The text is prepared together with “Walk15” team
The company “Walk15”, established in Lithuania in July 2019, which administrates the walking application “#walk15”, started the new year by attracting almost 270,000 euros in investment. The start-up, founded by Vlada Musvydaitė-Vilčiauskė, attracted the interest of well-known Lithuanian business angels such as Vladas Lašas, Arminta Saladžienė, Donatas Dailidė and chairman of Latvian Business Angels Association board “LatBAN” Helmuts Lejnieks, who decided to make an investment in record 45 minutes.
The “Walk15” team has provided organizations with innovative step challenges’ – a solution to take care of not only their employees’ health but also of the environment they spend their time in. The start-up with more than 260k users allows companies to engage their employees and target audience in health and sustainability topics through walking. Over the past year, more than 400 international companies not only in Lithuania but also around the world have used this solution.
“First, we grew up as a team. Over the past year, we have established international cooperation, gained strong strategic partners, started expansion in Denmark, and with this investment, we will seek to strengthen our product and sales teams. Over the next six months we will strive to find an investment fund that will help us grow in the field of sustainability,” says Vlada Musvydaitė-Vilčiauskė, the CEO and founder of the app.
The value of the “Walk15” has increased five times
After establishing strong strategic partnerships with international brands and implementing unique projects in the global context, the value of UAB “Walk15” has increased five times since its beginning and today reaches 5 million euros.
V. Lašas, an entrepreneur and chairman of the board of the Lithuanian Business Angel network LitBAN says the vision of the company is clear. “The start-up’s motto “Worth a walk” is very simple, but it reflects our challenges today: living in the midst of technology means less movement. Although we all know that only by being active will we remain healthy, there is usually not enough time. I was fascinated by the startup’s phenomenal ability to invite and motivate thousands of people of all ages and attitudes to take time for walks.”
According to V. Lašas, one of the main reasons for the rapid growth of “Walk15” is the discovery of a formula for reconciling the social idea with the business aspirations.
“The start-up’s team has a big load of energy and enthusiasm. From a social initiative, they have been able to create a sustainable, revenue-generating business. Today, “#walk15” is already entering wider markets outside Lithuania. I am convinced that this is just a start, and I am very happy to join the team as a business angel and to be able to help this start-up grow,” says the Chairman of the Board of LitBAN.
The fastest investment – in 45 minutes
Helmuts Lejnieks, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Business Angels Association LatBAN, decided to invest within 45 minutes. According to H. Lejnieks himself, this is the fastest decision to invest he has ever made. The potential of the start-up, the determined and motivated team, and the value created by the product helped him decide.
“This start-up solves a very important problem – it encourages you to engage in activities that help you take care of your health. I am convinced that in the future, this project can be a great success and expand not only in Europe but also beyond its borders,” says the Chairman of the Board of LatBAN.
V. Musvydaitė-Vilčiauskė also notes the importance of the startup when it comes to climate change: “in order to contribute to climate change mitigation, we need to start by changing our habits. We want to encourage people to walk more and use cars less. In this context, we are pleased that the “Katalista Ventures” Investment Fund is advising us on sustainability issues.”
Together with its partners, “Walk15” aims to educate about health and sustainability. In the stores of the “IKI” retail chain, the steps can be exchanged into discounts for fruits and vegetables, and together with the partner ERGO, the world’s first step oak grove was planted in October.