The pulse of Latvian startup scene: Week #1

#StartinLatvia sets up real estate crowdfunding platform, creates ecological air freshener and more.

First real estate crowdfunding platform set up in Latvia

Latvia has its first real estate crowdfunding platform – According to the platform’s head Igors Puntuss, in less than three workweeks raised EUR 60,000 investment for an apartment building on Ernestīnes Street in Riga.

The platform brings together real estate owners and potential investors who are willing to finance a given project and earn profits that exceed interest rates offered by banks. The minimum investment is EUR 50. A number of new, interesting projects will become available on the platform in the near future. launched operations on December 12 last year. The portal belongs to Latvian company LP Private Property.

Latvian startup creates innovative ecological product

Latvian startup SIA Pic-box has begun production of ecological air freshener Re-leaf. The air freshener is made of natural and ecological ingredients, manually collected in Latvian forests near Ķemeri National Park.

The air fresheners are made of manually-collected and dried natural ingredients, not processed in any way to retain their natural appearance and scent.  The main ingredients are pine needles and cones, hay, birch leaves, black currant leaves, and fallow deer droppings. For the scent to last longer, organic essential oils are also added.

Loans worth over EUR 100 million financed through Mintos marketplace

In two years since the peer-to-peer lending marketplace Mintos launched operations, loans worth more than EUR 100 million have been financed through it, improving access to financing to both private individuals as well as small and medium-sized businesses in eight European countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

Month-on-month, loans worth more than EUR 18 million were financed through Mintos in December 2016 – 38% more than the month before when the total amount of loans was EUR 13 million. Compared to December 2015, when loans financed via Mintos amounted to EUR 2.8 million, the amount has increased more than sixfold.

According to the Mintos team’s predictions, the amount of loans financed through Mintos could reach EUR 1 billion in three to five years.

Printful plans to launch production in some of the European countries this year

The Draugiem Group company Printful is planning to open a new production facility in one of the European countries this year.

The new facility is to open in September 2017, but the company is still looking at various locations throughout Europe. At the moment, the company is analyzing shipment opportunities among the European Union countries, taking into consideration shipment costs and speed, said Draugiem Group representative Jānis Palkavnieks.

Last year Draugiem Group opened a new workshop in the United States. Opening the new facility created a number of new jobs, including openings for programmers, and as a result Draugiem Group team increased by 200 persons or 50%. At the moment, Draugiem Group team in Latvia and the United States is made up of 360 experts working in various fields.