Lithuania chosen as a top destination for Russian startups
Recent years have been extraordinary for Lithuanian startup ecosystem’s development. Despite the growth of rising local startups, the movement of Russian businesses to Lithuania has took over most of the interest and attention of the whole entrepreneurship society. Lithuania proved to be an attractive business environment for a great amount of prominent Russian companies and it surely hasn’t happened by accident.
Last year has been meaningful for a world-leader mobile game publisher Game Insight which moved their HQ from Moscow to Vilnius. Likewise, 15 other gaming companies from Russia and CIS have chosen Vilnius as their base. Such migration of Russian businesses has without doubt made a huge impact on many Russian IT startups looking for investment opportunities and strategically favorable location. Planner 5D, DevtoDev, Kula Tech, Plaq**, 4Talk were among those who relocated to Vilnius and now see it as a perfect spot looking for further business expansion to Western countries. As Alexey Sheremetyev, the co-founder of Planner 5D said,
“It is the first step to the big world”.
Welcoming business environment
One of the main reasons what really makes Lithuania attractive for foreign businesses is definitely it’s welcoming IT environment. Experienced technology experts, readiness for innovations and extremely advanced internet infrastructure outweighs Lithuania among many other European countries.
According to Doing Business, Lithuania is ranked 11th by advantageous conditions for the ease of starting a business and is far ahead it’s neighboring countries in this list. Other favourable conditions include a number of solid funds based in Lithuania that invest in start-ups and technology companies: Practica Capital, Mes Invest — a business angels’ fund, BaltCap and LitCapital. The investments of these industry leaders exceed EUR 100M per year and are constantly growing.
Vilnius is considered to be the most active startup scene, offering more than a hundred events each year, bringing the vibrant startup community together. The city has quite a few co-working places for business starters, including StartupHighway X (SHX) housed at Rupert – a center for art, education and business integration through creative initiatives, and Vilnius Hub – the first coworking and startup acceleration space in Lithuania. Another grand initiative currently in progress is the new Vilnius Tech Park. Vilnius Tech Park is considered to become the major technology hub for startups and other businesses within ICT sector in Lithuania. It is expected that the new technology park will bring both local and international talents from the most booming sectors, such as gaming, big data, cyber security and visual graphics.
Most of the Russian startup community members agree that Lithuania has a lot to offer to current Russian citizens thinking to relocate, especially a new better quality of life. One of the most successful businessmen in international internet business Igor Matsanyuk, who has recently moved to Lithuania, has fondly admitted that
‘Vilnius is a far more comfortable city in terms of its prices and climate’.
Having in mind a mild climate, small city’s advantage of reaching any destination in 20 minutes, no discomfort of language barrier, fresh air and easily and quickly reachable home country – everything makes a life totally different in a good way. Compared to all the rush, traffic jams and pollution in Moscow, Lithuania can offer much more pleasant living conditions. As Ilya Zudin, the co-founder of Plaq**, suggested,
“Come to Vilnius if you don’t want to spend half of your life sitting in your car in a traffic jam.”
He as well added that most of the things happen much faster in Lithuania, considering all the legal matters regarding company’s registration or issuing the residential permission.
“In Russia it takes 10 times more because of high level of bureaucracy. In Lithuania it took only about 1,5 months to get the Blue Card”.
Read the full article in Russian, which originally appeared on Megamozg.ru