English Is Messy. Do I Have to Spell It Out?

Whither our aspirational Esperanto.

#finland, #internal-sub-only-nl, #language-and-languages, #lithuania, #poland, #roosevelt-theodore, #spelling, #twain-mark

Pro-Russia threat group Killnet is pummeling Lithuania with DDoS attacks

Ones and zeros appear to float in the water next to a drowning man.

Enlarge / Drowning in a sea of data. (credit: Getty Images)

Internet services in Lithuania came under “intense” distributed denial of service attacks on Monday as the pro-Russia threat-actor group Killnet took credit. Killnet said its attacks were in retaliation regarding Lithuania’s recent banning of shipments sanctioned by the European Union to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad.

Lithuania’s government said that the flood of malicious traffic disrupted parts of the Secure National Data Transfer Network, which it says is “one of the critical components of Lithuania’s strategy on ensuring national security in cyberspace” and “is built to be operational during crises or war to ensure the continuity of activity of critical institutions.” The country’s Core Center of State Telecommunications was identifying the sites most affected in real time and providing them with DDoS mitigations while also working with international web service providers.

“It is highly probable that such or even more intense attacks will continue into the coming days, especially against the communications, energy, and financial sectors,” Jonas Skardinskas, acting director of Lithuania’s National Cyber Security Center, said in a statement. The statement warned of website defacements, ransomware, and other destructive attacks in the coming days.

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#biz-it, #ddos, #distributed-denial-of-service-attack, #killnet, #lithuania, #russia

Russia’s Blockade of Ukraine Is ‘War Crime,’ Top E.U. Official Says

The remarks by the official, Josep Borrell Fontelles, were among the strongest language from a Western leader in describing the Kremlin’s tactics to subjugate Ukraine.

#agriculture-and-farming, #black-sea, #borrell-fontelles-josep, #donbas-ukraine, #drueke-alex, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #european-union, #huynh-andy-tai-ngoc, #kaliningrad-russia, #lithuania, #odessa-ukraine, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022

Ukraine’s Highly Mobile Tech Work Force Hits the Road

How one Lithuanian company evacuated dozens of employees, three dogs and one guinea pig as Russia invaded.

#berlin-germany, #computer-and-video-games, #computers-and-the-internet, #crimea-ukraine, #dnipro-ukraine, #labor-and-jobs, #lithuania, #nordcurrent, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #ukraine, #vilnius-lithuania

The Race to Free Ukraine’s Stranded Grain

An operation to bring grain out from Ukraine through Lithuania, with considerable political hurdles, is just one option being considered amid warnings of mass starvation around the world.

#baltic-sea, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #food, #grain, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #lviv-ukraine, #odessa-ukraine, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #war-and-armed-conflicts

How Maria Alyokhina of Pussy Riot Escaped From Russia

After more than a decade of activism, Maria Alyokhina disguised herself as a food courier to evade the police — and a widening crackdown by President Vladimir Putin.

#alyokhina-maria, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #fugitives, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #iceland, #kjartansson-ragnar, #lithuania, #political-prisoners, #politics-and-government, #pop-and-rock-music, #pussy-riot, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #ukraine

Ukraine War Divides Orthodox Faithful

Around the world, national churches, parishes and even families are reassessing relations with Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, who has encouraged Russia’s aggression.

#amsterdam-netherlands, #clergy, #eastern-orthodox-church, #europe, #istanbul-turkey, #italy, #kirill-i, #lithuania, #orthodox-church-in-america, #patriarch-incorporated, #politics-and-government, #prayers-and-prayer-books, #priests, #putin-vladimir-v, #religion-and-belief, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #russian-orthodox-church, #ukraine, #united-states, #united-states-international-relations, #war-and-armed-conflicts

Lithuania Says It Has Stopped Importing Gas From Russia

Although tiny, Lithuania is the largest economy in the Baltic States and a eurozone member, giving the decision significance to European nations. “If we can do it, the rest of Europe can do it too,” the president said.

#european-union, #gazprom, #international-trade-and-world-market, #lithuania, #natural-gas, #russia

Germany Is Ready to Lead Militarily. Its Military is Not.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted Germany to revolutionize its security doctrine. But the war has also exposed how weak a link the German military is in NATO.

#cold-war-era, #defense-and-military-forces, #europe, #european-union, #germany, #government-contracts-and-procurement, #holocaust-and-the-nazi-era, #lithuania, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #scholz-olaf-1958, #ukraine, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #war-and-armed-conflicts, #world-war-ii-1939-45

Ukrainians Fleeing the War Are Offered Jobs Across Europe

Job boards are overflowing with offers dedicated to Ukrainian refugees, as businesses and governments fast-track access to employment.

#adecco-sa, #czech-republic, #europe, #hiring-and-promotion, #labor-and-jobs, #lithuania, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #ukraine

Jonas Mekas, the Avant-Garde Filmmaker Who Tried to Tell the Truth

An innovative retrospective of work by Jonas Mekas reveals the fundamental honesty of his “diary” films.

#content-type-personal-profile, #documentary-films-and-programs, #jewish-museum-manhattan-ny, #lithuania, #mekas-jonas, #movies, #new-york-city

Lithuania, a Vulnerable NATO Link, Readies for Putin and Russia

The Baltics, wedged between Russia and Belarus, have been likened to a modern-day West Berlin. Many here worry that if Ukraine falls, they might be next.

#baltic-region, #belarus, #cold-war-era, #defense-and-military-forces, #estonia, #europe, #kaliningrad-russia, #latvia, #lithuania, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #politics-and-government, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #ukraine, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #war-and-armed-conflicts

‘Free Ukraine Street’: Russian Embassies Get Pointed New Addresses

Officials in many European cities are giving streets, squares and intersections in front of Russian missions names with pro-Ukraine themes.

#albania, #denmark, #diplomatic-service-embassies-and-consulates, #lithuania, #norway, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #ukraine, #war-and-armed-conflicts

NATO Countries Pour Weapons Into Ukraine, Risking Conflict With Russia

Brussels is proud to be providing military aid, but Moscow may see it as a dangerous intervention and could move to disrupt the flow of arms through Poland.

