Startup investing in Lithuania has grown significantly in the last few years, with great examples from the ecosystem raising impressive amounts from local and foreign investors to build and scale their businesses.
Lately, we have seen the emergence of a new breed of startups - impact startups tackling global sustainability challenges such as urban infrastructure, circular economy, conscious consumption, clean energy, sustainable farming, and more. These startups have brought new metrics for investors to look at - their impact on People and the Planet.
As they gain more interest in Lithuania, there is a need to shed some light on the investment model for such startups, how they measure and communicate their impact, and how that impact is scaled with the help of investment.
Aiming to shed some light on the investment model in such startups, we held a fireside chat on November 18, 2021, to share the investment story of #Walk15, a Lithuanian startup bringing about a positive impact on people’s health and wellbeing. Vlada Musvydaite, the CEO and co-founder of #Walk15, and Klaudija Budreikaitė, associate at 70Ventures shared how the investment has made a difference, how the startup measures their impact, as well as what is the motivation and interest from investors to back social enterprises.
Our fireside chat guests:
Vlada Musvydaitė, CEO & Co-founder at Walk15
#walk15 is a useful steps app for health, sustainability, and ecology. The goal of #walk15 is simple - we motivate people to walk every day. We believe that engaging in fun competition is the best motivation to stay active and positive. The app is designed to suit the needs of small, medium and big companies.
Klaudija Budreikaitė, Associate at 70Ventures
70V is a revenue accelerator for B2B startups providing seamless funding (from pre-seed to series A) based on revenue milestones. Our acceleration program helps founders to build and scale in-house specialized sales team to fuel a predictable revenue engine!
Key insights from the event:
1. Impact investing was not a core type of investment for 70V. However, #walk15 was a good market opportunity with an intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return. With time, such investments are increasingly growing for 70V.
2. Vlada Musvydaitė | #walk15 shared how they approached 70V, simply by asking them to take a 10-kilometer walk. That was a useful learning point for investors to understand the business model of the organisation.
3. Klaudija Budreikaitė | 70V shared three main criteria that 70V pay attention to before investing in a startup:
Team experience is as equally important as the strong motivation of founders to overcome any obstacles that may appear.
A solid business plan that demonstrates to investors not only the positive impact but also the financial returns for investors. In #Walk15 case, they found a way to develop a sustainable business model that could show strong financial results.
A market opportunity - a large, addressable market the business intends to tackle. While impact was not an initial criterion for 70V, due to the growing sustainability demand, it was important to be at the right time to invest.
4. Having a clear WHY - a strong purpose - was crucial for #Walk15, and it should be the essential starting point of any impact-driven enterprise. Currently, their business model covers three sustainability pillars:
People: increase physical fitness and employees engagement through step challenges for companies
Planet: reduce carbon emissions by avoiding food miles and planting virtual trees
Profit: collected steps in the #Walk15 wallet can be exchanged for discounts from their partners.
This event was brought by Social Finance Lithuania, a European Commission-backed knowledge hub aiming to contribute to the development of the social finance market in Lithuania.
Learn more about Social Finance Lithuania here: https://www.socialfinance.lt/
Watch the video below to learn more about the impact and the investment potential of social enterprises.