teachers, 30,000 students and 2,200 schools.
Martin McGloin & Sabine Pole, Sorry As A Service, Estonia/Latvia
Co-founders of Sorry As A Service seek to bring back the physical touch to the digital age. When something goes wrong, Sorry as a Service allows you to send your clients personalized physical gifts as an apology. In that way, customer complaints are transformed into positive experiences. Martin and Sabine are also recognized as this year's Forbes 30 under 30 Europe Class 2017 retail and e-commerce talents.
Company: Sorry as a Service
Kaidi Ruusalepp, Funderbeam, Estonia
Kaidi Ruusalepp is a CEO and founder of Funderbeam, a global startup marketplace protected by the blockchain. More precisely, it is a place for startups, investors and traders to meet each other and start collaborating. Since its creation in 2013, the company has already secured over $7 million from the investors and its plans include expansion to Asia.
Markus Villig, Taxify, Estonia
Markus Villig is one of the youngest Baltic entrepreneurs. At the age of 23, he is a CEO and founder of Taxify, the fastest growing ride sharing app in Europe and Africa. It has already raised more than 2 million euros in venture capital and operates in 18 countries. Markus does not lack ambition as in the recent interview with Reuters he stated that "by the end of the year, I think we will be No. 1 in about ten countries in Europe and Africa."
Kaili Kleemeier, Deekit, Estonia
Kaili Kleemeier used to be operations manager at Skype. Together with other three former Skype employees, they created Deekit – a virtual, real-time whiteboard. Deekit aims to facilitate work process for remote teams and digital nomads on any device. Earlier this year Kaili and the team closed a seed round of €400,000, which indicates that the tool’s future is bright.
Antanas Anthony Baksys, SearchNode, Lithuania
Antanas started SearchNode back in 2012 when he was 16 years old. Today, he is one of the most promising Lithuanian and Baltic entrepreneurs. His startup SearchNode specializes in state of the art search technology for e-commerce businesses. Currently, it generates six-digits annual revenue and works with over 100 clients from 13 countries.
Raimonds Kulbergs, Funderful, Latvia
Funderful is a service that helps educational institutions to manage their fundraising campaigns. Raimonds Kulbergs founded the company back in 2014 and it seems like things are starting to accelerate as previously this year Funderful has joined world’s leading startup accelerator 500 Startups.
Klavs Sinka, Mint.me, Latvia
Klavs designed a global hit Ask.fm. After it was successfully sold back in 2014, he and the entire previous team (including Ask.fm CEO & co-founder Ilja Terebin) now comes back with a social dating app Mint. Mint allows nearby people to meet and communicate with each other without making matches. In other words, it is like Tinder, only without swiping left or right.
Ignas Rubezius, MailerLite, Lithuania
Ignas Rubezius leads MailerLite, a worldwide email marketing service that serves over 327,000 businesses, has 27 professional employees who speak seven different languages. MailerLite is based in Vilnius. Ignas himself is an entrepreneur who leads by practicality and good design.
Jevgeni Kabanov, ZeroTurnaround, Estonia
Former EY’s Estonian entrepreneur of the year Jevgeni Kabanov is one of the most impactful Java developers in the Baltic States. His company ZeroTurnaround has launched a series of successful developer tools, such as JRebel, XRebel or JRebel for Android, that boost Java developers productivity.
This extensive list shows a fraction of the most talented people from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. It serves to show that no matter who or where you are if you focus on solving real people problems, you can make a significant impact and contribute to the well being of the people from all over the world.Back to news