The pulse of Latvian startup scene: Week #26

#StartinLatvia crowdfunding campaign for iPad stereo speaker case a success, bicycle traffic count commences in Ogre and more.

Ampple’s crowdfunding campaign a success

A crowdfunding campaign for Ampple, a Latvia-designed iPad case that produces premium HD sound, has concluded successfully on Indiegogo. The product was able to attract USD 51,310 worth of financing, which was 102 percent of the desired sum.

As one of the company’s co-founders Viesturs Sosārs explains, the campaign itself was quite a tough one due to various aspects, and the final outcome was hard to predict. However, he added that solutions were identified during the campaign to attract the interest of investors. The company now plans on manufacturing the first series of Ampple sound systems, so that the device can be shipped to customers as soon as possible, as well as utilizing its seed capital for attracting further investments.

“We really hope that our clients get their devices by Christmas, while Ampple is expected to go on retail sale sometime next February,” Sosārs said, adding that meeting these dates would surely be a challenge for the company.

Memorandum of understanding signed to integrate ride-sharing services into Latvia's economic model

The Economics Ministry has signed a memorandum of understanding with Taxify and Uber, which will serve as a foundation for including ride-sharing services in Latvia’s transportation services market and legalizing them with the necessary legislation.

The head of the ride-sharing service Uber in the Baltics Enn Metsar told members of the press that it was hard to predict when the company would be able to enter the Latvian market. When the legislation in Latvia is in place for ride-sharing services to operate in the country, Uber would like to begin operations here, said Metsar.

Latvia’s first bike counter with display set up in Ogre

Latvia’s first bicycle flow counter with a display, commissioned by Ogre Town Council, has been set up at the new Ogre-Ciempue bikeway by the startup KleinTech Services. The counter will not only provide precise data about the efficiency of cycling infrastructure and cycling flows, but also inform every given cyclist about the number of cyclists who have been there on a particular day, month, or year.

Liepāja teenager sets up company that draws global attention

Elviss Straupenieks graduated from Rainis 6th High School in Liepāja this year, but unlike other graduates, he is just 17 years old and already running his own business – Elviss is the founder, owner, and head of the AirBoard startup. AirBoard is the world’s smallest manned aircraft. “It’s like a flying Segway. That is, it is a board with eight propellers fitted to the sides the board, and it moves in reaction to shifts in the rider’s weight,” the young man tells weekly newspaper Kursas Laiks.

AirBoard models are currently being actively tested, and the main objective of the project is to create an environment-friendly, convenient, and easy to use vehicle, which will also help solve the problem of traffic jams.