The rise of startup scene in Vilnius

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Lithuania is on a good way to becoming one of the European countries with leading technology. The Baltic state of Lithuania and especially its capital Vilnius, has become a place where global technology companies can innovate, test their innovations and scale rapidly.

According to the European Innovation Scoreboard 2021, the innovation performance of the EU has increased by 12.5 percentage points since 2014, with Lithuania being one of the countries that have made the biggest progress among all the 27 member states.

Lithuania is a small country but a country that is full of big dreams, goals, and incredible ambition to innovate and become better. Even though Lithuania is still far from the big science centers of Europe and the world, the country, led by incredible skill and talent, has been making some big steps and remarkable changes in the recent past.

Besides the country’s beautiful nature and landscapes, Lithuania has much more to offer than just pretty views, it also has a startup-friendly regulatory environment which has drawn many big tech companies to the country. Lithuania’s capital, Vilnius, has especially seen a visible increase in the startup sector.

Vilnius is a relatively small city of 552,000 people. The city is known for its baroque architecture, laid-back charm, and relatively low cost of living but it is also known for the enthusiastic atmosphere and many exciting innovations, which make the city an attractive place for startups.

Lithuania is one of the countries with the highest concentration of highly skilled developers with a large number of experts and talents located especially in Vilnius. Because of its beauty and lively atmosphere, the city has also attracted a large number of tourists with an award-winning slogan such as ‘Vilnius – the G-spot of Europe’ campaign”, and the more recent ‘’Vilnius: Amazing Wherever You Think It Is” which led to a tourism increase of 12.5% according to CNN and put Vilnius on the map as a holiday destination.

Lithuania’s main focus is on fintech. It has revolutionary industry practices and considerable efforts put forward investments and upgrading of local regulations that have created incredible incentives for entrepreneurship activity.

According to TechCrunch, the city of Vilnius is fastly becoming one of the best places for fintech companies in Europe, with more than 200 fintech companies established in the city. This number of startups has more than doubled over the last decade, making Lithuania 2nd largest Fintech hub in Europe by the number of licensed companies and also earning the Baltic state a very respectable position in the Global Fintech Ranking.

Other growing industries are deep tech, life sciences, mobility, and the gaming industry. Startups producing company management systems and financial technologies dominate the Vilnius startup environment. Many startup companies such as Vinted, NordVPN, CGTrader, TransferGo, Trafi, and Kilo Health have made a huge success in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius. 

Vinted, an online second-hand clothing marketplace, is also the Lithuanian first unicorn. According to Burda, Vinted’s objective is to make secondhand fashion the preferred option all around the world. It provides amazing opportunities to sell and purchase used fashion products safely and easily throughout 11 European markets, with over 180 million clothing items available. (photo credit:  Gantas Vaičiulėnas/Unsplash)