Rytis Vitkauskas

“Building my own company taught me to viscerally appreciate what entrepreneurs are going through, the real emotional ups and downs, and the importance of strong board dynamics.”

Based in the U.K., Rytis joined Lightspeed in 2019 to help build out the firm’s European presence and global platform alongside partners in India, Israel and China. He’s been part of the European tech scene as either entrepreneur, venture or angel investor for over a dozen years. And he learned his entrepreneurial lessons early in life; at age 14, he started his first company, a white box PC assembly business.

Later on, after his studies as a proud first ever Lithuanian at Harvard Business School, Rytis joined Summit Partners to invest in the leading tech companies in Europe, backing the likes of Avast (LST:AVST) and Acturis. After a while, he left VC to start another business, a mobile ticketing software company called YPlan, which raised capital from some of the top VCs globally and ultimately was acquired by the leading lifestyle media group, Time Out Group (AIM:TMO). After a short sabbatical, Rytis found himself back as a VC, eventually teaming up with Lightspeed.

With two of the five biggest global IPOs in 2018 coming from Europe, it is clear that the European tech scene has matured enormously in the last decade. “Now more than ever, founders have global ambitions and a broader context of cultural and social acceptance for being entrepreneurs,” said Rytis. “It’s an excellent time to build generational companies in Europe.”

Rytis was born in Lithuania, went to college in Germany, did his MBA in the US, and in the last 10 years has lived in the U.K., France and Singapore. He prides himself on being a true global citizen. When Rytis isn’t exploring the world or helping one of his entrepreneurs to secure that next hire or client, then chances are he’s helping his toddler son build something unexpected out of LEGOs.