The country’s first unicorns, Vinted and Nord Security, as well as other players in the sector Tesonet, Hostinger, Omnisend, and others have donated millions of Euro in aid and continue to participate in fundraising projects.
“Now, when many globally-recognized tech companies are slowing down and laying off employees, we are proud to witness that the Vilnius tech sector is resilient and strong. Not only does it grow steadily and recruit global talents, but it also displays a strong political stance. By donating and fundraising significant amounts, the sector’s representatives have been helping many Ukrainian people for the past year,” said Inga Romanovskienė, director of Go Vilnius, the official tourism and business development agency of Vilnius.
Lithuania has been a resilient supporter of Ukraine since February 24th, 2022, the start of Russia’s unlawful aggression toward Ukraine. The country’s residents and businesses have come together to donate financial and humanitarian support, recruit volunteers to help the Ukrainian refugees, and organize numerous war-aid projects.
The latest country-wide initiative, called Radarom! (Let’s Radar!), collects financial support from residents and businesses to purchase much-needed multifunctional tactical radars that can monitor the airspace around significant objects in Ukraine and protect infrastructure as well as prevent disruption of civilians’ lives. So far, over € 8 Mio have been donated to the cause, and Vilnius TechFusion ecosystem has contributed both financially and by inciting the public to donate more.
Tesonet, a cybersecurity company and business accelerator which has produced the country’s second unicorn Nord Security, boosted the donation process significantly a few weeks ago, adding another € 1 Mio to the same amount donated by the country’s residents.
Many other Vilnius TechFusion players have joined the initiative: Omnisend, an e-commerce email marketing startup, is tripling the funds collected by its employees, Furniture1, an online furniture retailer, and Billo, an app developer, are doubling their employee’s donations; carVertical, a VIN decoder, has donated € 25,000, and Tech Zity, a co-working space, is offering three days of space use for free for every person who donates over € 50. Baldai1, a branch of Furniture1 operating in Lithuania, has also taken the Lithuanian National Selections of Eurovision Song Contest 2023 as an opportunity to add € 100,000 to the record-breaking amount of € 205,455 donated by the national broadcaster’s viewers within 7 minutes of the broadcast.
Year-long aid from tech players
Other Vilnius TechFusion representatives have been relentlessly raising funds, encouraging teams to participate in initiatives, and donating to Ukraine for the entire year. Unicorns.lt, a Lithuanian startup association, has donated over € 1.8 Mio on behalf of the association. The majority of this amount was used for medications and Ukrainian resident evacuation.
Vinted, an e-commerce startup and Lithuania’s first unicorn, reports to have donated € 2 Mio and raised € 1 Mio from its members to support Ukraine.
Baltic Classifieds Group, an online classifieds group, donated € 300,000 at the beginning of the war, Hostinger, a web hosting provider, has donated over € 160,000 throughout all year, and is also contributing to the Radarom initiative by doubling its teams’ donations, while the employees at Frontu, a technician-first service execution software, have donated their quarterly bonuses to aid Ukraine.
As a rapidly growing tech hub, Vilnius has also been continuously helping Ukraine - from organizing protests and rallies against Russia’s invasion to providing accommodations to Ukrainian refugees, helping them enroll at schools, and finding new jobs.