The pulse of Latvian startup scene: Week #4

#StartinLatvia looking for investments via Funderbeam platform, makes it to Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list and more.

Most successful Latvian investors in 2016 honored

The most successful investors in Latvia last year were honored at the Investor of the Year 2016 ceremony last week. In the Investment of the Year category for legal entities, the award was presented to the fund management company ZGI Capital for its investment in the Mobility payment system.

In the private investors’ category, the Investment of the Year award went to Anatolijs Prohorovs for his investment in the music and sound technology company Sonarworks. Prohorovs was also singled out as Industry Supporter of the Year, legal entities’ category.

The Investor of the Year award is organized, for the second year in a row, by the Latvian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and Latvian Business Angel Network. This year, the investor awards were handed out in a total of eight nominations.

Sonocase launches equity crowdfunding campaign on Funderbeam

Sonocase, developer of smart connected audio accessory family Ampple, is the first Latvian startup to launch its equity fundraising campaign on Funderbeam, the leading Baltic equity crowdfunding site.

The new capital of EUR 75,000 will be used to finalize prototyping of the first hardware product Ampple for iPad and secure first product orders from major U.S. electronics retailers that already have indicated their interest in rolling the product out into the market.

This round follows last year’s successful campaign of Ampple for iPad on Indiegogo with over 500 units of product pre-ordered.

ALTUM increases financing for projects co-financed by business angels to EUR 3 million

Development finance institutions ALTUM has increased financing available for projects jointly financed by ALTUM and Latvian Business Angles Network to EUR 3 million. This is hoped to draw more private investors to projects being implemented by viable and rapidly-developing startups.

From now on, projects co-financed by business angels will be able to borrow up to EUR 150,000, compared to EUR 50,000 now, under support programs run by ALTUM. In manufacturing, the maximum loan amount will be EUR 250,000, provided that at least two business angels support the given project.

The ALTUM project has been extended until April 1, 2018, and the maximum loan repayment period to eight years.

Printful buys domain name for USD 100,000

Draugiem Group company Printful is taking a number of measures to build brand awareness: the company’s name has been changed from Idea Bits LLC. to Printful Inc., the company has chosen to register in Delaware, and bought a new domain name, going from to, in a transaction that cost USD 100,000.

“Incorporating Printful is a step toward our goal of going public in the U.S. stock exchange by 2020 and will help us raise investment capital. We decided to change our domain to better build our brand – we’re Printful, not The Printful, and our domain name needs to reflect that,” says Dāvis Siksnāns, CEO of Printful.

Infogram co-founder Alise Semjonova included in Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list

Alise Semjonova, the co-founder and UX designer of Infogram – the popular data visualization tool that helps people create charts, infographics, maps and reports – has been named in the prestigious Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list, media category.

The other nominees from Latvia are basketball player Kristaps Porziņģis and Sabīne Pole, co-founder of Latvian startup Sorry as a Service.