#baltic-region, #belarus, #belgium, #borrell-fontelles-josep, #bulgaria, #czech-republic, #defense-and-military-forces, #denmark, #estonia, #europe, #european-union, #finland, #france, #germany, #great-britain, #greece, #hungary, #italy, #latvia, #lithuania, #morawiecki-mateusz, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #stoltenberg-jens, #ukraine, #von-der-leyen-ursula, #war-and-armed-conflicts

Obscure but Crucial Commodity Fuels Geopolitical Tussle in Eastern Europe

Lithuanian efforts to stop potash, a key fertilizer ingredient, from Belarus from crossing its territory to punish the country’s authoritarian leader may play into Russia’s hands.

#baltic-region, #belarus, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #european-union, #international-relations, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #politics-and-government, #potash, #putin-vladimir-v

Lithuania Welcomes Belarusians as It Rebuffs Middle Easterners

People fleeing repression in Belarus are processed quickly and given visas. Middle Eastern migrants passing through Belarus to the E.U. face a harsher fate.

#asylum-right-of, #belarus, #belarus-poland-border-crisis-2021, #european-union, #immigration-and-emigration, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #middle-east-and-africa-migrant-crisis, #politics-and-government, #putin-vladimir-v, #refugees-and-displaced-persons

Limping and Penniless, Iraqis Deported From Belarus Face Bleak Futures

Hundreds of desperate Iraqis are being sent home after becoming political pawns in Belarus’s quarrel with its European Union neighbors.

#belarus, #belarus-poland-border-crisis-2021, #deportation, #erbil-iraq, #european-union, #kurdistan, #kurds, #lithuania, #poland

Poland Uses Water Cannons and Tear Gas as Tensions Rise at Belarus Border

Western leaders have accused President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus of using migrants as weapons in an effort to pressure the European Union.

#asylum-right-of, #belarus, #european-union, #immigration-and-emigration, #latvia, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #middle-east-and-africa-migrant-crisis, #poland, #russia, #territorial-disputes

Migrants Say Belarusians Took Them to E.U. Border and Supplied Wire Cutters

Iraqi Kurds and other migrants said they were fleeing despair at home, but Belarus encouraged them, offering visas and helping them get to the border.

#belarus, #border-barriers, #defense-and-military-forces, #dubai-united-arab-emirates, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #erbil-iraq, #europe, #european-union, #illegal-immigration, #immigration-and-emigration, #iraq, #kurdistan, #kurds, #latvia, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #middle-east, #middle-east-and-africa-migrant-crisis, #minsk-belarus, #poland, #smuggling

Lithuania vs. China: A Baltic Minnow Defies a Rising Superpower

Lithuania has enraged China by advising officials to scrap Chinese phones that it says contain censorship software, while cozying up to Taiwan and quitting a Chinese-led regional forum.

#cellular-telephones, #censorship, #china, #communist-party-of-china, #european-union, #international-relations, #international-trade-and-world-market, #lithuania, #politics-and-government, #taiwan

Security audit raises severe warnings on Chinese smartphone models

A child uses a smartphone.

Enlarge / Be sure you know what you’re getting into before buying and using unfamiliarly branded smartphones—especially international models not originally intended for your country. (credit: Clover No. 7 Photography via Getty Images)

The Lithuanian National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) recently published a security assessment of three recent-model Chinese-made smartphones—Huawei’s P40 5G, Xiaomi’s Mi 10T 5G, and OnePlus’ 8T 5G. Sufficiently determined US shoppers can find the P40 5G on Amazon and the Mi 10T 5G on Walmart.com—but we will not be providing direct links to those phones, given the results of the NCSC’s security audit.

The Xiaomi phone includes software modules specifically designed to leak data to Chinese authorities and to censor media related to topics the Chinese government considers sensitive. The Huawei phone replaces the standard Google Play application store with third-party substitutes the NCSC found to harbor sketchy, potentially malicious repackaging of common applications.

Huawei's P40 is still stuck on Android 10, while Xiaomi ships with 10 but can be upgraded to 11. Only the OnePlus 8T shipped from the factory with Android 11 installed.

Huawei’s P40 is still stuck on Android 10, while Xiaomi ships with 10 but can be upgraded to 11. Only the OnePlus 8T shipped from the factory with Android 11 installed. (credit: Lithuanian NCSC)

The OnePlus 8T 5G—arguably, the best-known and most widely marketed phone of the three—was the only one to escape the NCSC’s scrutiny without any red flags raised.

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#android-security, #biz-it, #huawei, #infosec, #lithuania, #oneplus, #smartphones, #xiaomi

Locals share why Vilnius, Lithuania is becoming an international startup hub

There are plenty of reasons why Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital city, has an increasingly visible startup sector. The country’s startup-friendly regulatory environment, a beautiful medieval town center, over 20 business hubs and accelerators and strong rankings in intellectual property production are most obvious at a high level. But what are the locals excited about on the ground?

Our survey respondents said the city was strong across a broad range of tech industries, particularly those with practical applications: cybersecurity, energy and sustainability, fintech, health care and medtech, edtech and silver tech among others.

Respondents said the effect of the pandemic on working practices would mean that many expats would be moving back to the city, which is affordable, and more foreign companies are relocating there due to favorable government policies, although “rental prices are going through the roof.”

In addition, the oppressive regime in nearby Belarus has provided an influx of significant tech companies, such as Wargaming, as well as the associated talent.

In five years, respondents said the city and country will continue to generate and attract great tech startups, but also tech talent and entrepreneurs. However, one said: “The ecosystem still lacks local funding for the late Series A and beyond rounds.”

