SEB and Latitude59's new collaboration aims to support startups

  • 2024-05-23

SEB, one of the largest banks in the Nordic and Baltic regions, has started a collaboration with Latitude59, Estonia's largest conference focused on technology, entrepreneurship, and innovation. As a long-term partner, SEB is committed to supporting various startup programs as a partner, mentor, and investor.

"Supporting the startup ecosystem in technology and innovation in the Nordics and Baltics is a key focus for SEB, and we see great potential in this sector. We believe in the ability of Estonian and Baltic entrepreneurs to generate sustainable growth and want to be a long-term partner at various stages. Our international experience allows us to contribute not only capital but also substantial advisory and support roles. For example, we co-founded the Innovation Leaders Club, which aims to facilitate innovation practices and foster collaboration between startups and corporations. Additionally, we organize the SEB Growth Program in the Baltic countries, where companies can gain a competitive edge by developing co-creation projects in an open innovation environment. We believe that our collaboration with Latitude59 will help us reach the right target audience," commented Anette Ustal, SEB's Head of Innovation, on the start of the collaboration.

Latitude59's leader, Liisi Org, commented on the collaboration with SEB as an additional opportunity for co-creation and strengthening relationships with community members and investors, thereby promoting the creation of long-term value through collaboration. "From a co-creation perspective, SEB has brought with it an innovative podcast stage format, inspired by Estonia's most popular business podcast, Nestor&Koppel. Same experts will be heard on stage this time also," said Org.

"In addition to SEB's innovation programs, we also have existing collaborations with accelerators like Mastercard Finitiv and Tenity Nordics. Our role in these accelerators is to explore potential collaboration opportunities with startups and provide them with the necessary resources, knowledge, and contacts," added Ustal.
Funding for growth companies

As an exciting new development, SEB will introduce Venture Debt investments for fast-growing companies in the Baltic countries starting in 2024. This innovative financing option offers startups a unique advantage, as it does not require equity or board seats unlike traditional fundraising. Venture Debt is designed to support the expansion of proven business models even before achieving stable profitability, with a total funding volume of up to 20 million in the Baltics.

"SEB operates in 20 countries worldwide, focusing on the Nordic and Baltic regions. This gives us international reach and allows us to support growth companies with not only capital but also a wealth of knowledge and contacts," commented Ustal.

About Latitude59
Latitude59 2024 is taking place on May 22-24 at Kultuurikatel in Tallinn, Estonia. This year, nearly 3,000 participants, including 800 startup representatives and 500 investors from around the world, are expected to attend the event. An investment of up to one million euros will be offered at Latitude59’s Pitch Competition for the second year in a row, this time in cooperation with Specialist VC and the Estonian Business Angels Network EstBAN.