FIRSTPICK, a venture capital fund launched in November 2022, celebrated its mid-year achievements at a Portfolio Day event for its investors and partners in the Baltics and Nordics. FIRSTPICK, already considered the region's most active early-stage investment fund, has made 14 investments since the beginning of 2023 for a total value of €1.73 million. Twenty-two startups have already participated in FIRSTPICK's acceleration and pre-acceleration programs.
Jonė Vaitulevičiūtė, Managing Partner of FIRSTPICK, says that the fund has managed to achieve its goals and has quickly become known by the startup community in the region.
"We started scouting startups and talking to them long before the fund's launch because we saw the need for early-stage investment. We are currently continuing our active search for new startups to join our portfolio," said Vaitulevičiūtė.
FIRSTPICK has already organized two 16-week acceleration programs and two 7-week pre-accelerators. Twenty-two startup teams with 63 founders participated in idea validation-focused pre-accelerators and acceleration programs aimed at developing their sales competencies, products, and growing teams.
The fund has invested in three fintech (Amlyze, Softloans, Finfra), two e-commerce (Furnisystems and Doohoo) and various biotech and health (Psylink and Samphire Neuroscience), education (Three Cubes), and other start-ups (Ama care, Beesure, Stackflows, Tractorparts, MBito, and Swotzy).
"When selecting startups, our main criteria are the team and its experience. It is essential that the team presenting their idea to us has a good understanding of the market they are entering and has defined their immediate goals, as well as a realistic vision of how our contribution will help the team achieve them," said Andra Bagdonaitė, one of the partners and founders of FIRSTPICK.
Among the latest FIRSTPICK acceleration program‘s participants were a Latvian team Swotzy, building a last-mile shipping optimization tool that uses AI. The startup has recently announced its official launch in Latvia.
“FIRSTPICK’s accelerator and their first investment of €90 000 has contributed a lot to our growth and product development success this year. We’ve started the startup less than a year ago and managed to build a great product that can speed up last-mile logistics processes significantly,” says Lauris Rutkis.
FIRSTPICK invited investors to discuss regional investment trends at its Portfolio Day event on 28 June. The event also featured pitches of Finfra and other FIRSTPICK portfolio startups.
FIRSTPICK's third series of acceleration and pre-acceleration programs for the Baltic startups will start in the autumn. The fund plans to make 20 more investments this year.
FIRSTPICK is a venture capital fund founded in 2022, backing the best tech startup founders in the Baltic States. FIRSTPICK organises acceleration programmes for early-stage startups to help them achieve rapid growth and validate their ideas. FIRSTPICK's capital consists of funds from private teams and investors and an investment from the INVEGA Fund, which is part of the Accelerator 2 programme, funded by the Innovation Promotion Fund.