We surveyed:

• Gerda Sakalauskaitė, managing director, The Lithuanian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association

Lukas Inokaitis, business development, NFQ Technologies

Andrius Milinavicius, founder, Baltic Sandbox

• Gytenis Galkis, partner, 70V

• Gabriele Poteliunaite, associate, Change Ventures

• Rokas Tamošiūnas, partner, Open Circle Capital

• Donatas Keras, founding partner, Practica Capital

• Tomas Martunas, founding partner, Iron Wolf Capital

• Alex Gibb, partner, Katalista Ventures

• Jone Vaituleviciute, partner, Startup Wise Guys

• Lukas Kaminskis, CEO, Turing College


Gerda Sakalauskaitė, managing director, The Lithuanian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
The Vilnius startup ecosystem is mainly dominated by startups developing business management systems (B2B, SaaS) and financial technologies. Vilnius is becoming a solid hot spot of fintech companies in Europe having more than 200 fintech companies established here. Other growing industries would be deep tech, life sciences, mobility, and the game industry.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Vinted (first Lithuanian unicorn, secondhand fashion online marketplace which raised €128 million in an equity funding round, valuing the company at over €1 billion in 2019).
Other notable startups: NordVPN, CGTrader, TransferGo, Trafi, Kilo Health, CityBee, Brolis Semiconductors, PIXEVIA, Oxipit.
Rising stars that also should be looked at: PVcase, Droplet Genomics, ZITICITY.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?
I think local tech investors are taking more risks and becoming global scene players. Investors had their 10 years of market experience and now they are ready to invest into ideas and businesses that would change the global scene or even tackle issues as complex as they come — environmental, biotechnology or deep tech industries. Moreover, the local investor community is quite dynamic. We seek to have our investor landscape as diverse as possible, so we are working toward gender equality in VC and other important diversity causes to accomplish that.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
I think COVID-19 created more opportunities for Vilnius than risks in this regard. The coronavirus crisis, in general, hasn’t affected the Vilnius startup ecosystem in the same way as the rest of Europe. In addition, Vilnius has made headlines worldwide with its creative solutions to tackle the pandemic challenges. For instance, Vilnius became one large open air cafe. This shows Vilnius being a quirky, hip and interesting city to live in, so we are expecting more expats to lay their eyes on Vilnius. Especially expats from our Eastern neighbors who are negatively affected by an ongoing political crisis (Belarus).

Who are the key startup people in your city (e.g., investors, founders, lawyers, designers, etc.)?
Founders:
Justas Janauskas, Milda Mitkutė, Mantas Mikuckas (Vinted)
Henrikas Urbonas, Simona Andrijauskaitė (Interactio)
Dalia Lašaite (CGTrader)
Tomas Okmanas, Eimantas Sabaliauskas (Tesonet)
Tadas Burgaila (Kilo Health)
Daumantas Dvilinskas (TransferGo; Forbes 30 under 30)
Martynas Gudonavičius (Trafi)
VC investors:
Rokas Peciulaitis (Contrarian Ventures)
Donatas Keras (Practica Capital), Arvydas Bložė (Practica Capital)
Jone Vaituleviciute, Dmitrij Susunov (Startup Wise Guys)
Kasparas Jurgelionis (Iron Wolf Capital)
Gytenis Galkis (70Ventures)
Viktorija Vaitkevičienė (Coinvest)
Legal experts:
Rūta Armone (Ellex)
Akvilė Bosaite (COBALT Legal)
Eva Suduiko (COBALT Legal)
Mantas Petkevičius (Sorainen)
Laimonas Skibarka (Sorainen)
Linas Sabaliauskas (TRINITI JUREX)
Andrius Ivanauskas (GLIMSTEDT)

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
Vilnius will definitely gain momentum as the tech startup city of the region. The number of startup people they employ will grow exponentially. We will have one or two extra unicorns born here. And of course quite more foreign talent coming to Vilnius to work in startups!

Lukas Inokaitis, business development, NFQ Technologies

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
Mobility, fintech, energy, cybersecurity, healthcare. Weak in AI, data science.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Vinted, Tesonet, Kilo Health, Pored Banda, Hostinger.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

Local and with small funds, mostly subsidized by government and EU. Need large private ones and more angel investors.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
The city [has been] growing for a decade each year. No reason to slow down as more international talent is moving to Vilnius from other EU and Asian countries.

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
One-two unicorns every year and leading EU in fintech, mobility and energy.

Andrius Milinavicius, founder, Baltic Sandbox

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
Sustainability, silver tech, women in tech.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Tesonet (NordVPN), Vinted, Traffi, Kilo Health.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

Deep tech, SaaS, sustainability.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
Everyone stays. Vilnius is a very green and vibrant ecosystem, with multiple co-working [locations] and easy access to forests, parks and nearby lakes.

Who are the key startup people in your city (e.g., investors, founders, lawyers, designers, etc.)?

Many of them, starting from Contrarian Ventures — Rokas Peciulaitis, Practica Capital — Arvydas Bloze, continuing to Tesonet co-founder — Tomas Okmanas, Eimantas Sabaliauskas, followed with Kilo Health — Tadas Burgaila and more.

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
4x at least. Very rapid growth


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Gytenis Galkis, partner, 70V

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
1. Lithuania is now fourth in the global fintech ranking after the U,S,, the U,K, and Singapore.
2. Lithuania’s life sciences sector is gaining prominence.
3. Life sciences companies in Lithuania are among the most profitable in the country, with 90% of their output exported worldwide, yet the market remains unsaturated. Lithuania is 16th in the Global Innovation in Biotechnology ranking according to Scientific American WORLDVIEW international biotechnology ranking 2019.

According to McKinsey study on B2B startups, Lithuania’s B2B startups generate more value per funding than the U.S. and other European counterparts, resulting in the highest capital efficiency in the region!

