20 rocking start-ups from Riga to watch in 2018

4 Jan 2018

Riga and the Latvian flag. Image: Ingus Kruklitis/Shutterstock

The Latvian capital of Riga is a powerhouse of digital innovation.

Even though it has a small population of 1.96m people, Latvia punches way above its weight in terms of technology, and the country is home to more than 300 solid start-ups.

Latvia, which will be marking its centenary this year, has invested heavily in fostering a start-up ecosystem. It recently created a start-up visa for foreign founders, as well as providing more than €60m in public funds for seed- and growth-stage companies, and €12m towards social entrepreneurship.

The Investment and Development Agency of Latvia is also active in facilitating foreign investment while at the same time increasing the competitiveness of Latvian entrepreneurs.

Boasting a multilingual population and a highly talented labour pool, Riga hosts three annual start-up conferences: the Digital Freedom Festival, iNovuss and TechChill.

The thriving scene has the benefit of a community organisation called the Latvian Startup Association, and meet-ups include TechHub Riga and various Labs of Latvia events.

Riga has one of the best-connected airports in the Baltic region with more than 80 direct flights, and Latvia is in the top five internet countries in Europe.

So, here are the start-ups from Riga to watch in 2018.


Aerones is the creator of drones that are capable of transporting heavy cargo. The start-up conducts experiments it claims the world has never seen before, including drones that fight fire accidents, transport cargo in the Austrian Alps and even carry people.

Anatomy Next

Anatomy Next offers a 3D human atlas that boosts learning among medical students and boasts augmented reality (AR) capabilities. Founded by Sandis Kondrats and Uldis Zarins, Anatomy Next has raised €300,000 in funding from the Imprimatur Capital.

Atlas Dynamics

Atlas Dynamics is the creator of a high-end drone platform for professional users. Utilising proprietary technology, the company provides users with valuable data, quickly and safely. Founded by Igor Zhydanov and Ivan Tolchinsky, the start-up has raised $8m in funding so far.


CastPrint is behind creatively designed and 3D-printed casts currently being piloted in hospitals. Founded by Janis Olins, Matijs Babris and Sigvards Krongorns, CastPrint integrates fully into hospital workflow and can save doctors and hospitals time by 15pc on each fracture case.


Cenos develops simulation tools for niche industries to support automation and customisation of R&D, using free, smart numerical algorithms. It connects proven open-source simulation tools into a single, user-friendly platform.


CheeksUp has created an interactive face-motion digital game to empower children with speech and face disabilities. CheeksUp ensures that kids perform regular therapy sessions at home and in-clinic, using gamification techniques that help them stay motivated. It delivers instant biofeedback by monitoring facial muscles and tongue position and movement.

Coffee Pixels

Yep!Long story short – Japan, here we come! ✈️Just got awarded by #fukuoka #startup city as their favorite startup ?in #transferwise pitch competition! Thanks #latitude59 …we ?surprises!

Posted by Coffee Pixels on Friday, May 26, 2017

Coffee Pixels is the creator of a coffee shot in a chocolate-like bar product that uses high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients. Its founders claim it even works better than coffee. The start-up recently won a chance to develop its product in Japan.


Conelum develops rapid microbiological diagnostic tests for the food and drink industry. It claims that its technology is proven to reduce testing time to a total of 30 minutes without any compromise on the results compared with conventional methods. Founded by Anton Adamovitch, Conelum has raised €200,000 in seed funding from Imprimatur Capital.


DigiPulse is behind software that ensures all digital assets-holders and crypto-wallet users have ultimate control over who inherits their assets. Founded in 2017 by Dmitry Dementyev-Dedelis and Normunds Kvilis, DigiPulse has raised $1m in funding so far via an initial coin offer.


A spin-off from the Institute of Electronics and Computer Science, Eventech develops high-precision time devices for the space industry. The start-up has signed a contract with the European Space Agency and will help launch planned lunar lander mission Luna 27 to space.


Edurio is a tech platform that allows educators to continuously monitor school quality and engage with stakeholders, taking in factors such as climate and culture, student perception, evaluations, and needs assessments. Founded by Ernest Jenavs, Edurio has raised €280,000 in seed funding.

Giraffe 360

Giraffe 360 has developed an end-to-end virtual-tour technology, comprising a 360-degree camera and software to make virtual tours scalable and usable for any business. Its technology enables effortless digital space capture for virtual tours, floor plans and wide-angle photography with a simple push of a button. Founded by Mikus Opelts, the company raised €500,000 in investment from a consortium led by Koha Capital.


HackMotion has developed wearable accessories for improving the technique of athletes. The core of the company’s technology is a wearable motion-capture system for sports that analyses every movement of the person wearing it.


Creator of a software capability that helps banks analyse transactions within five seconds, Nordigen specialises in transaction categorisation for better credit assessment. Founded in 2015 by Roberts Bernans and Rolands Mesters, Nordigen has raised €200,000 in seed funding from investors including Change Ventures.


Notakey has developed a secure way to notarise digital transactions and electronic documents, and share identity between services, bringing security to the next level. Founded by Gints Kirsteins, Jaanis Graubins and Jānis Kiršteins, Notakey guarantees that each transaction is legally binding and compliant with PSD2 and GDPR.


Snowision develops automatic, small sensors for projecting 3D maps of snow cover. Founded by Aleksey Korabovsky and Andris Petersons, the start-up uses the remotely operated sensors to collect information about snow characteristics, helping ski resorts save money.


Solfeg.io is transforming music learning by providing an exciting hands-on learning experience for students, playing songs they like together and making it easy to learn the melody, chords and rhythm of a song in real time.


Creator of a software that significantly improves sound quality, Sonarworks is on a mission to redefine the headphone and music delivery industries. Founded by Martins Popelis, the start-up so far has raised €1.8m in funding from investors that include Karma Ventures, FlyCap and Imprimatur Capital.


20 rocking start-ups from Riga to watch in 2018

Image: Vividly

Vividly has created a solution that allows architects and designers to create visually and experientially powerful presentations on the web and virtual reality. The platform is a SaaS solution based on real-time web VR experience – accessible, lightweight and appealing. The company was founded in 2016 by Gunita Kulikovska joined by Alina Dolmate and Aris Semertzidis.


ZoomCharts provides JavaScript data visualisation software for creating interactive interfaces that are fast and visually appealing. Founded by Edgars Smirnovs, Gints Ernestsons, Janis Volbergs and Viesturs Zariņš, the start-up has raised €1m in funding to date.

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John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years