The pulse of Latvian startup scene: Week #5

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Suite Story launches in London, founder of announces a new startup, best investments of the year announced and more. Relive Week #5 with us: 

Suite Story launches in London

Three weeks back, Latvian AirBNB for luxury apartments Suite Story launched in New York. From February the service is also available in London. Founded by Dmitrii Beliakov from Latvia, Suite Story is changing the way discerning travelers search and discover luxury suites. Powered by a machine learning algorithm and high-quality content, SuiteStory curates a bespoke booking experience for savvy travelers looking to book more than just a standard room.

The startup is now raising funding and plans to launch in another 19 cities in 2016.

Find out more about the launch in London here. Explore Suite Story here

Founder of announces a new startup

One of Latvia's first startups, co-founder of and TechHub Riga coworking space Ernests Stals has called it quits for and launched a new startup. Drawing on experience acquired at and with the team he gathered, Ernests expects the new venture to be better thought-through. 

While working on, we noticed that e-commerce analytics process is still very labor-intensive, even where it shouldn't be. Drawing on our intimate experience with e-commerce data, we have - a solution that tracks hundreds of data points and picks up patterns and trends for e-retailers.

-Ernests Stals

Read 5 main learnings from failure by Ernests first-hand here. Check out his new startup here. 

Best investments of the year announced

Latvian Venture Capital Association (LVCA) and Latvian Business Angel Network (LatBAN) hosted the first "Year's investor" ceremony in Latvia this week. Main titles were won by these investments/investors:

1. Investment of the year was given to the best drone of CES AirDog and their investors FlyCap, Imprimatur Capital and Expansion Capital

2. Rising star was given to Jobbatical and their private investor Janis Rancans (one of LatBAN members). 

3. Financial consultant of the year was awarded to Porta Finance, noting their successful €23 million Mogo mezzanine financing deal. 

4. Legal consultant of the year was awarded to COBALT for several notable acquisition deals, including the sale of Rigas Piensaimnieks.

5. Exit of the year was given to sale ofCommercialization Reactor alumni Naco Technologies to German Schaeffler Group and corresponding investors: Imprimatur Capital , ZGI Capital and Proks Capital

Find out more here (in Latvian).

Google will now also support TechHub Riga 

This week TechCrunch reported that TechHub HQ inUK will expand its partnership with Google and Google for Entrepreneurs program to its three other locations: Latvia, Romania and India. Google has been a TechHub sponsor since 2010 — it teamed up with the organization to open its Campus London facility in 2012 — and now the relationship is extending beyond the UK, Poland and Spain to bring benefits to other TechHub members worldwide.

TechHub members in India (Bangalore), Latvia and Romania now have access to a range of resources offered by Google for Entrepreneurs: including its network of mentors, international demo days, exchange programs, and Google Cloud Platform credit for startups that quality.

Read the full story here

BitFury supports women in Afghanistan learning to code

World's most funded Bitcoin mining infrastructure provider BitFury, co-founded by Valery Vavilov from Riga is supporting women of Afghanistan in overcoming location, gender and religion stereotypes about coding. Code to Inspire event this week gathered tens of participants, sparking interest in more learning and joining the digital economy workforce.