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Larger ones would be: Vinted, Tesonet, Kilo Health, Bored Panda, Brolis Semiconductors, Cujo. Interactio recently has raised a $31 million Series A round — the largest ever Series A for a company headquartered in the Baltics. Upcoming stars: Whatagraph, Ondato, ZITICITY, Eneba, Robolabs, CAST AI, Foros, Billo, Biomatter Designs, #walk15, Boommio.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

The tech investment ecosystem has been evolving very rapidly during the past five years. The early-stage companies are able to get funding from the Lithuanian Business Angel Network (LitBAN), which unites over 150 active private investors. Coinvest Capital invests along angel investors and provides them lucrative leverage. This is how the Lithuanian government supports the angel ecosystem. Then there are two active accelerators — 70V (Revenue Accelerator) and Startup Wise Guys providing funding in the pre-seed/seed stages. Other local funds — Practica Capital, Iron Wolf Capital, Verslo Angelu Fondas and Open Circle Capital provide seed and Series A funding. The ecosystem still lacks local funding for the late series A and beyond rounds. Most of it is covered by foreign funds. The local ecosystem is too small to have a specific focus. However, I’d say that a lot of focus goes to B2B/enterprise software.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
Since 2012 Vilnius’ population has been steadily growing 0.3% every year. I believe that during COVID and events related to Belarus have even further boosted the growth of Vilnius, especially in terms of the tech ecosystem. There had been major moves from Minsk to Vilnius. For example, Wargaming has moved a significant amount of their employees with families to Vilnius and even bought 76 luxury flats in downtown Vilnius. Other Belarusian companies are following. Furthermore, Vilnius is one of the greenest capitals in Europe with a unique medieval old town, which makes it one of the coziest places to live. It is estimated that Lithuania still lacks over 10,000 tech talents, which could be a great opportunity for savvy explorers to join the rapidly growing tech scene!

Who are the key startup people in your city (e.g., investors, founders, lawyers, designers, etc.)?
Vilnius is a small town and it is well connected, there are a lot of people that made this ecosystem flourish. Just to name a few: Jean-Baptiste Daguenè, Donatas Keras, Mantas Mikuckas, Tomas Okmanas, Rita Sakus, Vladas Lašas, Viktorija Vaitkevičienė, Tomas Martunas, Dmitrij Sosunov, Evaldas Remeikis, Evaldas Petraitis, and many more that I should mention.

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
I strongly believe that Vilnius will further expand on its unique angle of tech entrepreneurship. I strongly estimate further growth in fintech, life sciences and B2B ecosystem. In my vision, I believe exports driven by Lithuanian startups will at least double within the next five years while bringing a few new unicorns.

Gabriele Poteliunaite, associate, Change Ventures

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
Well, probably most people will give the same answer, but Vilnius is huge on fintech. However, I would also go on to highlight other prospering sectors, such as edtech, AI-driven companies, medtech, energy tech — you name it … There are numerous sectors that we are quite strong in. As a generalist investor, we are mostly excited about driven and passionate founders. This brings me to another point that I would say the weakest link of the ecosystem is lack of entrepreneurial training and lack of educational initiatives inspiring youngsters (and not only) to go on to found their own companies and take risks. Risk aversiveness is the key weakness here. We are still lacking huge success stories, but this is slowly changing (Vinted, Tesonet).

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Interactio, Vinted, Memby and so many others — could go on listing them for days.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

As it is a very tight-knit community, local tech investors are very collaborative and helpful with each other and entrepreneurs. However, I would say the main areas local investors still need to improve on is internationalizing and diversifying their investment teams (it’s 2021 already) and discouraging founders to be aggressive in their expansion to foreign markets and thinking globally very early on. Most investors are generalists, focusing on all three Baltic countries and doing mostly seed investments in software (some hardware) B2B companies.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
STAY and MOVE IN — no question there! I think COVID-19 pandemic has been a great stimulus for most expats — including myself, to move back to Vilnius and join forces in building this flourishing ecosystem. As far as I can tell, most people will stay, (rental prices are going through the roof) and more foreign companies are relocating here due to very favorable policies.

Who are the key startup people in your city (e.g., investors, founders, lawyers, designers, etc.)?
Ugh, so many great people to highlight … which is obviously a sign that Vilnius has simply an overwhelming number of absolute stars! (Not a biased opinion obviously.)

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
I would venture to say something as daring as Vilnius becoming the global leader in generating and attracting not only world-class tech startups, but also tech talent and outstanding entrepreneurs. I might be getting a tad too excited, but I see so much authenticity in this region — and if we manage to cherish it, we may go really far!

Rokas Tamošiūnas, partner, Open Circle Capital

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
Strong: Marketplaces, fintech, life sciences, tech diversity (prop, fin, gov, mobility, AI). Weak: Internationalization, sales, marketing.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Vinted, Tesonet, Traffi, Omnisend, Billo, Whatagraph.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

We have some generalists (Practica Capital), deep tech (Open Circle Capital and Iron Wolf Capital), green/energy (Contrarian Ventures) and accelerators (70ventures and Startup Wise Guys).
Investors are still early pre-seed/seed but are gradually maturing up. ICT (especially AI) still dominates, but other areas, such as photonics (lasers), new space and others.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
Gradually everyone moved to full remove in the tech community. Now people are back in offices (and mostly enjoying it), but I think most companies will do a mixed model from now on. Remote working did a lot of good in recognizing virtual teams and especially teams that have members based in different countries.

Who are the key startup people in your city (e.g., investors, founders, lawyers, designers, etc.)?
Top are startup founders like J. Janauskas from Vinted, T. Okman from Tesonet, R. Lauris from Omnisend.

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
We are going on a patch of diversity — dozens of microecosystems of different tech. I think we will have a very colorful scene in a few years.

