March 4, 2024

Lithuania is vying to become one of Europe’s major tech hubs, fueled by a growing number of so-called “unicorn” startups and government efforts to lure high-profile accelerators to the country. Meanwhile, a new €100 million private initiative announced today is setting out to create Europe’s largest technology park in the heart of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.

The building is located on the site of a former Soviet-era sewing factory in the city’s New Town, city ​​of technologyExpected to open in 2024, the project features office space for 5,000 employees, an auditorium for meetings and events, and more. Additionally, a core selling point will be its focus on hybrid working, with a 24/7 ethos supported by co-living spaces, restaurants and bars for after-get off work socializing.

At 55,000 square meters (592,015 square feet), Tech Zity is nearly two-thirds larger than Paris’ Station F, which opened in 2017.

Zity raincoat

Lithuania hasn’t always been on the radar of mainstream tech startups, but there has been some notable activity there over the past few years.used clothes market Wen TedFor example, it made it to the unicorn ranks back in 2019, raising about $562 million at a $4.5 billion valuation from investors including Accel, Insight Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

Then Nord Security NordVPN is making a name for itselfThe company was valued at $1.6 billion last year after its first institutional funding round from private equity firm Novator, venture capital firm General Catalyst and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg, among others. Elsewhere, Kevin, a Vilnius-based start-up fintech, raised $65 million in Series A funding last year from big-name backers including Accel.

To take advantage of this, the Lithuanian Ministry of Economy and Innovation Announcement of a public tender for €13 million It attracted “internationally renowned startup accelerators” to the country back in March. So now seems like the perfect time for the private sector to take responsibility and build what Tech Zity is touting as an “infrastructure-first” campus, complete with all the amenities a tech company could possibly need.

Funding for the Tech Zity project comes from several sources. Of the planned €100 million needed to complete the project, around €30 million has been committed so far, with Vinted co-founder and COO Mantas Mikuckas contributing around 80% and Tech Zity founder Darius Žakaitis contributing the rest. This “principal” phase involves buying land and buildings and laying the groundwork for the rebuilding needed to transform the site. For the next phase, Tech Zity is seeking to raise an additional €70 million from various sources including banks and private investors.

“Our main goal is to foster the startup community,” Zakatis explained to TechCrunch. “Currently, the community is scattered in different places. Startups and tech companies highly value the opportunity to come together and exchange knowledge and experience. Most of them have gone through similar stages and faced similar challenges and problems, such as Growth hacking and bootstrapping on a limited budget, entering larger markets, leveraging AI capabilities, attracting investment and growth funding, etc. The best answers to these questions can come from those who have already traveled this path and built successful startups people.”

Notably, the “Tech Zity” brand already exists, as it is the name of the overarching real estate company behind the project, which has launched four smaller centers in and around the Lithuanian capital.These include Science and Technology ParkConverted from a general hospital in 2016, it is now home to several businesses including Google’s main regional center; tech loftmainly for seed-stage startups; technology arta hybrid coworking and event space; and Tech Spaa work-resort intersection about an hour’s drive from Vilnius.

Tech Zity’s four existing locations total approximately 20,000sqm, meaning that with the opening of its eponymous flagship campus next year, Tech Zity’s footprint in the area will reach 75,000sqm.

“Silicon Valley of Lithuania”

The Tech Zity Vilnius site is less than 2 miles from the city center and a 10-minute walk from Vinted headquarters and Nord Security, which recently moved into new headquarters in New Town. digital city complicated. At first glance, the two initiatives may seem very similar, but Cyber ​​City seems to be centered Mainly around Lithuanian incubators and accelerator affiliates Tersonettewhich assisted delivery Nord and Surfshark etc. merged last year,besides As a startup, for example Oxylabs and CyberCare.

“We’re not competing,” Zakatis said. “Instead, we will collaborate to make this part of Vilnius the Silicon Valley of Thuania.”

Technology City: Vilnius

Technology City: Vilnius Image Source: Google Map

Tech Zity's new 3D website

Tech Zity’s new 3D website Image Source: City of Technology

Tech Zity will be built on a former industrial site spanning three adjacent streets.

Tech Zity Vilnius site as it is now, before construction

Drone perspective: what the Tech Zity Vilnius site looks like today Image Source: City of Technology

One of the main goals during the renovation process was to upcycle most of the original materials on site, including repurposing old sewing machine parts from chairs and phone booths, repurposing old ventilation systems from conference room tables, and fitting out a new kitchen.

today's sewing factory

today’s sewing factory Image Source: City of Technology

Tech Zity: Artistic Impressions

Tech Zity: Artist Impressions Image Source: City of Technology

As for living space, Tech Zity Vilnius’ current plan is to build 70 to 80 co-living loft spaces above the offices.

“The lofts will be designed for both short-term and long-term rentals, as we see demand for this type of accommodation,” Zakatis said. “They will not only meet the needs of the companies that host guests in the project, but also contribute to the dynamism of the project 24/7. In addition, we plan to provide various services for employees and residents, such as sports clubs, beauty services, restaurants, etc. “

While startups will be Tech Zity’s primary target market, its ultimate target market is everyone, from individual freelancers who can work in cafes or other shared workspaces, to companies with 5 to 300 employees.

“We estimate that 18,000 employees are currently working in Lithuania’s startup ecosystem,” Zakatis said. “Our goal is to have a diverse audience, foster connections within the Lithuanian startup ecosystem and drive the creation of new products. We are open to discussions not only with local companies, but also with international companies interested in establishing a business in Vilnius through The company discusses: Invest in Lithuania Planned or invited by the Bank of Lithuania, especially in the field of fintech. “