Originally from Lithuania, Kipras will be playing an active role on the investor team until the summer and will be helping with sourcing and evaluating deals, conducting industry analyses, and assisting our portfolio companies. His main target, however, is to find the next Baltic unicorn.
Kipras’ guiding proverb has always been that satisfaction with the status quo will never lead to growth. Embracing the unknown and channeling his search for adventure, therefore, led him to become an entrepreneur at the young age of 17 when he co-founded a Chinese social commerce platform in his boarding school dormitory.
“Spending time with many close friends at school from China taught me a lot about their startup scene and e-commerce industry. I quickly understood that there was potential here and I knew I needed to be in the center of all its creativity and action! So, I built a team that was familiar with the market and we started to develop our product.”
Kipras and his co-founders raised $650,000 in pre-seed funding from private companies that wanted to diversify into e-commerce and to have a presence in the Chinese market. Together, they managed to develop an innovative product utilizing AI and ML technologies.
“Unfortunately, we had to fold in 2019, but it was hands down the most extraordinary learning experience I’ve ever had. I had also started my bachelor’s at the London School of Economics during this time and the combination of learning hard theory and then implementing that into our business was priceless.”
During the second half of his degree, Kipras became involved with a content-to-commerce wine retailer — Elicité where he assisted in developing the company’s business model, product, and operations. In late 2019, Elicité was recognized by Forbes as one of the best online wine retailers in the United Kingdom.
Following graduation, Kipras was accepted into Yale University but made the decision to defer until September 2021 due to Covid-19. In the meantime, he was eager to keep learning — this time about the world of VC.
“When we were raising our seed round, we encountered many investors and something that stuck with me was their lack of an entrepreneurial drive. We had a hard time selling our vision for the future when they were more interested in the metrics and traction. This experience made me want to delve into VC and see if I could better connect, and identify, with visionaries who are looking for funding at a stage where there’s limited traction. byFounders’s ‘founder-first’ mentality made it feel like a perfect fit.”
Whilst Kipras grew up in the United Kingdom, his bond to Lithuania is still strong and he feels a sense of responsibility for adding value to their booming startup ecosystem — something he wishes to do by helping establish a stronger presence of byFounders and hopefully finding some great investment opportunities.
Kipras primary industry interest lies in thinking more long-term and identifying the key drivers that are changing the world. In particular, as we might be reaching the end of the ‘smartphone era’, what the next stage of computing will look like. We’re interested to find out!
If you wish to get in touch regarding any of the above or have a great startup idea, you can reach Kipras at firstname.lastname@example.org.