Donatas Keras, founding partner, Practica Capital

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
As our young tech ecosystem matures, we can see an increasing number of startups from different industry sectors that are founded and headquartered in Vilnius are becoming global leaders in their categories. If we look more closely at specific industries, I would highlight:
Marketplaces (Vinted, CGTrader, Ovoko); cybersecurity (NordVPN); fintech (TransferGo, Ondato, Revolut EU headquarters); gaming (Nordcurrent, Game Insight, Wargaming); mobility (Trafi, ZITICITY); biotechnology (Biomatter Designs, Droplet Genomics); space (NanoAvionics); health tech (Kilo Health, Oxipit).
The strengths of our tech ecosystem are the fast growth of startups, global first mindset, seek for innovation and the resilience of the founders. And these are some of the things that excite me as an investor. Of course, with such fast growth, we can already see increasing competition for local talent. That can be considered as a weakness, which should be addressed right now at the state level.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
The most notable startups are – Vinted (The first Lithuanian unicorn), NordVPN, CGTrader, Interactio, TransferGo, Trafi, Kilo Health, CarVertical, Omnisend and many more. But I would also like to mention some of the rising stars that we should not overlook: Ondato, Ovoko, Biomatter Designs, Droplet Genomics, ZITICITY.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

The investment scene shows the same signs of maturing as the whole ecosystem. And that is noticeable at all investment stages. It seems that now we are starting to “pick the fruits” of 10 years of hard work — companies becoming much more fundable, and investors tend to take risks and are more ready to do so. Business angels are becoming more active than ever, with 100+ deals made per year. And if a few years back the majority were experienced entrepreneurs of the so-called “old economy,” now an increasing number of tech entrepreneurs are picking up and investing in new startups at the very early stage. Business accelerators and pre-seed funds also playing an important role in the development of the ecosystem. They are mostly backed by the government and became very active in the last 3-4 years. Most notable: 70ventures, Startup Wise Guys, Baltic Sandbox.
Venture capital has around 10+ years of history in Vilnius and Lithuania. First, it was stimulated by EIF and the state money, now it’s picking up strongly and plays a crucial role in startups development at an early stage.
Most notable VCs:
Practica Capital is one of the most experienced and most active VCs in Vilnius and the whole region. With 10+ years of history, it grew together with the ecosystem, startups and the founders right from the start. The most notable deals are — Interactio, TransferGo, CGTrader, Trafi, Eneba, PVcase. The team has a high level of know-how and proven record in fintech, mobility, SaaS, marketplaces.
Open Circle Capital and Iron Wolf Capital are first-time funds, both active and doing a good job.
Contrarian Ventures is a small but active “green” tech-focused VC making a noticeable mark in the development of the ecosystem too.
Regional and international colleagues are also present at the events and co-investing quite actively with local investors (Karma Ventures, Trind VC, Change Ventures, Tera VC, ZGI and global powerhouses such as Intel, Accel, Creandum, Insight Venture Partners, Inreach).
Most of the VCs are generalists and looking into a broad spectrum of startups active in different sectors, with a few exceptions. Of course, some of the investors have a better-proven record in some categories than others.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
Lithuania is a small country, and Vilnius being the capital city, is still the center of attraction of everything in the country, and talent is not an exception. With further development and growth of the tech ecosystem, even more talent will be drawn to Vilnius. It is a great city to live in, work and build global tech companies.

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
We will have more than five unicorns born/raised here, and Vilnius will become one of the European “hot spots” for tech investing. The tech ecosystem will grow at least three times. Vilnius will become a center of attraction for talent from all the region, CIS and other parts of Europe.

Tomas Martunas, founding partner, Iron Wolf Capital

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
Lithuania, and especially Vilnius, has established a very strong position in fintech being the No. 4 in Global Fintech Ranking. Vilnius has created a favorable environment for fintech startups to be established and developed, and managed to attract one of the largest fintech players, Revolut. Vilnius is also especially advanced in the laser industry. While lasers constitute only a small part of Lithuania’s export, their quality is making the country famous around the world. It is very exciting as the demand for lasers is forecasted to only increase. We believe that Lithuania’s laser industry has a very positive outlook and thus, we invested in laser manufacturer Litilit. Vilnius also boasts many strong SaaS startups with, for example, Interactio, which recently raised $30 million after seeing 12x growth between 2019 and 2020. I believe there is still a lot of untapped potential in deep tech and edtech in the Vilnius ecosystem and it is starting to uncover. With the Wargaming office opening, also together with the Unity branch, Game Insights office and independent game studios, the gaming cluster has good fundamentals to blossom.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Vinted, Tesonet, Turing College, Omnisend, Millo Appliances, NanoAvionics, Pixevia, Monimoto, Redtrack.io, Interactio, Litilit, Foros.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

First, there are significant sums of EU funding available for early-stage startups, especially for the ones having a strong technical foundation and innovative solutions. Overall, the Vilnius ecosystem has grown significantly over the past five years with many more VCs being established, a strong business angels network (LitBAN), accelerators launched and more focus dedicated to early stage and bolder investment ideas.
Many investors remain focused on the Baltics and CEE and still have some way to go to establish more global mindsets that are more prevalent in Nordics and Western Europe. But the Vilnius ecosystem is still growing and more foreign investors entering shows the attractiveness of the ecosystem in this way also providing founders with more opportunities.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
Vilnius is a very attractive destination. It boasts affordable housing (which many European capitals cannot offer), and when COVID-19 is reshaping our lives to remote work becoming a standard, many people will move out of expensive cities to more affordable ones, such as Vilnius. Also, it is an innovative city that has advanced a lot to easily compare with other European capitals (and overtake some of them) in terms of standard of living and career opportunities.

Who are the key startup people in your city (e.g., investors, founders, lawyers, designers, etc.)?
Mantas Mikuckas, Tomas Okmanas, Eimantas Sabaliauskas, Toma Sabaliauskiene, Rytis Lauris, Vladas Lašas, Rita Sakus, Tadas Burgaila, Inga Langaitė, Roberta Rudokiene and of course Iron Wolf Capital founders 😉

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
I believe that Vilnius will continue on growing and advancing to become one of the key European startup hubs. With favorable business conditions and a good standard of living it is expected to attract more talents who will contribute to fostering the ecosystem. However, Lithuania is already experiencing a brain drain and should take some special efforts to bring talents back and retain them.

