Beholder, AskToSell and GaltTec share the Latitude59 pitching contest million

The pitching competition of the international startup and technology conference Latitude59, which took place in Tallinn, was won by three startups. Ukrainian-founded AI startup Beholder earned the largest investment of €600,000, Lithuania's AskToSell took home €300,000, and Estonian startup GaltTec won €100,000.

In total, Specialist VC and the Estonian Business Angels Network (EstBAN) made an investment of €1 million, which is the largest of its kind in Europe for the second year in a row.

The final, where the five best startups of the competition entered, took place on the main stage of the startup and technology conference Latitude59 in Tallinn's Kultuurikatel on the 24th May. 526 startups from 53 countries applied for the competition.

Technology companies that solve specific problems in such a way that they already have feedback from market participants were invited to the competition. Martin Goroško, one of EstBANI's leading investors, said that the companies that participated in the competition covered a very wide range. "The final included companies from dealing with the inner world of mankind to exploring the interior of our planet. The largest number of companies that reached the final results of the competition were united by AI."

The planet's interior is also being explored by Beholder, which earned the largest investment. "In a sense, it is really the case that there may be an even bigger planet inside our planet. To understand how the landmasses inside our planet are located in the most economical way possible, Beholder, a company founded by Ukrainian founders, has developed a technology that allows the creation of a highly accurate geological atlas of our planet. Such an atlas is needed by all mining companies that want to do their business in an environmentally friendly and efficient way," explained Riivo Anton, partner of Investments Specialist VC.

AskToSell, a startup company of Lithuanian founders that has also received significant investment, is developing artificial intelligence-based sales promotion software, planning to immediately enter a large target market. The founders of AskToSell are supported by previous experience in building and closing a startup, i.e. learning from failure. "The deep science company GaltTec, whose goal is to bring an efficient fuel cell to the market, also received an investment," said Heidi Kakko, also the lead investor of the EstBAN syndicate. "The application of innovative technology to solve big problems allows the science growing from universities to serve society, but it requires patient, long-term supporting and smart capital", added Kakko.

Triin Ilves, head of startup relations at Latitude59, said that the startup community has matured greatly and is no longer afraid to go beyond simple app creation. "Instead, they deliver in new areas, combining artificial intelligence with deep science. The finalists of this year's L59 Pitch Competition illustrate this generation very well, and I am glad that our investors recognise this kind of companies," said Ilves.

When asked what will happen next, Latitude59 CEO Liisi Org said we will meet soon in Asia and Africa. “The closest event of Latitude59 will be held in Kenya again, this time at the end of November, where we are also looking for the best seeds to improve the world. Similarly, we will soon be seen in Asia. The exact location is a bit of a secret still, so be ready for more information soon," Org confided.

Latitude59, which took place for the 12th time in Tallinn, Estonia, was visited by more than 3,500 people, including more than 900 startup representatives and 20 national delegations. Nearly 600 investors participated this year, the size of their managed portfolios totalling at least 30 billion euros. 195 speakers, 40% of whom were women, could be seen on Latitude59’s stages. In total, there were participants from more than 60 different countries worldwide.