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Baltic Sandbox Ventures secures €13M to invest in early-stage deeptech investments across Europe

Baltic Sandbox Ventures founders
Image credits: Baltic Sandbox Ventures

Lithuanian VC firm, Baltic Sandbox Ventures, which invests in early-stage deeptech startups from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), has closed a €10 million investment into its latest €13 million deeptech fund and accelerator.

The cornerstone investor is INVEGA, a Lithuanian government agency, the program financed from its Innovation Promotion Fund, with the balance coming from private investors, including Vytautas Kašėta, (SUPER HOW?) and Pijus Makarevičius (Furniture1).

Deeptech investments across Europe

The fund will be split into two equal parts of €6.5 million each, aimed at pre-seed and seed investments into up to 80 emerging Baltic deeptech startups, building grassroots deeptech and life sciences ecosystems. The new fund follows earlier success helping 18 startups to raise €5 million and grow valuations up to 20x.

Baltic Sandbox will initially focus on the Baltics before launching additional funds through 2023 and 2024 for deeptech investments across Europe.

Sandra Golbreich, General Partner at Baltic Sandbox, said: “The way we look at deeptech investment in Europe is wrong. The talent is there, but potential deeptech entrepreneurs are not making it through to seed stages and often end up inside global corporations located outside the region. That’s because the people who come up with new deeptech innovation are initially more focused on engineering problem-solving.”

Erik Bhullar, Venture Partner at Baltic Sandbox, said: “We cannot have innovation or meaningful growth if we believe that networks, social circles, pitching, and presumptions of pedigree are what make for a successful venture-grade business. Most people in venture overlook what really matters like competencies, merit, the development of edge, and the ambition to make an impact globally. By focusing on the right things, we believe Baltic Sandbox Ventures will be the symbol for quality on founder cap-tables.”

New approach to CEE investments

Reportedly, CEE is one of the fastest growing regions for VC funding. While average funding per startup is decreasing globally, it’s actually still increasing in CEE. Despite this advantage, deeptech investment remains relatively muted in CEE and the Baltic region is even further behind at less than 3%.

With its new model for deeptech investing, Baltic Sandbox aims to rectify this. It invests time in environments where technically-minded inventors are still developing and streamlining their ideas. The accelerator expects the new approach to unleash a new wave of opportunities for deeptech startups in CEE.

The VC firm was founded in Vilnius, Lithuania, by Sandra Golbreich, Andrius Milinavičius and Erik Bhullar. The company grew out of a regional accelerator also called Baltic Sandbox, which had already screened 1,300 potential investments, leading to positions in startups including ZENOO, ViaCorex, SEARADAR and Roble App.

Baltic Sandbox aims to create separate, pre-seed, and seed funds for more than 60 deeptech startups across Europe with fast-growth potential and IP value creation, with a focus on the Baltic region.

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