Alex Gibb, partner, Katalista Ventures

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
We’ve seen an explosion of companies offshoring from Scandinavia over the past 10+ years in LT, which has led to the growth of competence centers and specialist R&D facilities for intangible services. I’m excited by the tech sector’s growth, which is primarily software, development and engineering.  We’re too small to really have specific sectors but lasers have a trusted pedigree in LT.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Cogastro is servicing insect farms with CRM systems — that’s pretty original and niche! Bored Panda was No. 1 on the App Store last year and continues to boom, Tinggly (disclosure — I’m a co-founder) is growing again rapidly after COVID, serving the U.S. market primarily. Vinted is of course head and shoulders above the others — both in valuation terms, but also the positive impact on recycling and reusing.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

We have a growing angel network with LitBAN that is boosted by the government’s co-invest fund — which recently facilitated a 34x return for early investors in Interactio. There is a good range of early-stage VCs in town, the gap comes in the 2 million+ space where startups need to go abroad for deeper pockets. The focus tends to be B2B but as we’re a small geography there are very few investors with a tight sector focus.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
Move in! Vilnius is a compact and cool city [with a] high quality of life here and [it’s] easy to get out to the lakes and forests to relax. I still think we’re figuring out the hybrid nature of work from here onward, so people will mix and match to what suits their lifestyles. The positive shift is more power to employees and employers taking into account what employees need for positive mental health.

Who are the key startup people in your city (e.g., investors, founders, lawyers, designers, etc.)?
Greta Monstavice, CEO at Katalista Ventures — she’s top of the tree on all things sustainability related and passionate about empowering startups. JB Daguené at 70V is powering B2B startups with explosive growth tools. Sarune Smalakyte, head of Rockit, is nurturing fintech companies at their co-working space and blasting out many great (free) events for the community.

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
I’m excited about the city’s prospects. We have a lot ahead of us with many new startups coming through. The key challenge will be to get the next generation of tech talent trained properly and ready for the demands of an already squeezed workforce.

Jone Vaituleviciute, partner, Startup Wise Guys

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
Vilnius is of course known on a global scale for its fintech ecosystem — though the majority of fintech “perks” come on a governmental/country level, Vilnius boasts a high number of banking, insurance and other financial services professionals, as well as fintech-focused startup hubs and a number of events. I am particularly excited to see a number of big foreign names (e.g., Revolut, SumUp and many other) moving their operations here; this way building up the ecosystem and level of fintech professionals. Gaming, edtech are also a few other up-and-coming areas, which signals that B2C is becoming more usual than not. On the improvement side, we still have not figured out how to include deep tech/R&D startups into the ecosystem and funding mechanisms. This is a challenge many cities have, but we hope Vilnius will move to the right direction, thanks to collaborations among universities and venture capital funds.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Well-known names: Vinted, Trafi, TransferGo and several not backed by venture capital — Bored Panda, Kilo Health.
Up-and-coming: ZITICITY (mobility), kevin. (fintech), Ondato (fintech), Turing College (edtech).

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

Vilnius is a good representation of all Baltic venture capital ecosystems. We have several pre-seed/seed stage venture capital funds that are coming in with experience and good understanding of various verticals. However, for a long time we lacked a proper early-stage funding ecosystem. This is changing right now with accelerators supporting idea-stage startups and a number of business angels appearing from successful startups who are ready to invest decent tickets resembling more Western Europe rather than Baltic funding trends.
With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
I believe the pandemic has been rather favorable for small ecosystems like Vilnius. Mainly because remote investing/pitching/selling became an absolute norm and founders do not have to fly hundreds of miles for an event or a meeting to close a deal. Thus, I see many entrepreneurs sticking to Vilnius due to its great life quality and well-knitted ecosystem.

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
We should be talking pre-seed/seed on the same level as West Europe or even the U.S. We are catching up with the standard, but with the maturity of the venture capital ecosystem, Vilnius should be a perfect city to kick-start your startup and take it to Series A with the same funding available. We should see more areas like fintech emerging with strong value proposition for foreign companies as well as initiatives for local ones to stay. Talent will be expensive, but this is how it should be. Second- and third-time founders will be creating more and more startups that will attract a number of foreign funds too.

Lukas Kaminskis, CEO, Turing College

What industry sectors is your tech ecosystem strong in? What are you most excited by? What is it weak in?
Vilnius is well known for its fintech and blockchain ecosystems — companies such as Revolut have banking licenses registered here in Vilnius. We have several strong players in medtech and cybersecurity — Kilo Health and Nord Security — which are growing super fast. Nevertheless, we’re lacking behind with education. Explicitly speaking, most IT programs in Lithuanian universities aren’t focused on preparing students for international competition. This is why a lot of companies are establishing their internal academies to upskill students from universities.

Which are the most interesting startups in your city?
Omnisend, Nord Security, Attention Insight, Turing College.

What are the tech investors like? What is the investment scene like in your city? What’s their focus?

Lithuania has quite a good pre-seed/seed investment scene with investors like Iron Wolf Capital, Startup Wise Guys, Practica Capital, etc. Moreover, there is a VC fund — Co-invest Fund, which invests the sum equivalent to the multiplier of any accredited angel investor’s investment sum by 3x-5x. Investors in Lithuania are mostly industry agnostic.

With the shift to remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic, will people stay in your city, move out, or will others move in?
Tendencies in Lithuania are quite similar to the ones we see in the global scene. Companies plan to adapt hybrid type of work post-COVID, while maintaining remote type of work as primary while the pandemic is happening.

Who are the key startup people in your city (e.g., investors, founders, lawyers, designers, etc.)?
Giedrius Kolesnikovas is the guy to know from the legal industry — he is the partner of Motieka & Audzevicius legal firm. From the investor’s perspective, there are several of them — Jone Vaituleviciute, Rytis Vitkauskas, Kasparas Jurgelionis and Arvydas Bložė. These guys can open doors to most of European/U.S. capitals.

Where do you see your city’s tech scene in five years?
I see that Vilnius will become a tech talent center of Northern Europe. Edtech startups and private training initiatives are emerging in our market to solve educational problems that we face because of the poor performance of public education policies in the last 20 years. As well, I see that the current government is making a huge effort to attract international tech companies to establish their branches here in Lithuania. Great examples are Wargaming, Moody’s, which established huge centers here in Lithuania.

