While companies like Meta and Twitter are laying off thousands of employees, the Lithuanian startup sector has been weathering the storm. Companies here have stayed some of the most stable and reliable employers in the country.
The startup scene in Lithuania is nowhere similar to the cut-throat world pictured in Hollywood movies. On the contrary, it’s an inclusive and community-driven space where thousands of young professionals have found their calling. International and global by design, this sector has also attracted many bright minds from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. In this short article, we’ll look at what makes the Lithuanian startup scene so attractive.
The Lithuanian startup scene, numbering over 700+ active companies, is extremely diverse, but there are several sectors that clearly dominate the landscape.
With several hundred licensed Fintech companies, the country is at the forefront of financial innovation in Europe. Companies include both local stars like HeavyFinance (who have developed a P2P lending platform for the agricultural sector) to international household names like Revolut and SumUp.
Cybersecurity is another sector with a lot of action. The country’s second unicorn Nord Security is behind several globally renowned products that include NordVPN, NordPass and NordLocker. Other players active in the area include Surfshark and CUJO AI.
E-commerce, AI, health & wellness, and internet services are other key areas where many Lithuanian startups operate.
Today, almost 16,000 people work for startups in Lithuania, and the average salary exceeds €3,000. And these figures are only going up! Lithuania is already exceeding the European average in terms of startups per capita by 3 times, and as new companies are established every week, the number of vacancies is only increasing.
Generally speaking, the startup community is rather tight-knit, with many startups sharing co-working space at places like Tech Zity in Vilnius, Tech Spa in Druskininkai, Workland offices in several cities of the country, and a couple of dozen other inspiring spaces. Most of these places (like ROCKIT – the Home of Fintech and Innovation) host frequent events and meetups for developers, entrepreneurs and everyone who wants to break into tech.
Similar to more traditional businesses in Lithuania, startups in Lithuania can offer a healthy work-life balance. And it’s not all foosball tables and crazy parties! More and more startups embrace the “work from wherever you want” approach and offer their employees a ton of other benefits, including stock options.
And did we mention that the work culture here is as diverse as the sector itself? As gender equality in Lithuania is held in high regard, it’s no surprise that this is also reflected in the startup world.
According to Startup Heatmap research published in 2020, only 15.5% of all founders or co-founders in Europe are women. At the same time, according to a survey of Lithuanian startups conducted by Startup Lithuania at the end of 2020, 38% of startups have at least one female founder.
Confidence in tech companies as stable employers is dropping across the world, with companies like Meta and Twitter laying off thousands of employees. This, however, is not the case for the Lithuanian startup sector, where most of the mature startups (also called scale-ups) already rely on profits rather than on investment to drive their growth. Thus, despite the situation being quite turbulent elsewhere, Lithuanian startups have weathered the storm.
One of the most comprehensive resources on the Lithuanian startup world is the Unicorns Lithuania website which frequently shares news and opinions from industry leaders. And for a behind-the-scenes look into the sector, subscribe to Tech Philomaths, a weekly English-language newsletter that shares the latest news and job opportunities.