April 2, 2024

The Baltics’ fastest-growing startup teams

Startups and scaleups across Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have grown in employee headcount despite the economic odds — here's how

Zosia Wanat

4 min read

The tiny Baltic states are well known for punching well above their weight in the global startup race. There’s Estonia — the home of Skype, Wise and Bolt — which has traditionally taken top spot in Europe when it comes to the number of startups per capita. But two of its neighbours, Lithuania and Latvia, are quickly catching up, making the whole region an interesting target for international investors.  

In 2023, Baltics startups raised $517m, according to Dealroom; a 70% decrease from 2022 as the region, like every other corner of Europe, has been facing economic recession and high inflation rates. 

But that hasn’t stopped local startups from growing. Well-established scaleups, such as second-hand fashion marketplace Vinted and mobility giant Bolt, and relative newcomers, such as car parts marketplace Ovoko and solar plants designer PVCase, have grown despite the economic odds.    


Below we list the fastest-growing startup teams in the Baltics over the past 12 months, based on headcount data from Dealroom. All the companies featured were founded after 2005, have raised $20m or more and had at least 10 employees a year ago.


HQ city: Vilnius.

Founded: 2018.

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 61% to 255 employees.

PVCase is a one-stop shop for the engineering processes needed to design a solar plant. It’s built a software tool that makes designing and assessing solar power plants — think big fields full of glossy black panels — easier and faster. In 2023, the startup raised a $100m Series B from investors such as Highland Europe, Energize and Elephant. 


HQ city: Vilnius.

Founded: 2016.

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 38% to 152 employees.

Ovoko is an online marketplace for used car parts. It offers shipping across Europe and a 14-day money-back guarantee. It has teams in Lithuania, Poland, Latvia and Ukraine. In total, it’s raised $21.2m from VCs like Practica Capital and Piton Capital, according to Dealroom.  


HQ city: Tallinn.

Founded: 2011.

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 33% to 56 employees.

Elcogen is a manufacturer of clean energy technology that delivers affordable green hydrogen and emission-free electricity. It develops and manufactures solid oxide electrolyser cells which are used to produce green hydrogen, and solid oxide fuel cells which convert hydrogen into electricity. The startup received funding from the European Innovation Council and UK-based HydrogenOne Capital Growth.


HQ city: Riga.

Founded: 2015.

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 24% to 220 employees.

Aerones has designed a set of robots that help with wind turbine blade maintenance. They can perform tasks such as lightning conductivity testing, drainage hole cleaning, inspection, cleaning, painting and repair. Last year, Aerones raised $30m in growth capital from Lightrock and Haniel, alongside other existing investors. 


HQ city: Vilnius.

Founded: 2008.

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 22% to 2304 employees.

Vinted is Europe’s largest online marketplace for second-hand fashion and operates in 19 markets across Europe and North America. It’s backed by some of the world’s leading VC firms, including Accel, Lightspeed, EQT and Insight Partners and has raised a total of $532m with a €3.5bn valuation. In an interview with Sifted, its CEO said the company is “technically IPO ready” — but he will not push for the listing unless the market conditions are right. 

Skeleton Technologies 

HQ city: Tallinn. 

Founded: 2009.

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 13% to 238 employees.

One of Europe’s best-financed deeptech startups, Skeleton Technologies uses its patented raw material, curved graphene to produce tools such as supercapacitors and superbatteries. Supercapacitors provide a burst of energy for a short amount of time — often just a few minutes — and can be used to power trams or industrial machinery, sometimes in combination with batteries. The company raised €108m in debt and equity in 2023, and a €38m Series D from an Estonian entrepreneur Taavet Hinrikus a year before. It’s valued at $238—356m, according to Dealroom.  

Nord Security 

HQ city: Vilnius.

Founded: 2012.

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 13% to 1436 employees.

Nord Security is one of the world's leading providers of digital security and privacy solutions for businesses and individuals; the VPN service NordVPN is its best-known product. For years, the startup grew organically. It only raised its first funding round, of $100m, in 2022, topped by another $100m in the following year. The company is valued at $3bn. 

Ready Player Me 

HQ city: Tallinn.

Founded: 2014. 

Headcount growth over the last 12 months: 7% to 79 employees.

Ready Player Me provides its clientele — gamers, live streamers and other internet users — with an easy-to-integrate tool that helps them design highly personalised avatars. In 2022, the startup raised a $56m Series B from Andreessen Horowitz and the cofounders of King, among others.

previous version of this article stated that Bolt was among the Baltics’ fastest-growing startups.


Zosia Wanat

Zosia Wanat is a senior reporter at Sifted. She covers the CEE region and policy. Follow her on X and LinkedIn