#europe, #investor-survey, #lithuania, #startups, #tc

Germany Recalls Platoon on NATO Mission Over Sexual Assault and Racism Claims

A tank platoon was sent home from Lithuania after members were suspected of sexual assault, and racist and anti-Semitic behavior, in the latest embarrassment for Germany’s armed forces.

#anti-semitism, #defense-and-military-forces, #discrimination, #ethics-and-official-misconduct, #germany, #lithuania, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #sexual-harassment

The Saga of Ryanair Flight 4978

Why did the leader of Belarus force a commercial airplane to land? Who was he after? And what might happen next?

#airlines-and-airplanes, #belarus, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #minsk-belarus, #political-prisoners, #politics-and-government, #protasevich-roman

Interactio, a remote interpretation platform, grabs $30M after seeing 12x growth during COVID-19

Interactio, a remote interpretation platform whose customers include massive institutions like the United Nations, European Commission and Parliament along with corporates like BMW, JP Morgan and Microsoft, has closed a whopping $30 million Series A after usage of its tools grew 12x between 2019 and 2020 as demand for online meeting platforms surged during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Series A funding is led by Eight Roads Ventures and Silicon Valley-based Storm Ventures, along with participation from Practica Capital, Notion Capital, as well as notable angels such as Jaan Tallinn, the co-founder of Skype, and Young Sohn, ex-chief strategy officer of Samsung.

The Vilnius, Lithuania-based startup offers digital tools to connect meetings with certified interpreters who carry out real-time interpretation to bridge language divides between participants. It does also offer a video conferencing platform which its customers can use to run remote meetings but will happily integrate with thirty party software like Zoom, Webex etc. (Last year it says its digital tools were used alongside 43 different video streaming platforms.)

Interactio’s interpreters can be in the room where the meeting is taking place or doing the real-time interpretation entirely remotely by watching and listening to a stream of the meeting. (Or, indeed, it can support a mix of remote and on-site interpretation, if a client wishes.)

It can also supply all the interpreters for a meeting — and it touts a strict vetting procedure for onboarding certified interpreters to its platform — or else it will provide training to a customer’s interpreters on the use of its tools to ensure things run smoothly on the day.

At present, Interactio says it works with 1,000+ freelance interpreters, as well as touting “strong relations with interpretation agencies” — claiming it can easily quadruple the pool of available interpreters to step up to meet rising demand.

It offers its customers interpretation in any language — and in an unlimited number of languages per event. And last year it says it hosted 18,000+ meetings with 390,000 listeners spread across more than 70 countries.

Now, flush with a huge Series A, Interactio is gearing up for a future filled with increasing numbers of multi-lingual online meetings — as the coronavirus continues to inject friction into business travel.

“When we started, our biggest competition was simultaneous interpretation hardware for on-site interpretation. At that time, we were on the mission to fully replace it with our software that required zero additional hardware for attendees besides their phone and headphones. However, for institutions, which became our primary focus, hybrid meetings are the key, so we started partnering with simultaneous interpretation hardware manufacturers and integrators by working together on hybrid events, where participants use hardware on-site, and online participants use us,” a spokeswoman told us.

“This is how we differentiate ourselves from other platforms — by offering a fully hybrid solution, that can be integrated with hardware on-site basically via one cable.”

“Moreover, when we look at the market trends, we still see Zoom as the most used solution, so we compliment it by offering professional interpretation solutions,” she added.

A focus on customer support is another tactic that Interactio says it relies upon to stand out — and its iOS and Android apps do have high ratings on aggregate. (Albeit, there are bunch of historical complaints mixed in suggesting it’s had issues scaling its service to large audiences in the past, as well as sporadic problems with things like audio quality over the years.)

While already profitable, the 2014-founded startup says the  Series A will be used to step on the gas to continue to meet the accelerated demand and exponential growth it’s seen during the remote work boom.

Specifically, the funds will go on enhancing its tech and UX/UI — with a focus on ensuring ease of access/simplicity for those needing to access interpretation, and also on upgrading the tools it provides to interpreters (so they have “the best working conditions from their chosen place of work”).

It will also be spending to expand its client base — and is especially seeking to onboard more corporates and other types of customers. (“Last year’s focus was and still is institutions (e.g. European Commission, European Parliament, United Nations), where there is no place for an error and they need the most professional solution. The next step will be to expand our client base to corporate clients and a larger public that needs interpretation,” it told us.)

The new funding will also be used to expand the size of its team to support those goals, including growing the number of qualified interpreters it works with so it can keep pace with rising demand.

While major institutions like the UN are never going to be tempted to skimp on the quality of translation provided to diplomats and politicians by not using human interpreters (either on premise or working remotely), there may be a limit on how far professional real-time translation can scale given the availability of real-time machine translation technology — which offers a cheap alternative to support more basic meeting scenarios, such as between two professionals having an informal meeting.

Google, for example, offers a real-time translator mode that’s accessible to users of its smartphone platform via the Google voice assistant AI. Hardware startups are also trying to target real-time translation. The dream of a real-life AI-powered ‘Babel Fish’ remains strong.

Nonetheless, such efforts aren’t well suited to supporting meetings and conferences at scale — where having a centralized delivery service that’s also responsible for troubleshooting any audio quality or other issues which may arise looks essential.

And while machine translation has undoubtedly got a lot better over the years (albeit performance can vary, depending on the languages involved) there is still a risk that key details could be lost in translation if/when the machine gets it wrong. So offering highly scalable human translation via a digital platform looks like a safe bet as the world gets accustomed to more remote work (and less globetrotting) being the new normal.

“AI-driven translation is a great tool when you need a quick solution and are willing to sacrifice the quality,” says Interactio when we ask about this. “Our clients are large corporations and institutions, therefore, any kind of misunderstanding can be crucial. Here, the translation is not about saying a word in a different language, it’s about giving the meaning and communicating a context via interpretation.

“We strongly believe that only humans can understand the true context and meaning of conversations, where sometimes a tone of voice, an emotion and a figure speech can make a huge difference, that is unnoticed by a machine.”

#android, #artificial-intelligence, #assistant, #covid-19, #eight-roads-ventures, #europe, #european-commission, #european-parliament, #fundings-exits, #interactio, #jaan-tallinn, #jp-morgan, #lithuania, #machine-translation, #microsoft, #notion-capital, #online-meetings, #practica-capital, #remote-work, #saas, #samsung, #silicon-valley, #skype, #storm-ventures, #translation, #translator, #united-nations, #video-conferencing, #web-conferencing, #webex, #young-sohn, #zoom

Belarus Is Isolated as Other Countries Move to Ban Flights

The extraordinary forced landing of a commercial flight with a Belarusian dissident aboard escalated into one of the biggest flare-ups in East-West tensions in recent years.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #belarus, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #european-union, #freedom-of-the-press, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #protasevich-roman, #ryanair-holdings-plc, #state-security-committee-kgb-belarus

Europe Lifts Vaccine Suspension as Virus Surge Brings New Lockdowns

France, Germany and other countries resumed use of the AstraZeneca shots after concerns about side effects, but the pace of inoculation remained too slow to blunt the latest wave of infection.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #deaths-fatalities, #easter-and-holy-week, #europe, #italy, #lithuania, #paris-france, #poland, #politics-and-government, #spain, #united-states

No More Lies. My Grandfather Was a Nazi.

In Lithuania, he was celebrated as a hero. But we can’t move on until we admit what he really did.

#cold-war-era, #content-type-personal-profile, #eastern-europe, #grandparents, #holocaust-and-the-nazi-era, #jews-and-judaism, #kgb, #lithuania, #noreika-jonas, #putin-vladimir-v, #ussr-former-soviet-union, #war-crimes-genocide-and-crimes-against-humanity, #world-war-ii-1939-45

After lockdowns boost gaming marketplace Eneba, it raises $8M from Practica and InReach

Eneba, a marketplace for gamers that sells games and other products, has raised a $8M round of funding from Practica Capital and InReach Ventures. The funding is described as a ‘combination’ of a Seed and Series A round. Also participating in the funding for the Lithuanian startup was FJ Labs and a group of Angel investors including Mantas Mikuckas, COO of Vinted. The investment highlights once again the strength of the Baltics region as tech ecosystem, after Lithuania produced its first Unicorn in the shape of Vinted, and Estonia’s added Pipedrive to its unicorns list.

With the increased shift to digital entertainment during the pandemic, the startup has managed to garner much more US traffic. Launched in 2018 by two Lithuanian school friends, Vytis Uogintas and Žygimantas Mikšta, Eneba says it has attracted 26 million unique users because of its security features, ‘one-click to buy’ gamer experience and fingerprinting technology. The site also optimizes its localized gaming experiences to show locally trending gaming products. Eneba’s platform is designed to reduce risky transactions, simplifies the refunding process, and deals with fraud threats.

Co-founder and CMO, Žygimantas Mikšta said: “We had a lot of new users coming to Eneba during these uncertain times. While it was extremely satisfying to see our numbers increasing tenfold, there was a challenge to meet the demand. To better reflect our user numbers, we had to quickly expand our team to 130.”

Security has risen up the agenda in online gaming as virtual goods and services connected to games can be highly susceptible to fraud or theft. Although it competes with outlets like Amazon, eBay, and retailers like Gamestop, Game.co.uk, Eneba think they’ve found a better, tailored online pre/post-buying experience for gamers, while addressing the risk problems for sellers and buyers in the gaming world.

Donatas Keras, partner at Practica Capital said: “We are thrilled to be backing Vytis and Žygimantas. We’ve been impressed by their ability to execute at such speed as their company quickly scales, and to drive an incredible product with a unique value proposition for gamers.”

Co-founder of InReach Ventures, Roberto Bonanzinga, said: “In Europe we have a tradition of building successful companies in the gaming space. We are very excited to have discovered Eneba thanks to our AI platform when the company was unknown and under the radar. We have been extremely impressed by what the founders have been able to build in such a short amount of time.”

#amazon, #artificial-intelligence, #co-founder, #companies, #coo, #ebay, #estonia, #europe, #fj-labs, #game-co-uk, #gamestop, #inreach-ventures, #lithuania, #online-gaming, #partner, #pipedrive, #retailers, #tc, #unicorn, #united-states, #vinted

Will You Leave the Country if Trump Is Re-Elected?

A generation of Americans prepares to flee.

#americans-abroad, #citizenship-and-naturalization, #germany, #ireland, #lithuania, #presidential-election-of-2020, #trump-donald-j, #united-states

Belarus Needs New Elections, Says Opposition Leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya

My husband was jailed for daring to run against our president. So I ran in his place.

#belarus, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #elections, #europe, #european-parliament, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #minsk-belarus, #politics-and-government

Belarus Protest Leader Vanishes Amid Reports of Masked Abductors

With large-scale demonstrations showing little sign of winding down, President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko’s security forces appear to have shifted from mass repression to more targeted disappearances.

#babariko-viktor, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #kgb, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #maria-kolesnikova, #minsk-belarus, #poland, #russia

For Belarus Leader, a Fading Aura of Invincibility

Undermined by the pandemic and a deepening economic crisis, and surrounded by sycophants, Aleksandr Lukashenko badly miscalculated in the recent election.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #elections, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #minsk-belarus, #polls-and-public-opinion, #putin-vladimir-v, #russia

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya Flees Belarus Amid Election Protests

Svetlana Tikhanovskaya disappeared for several hours, then released a cryptic video message. Lithuania’s foreign minister said she was in his country and was “safe.”

#belarus, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #lithuania, #lukashenko-aleksandr-g, #minsk-belarus, #strikes, #tikhanovskaya-svetlana