Business news from Ukraine


In 2021, Ukrainian startups attracted venture investments in 216 transactions for a record amount of $779.6 million, which is 46% more than in 2020, these are the results of the annual study Ukraine Deal Review 2021, conducted by the Ukrainian Association of Venture and Private Capital UVCA in partnership with Kreston Ukraine, AVentures and ISE Corporate Accelerator.
“For the first time I will say this figure – $2.8 billion over 8 years, of which $780 million last year was a total investment in the Ukrainian ecosystem, which was invested by foreigners,” Andriy Kolodyuk, head of the UVCA Supervisory Board, commented on these results to Interfax-Ukraine. .
As in the previous period, about half of the deals (47%) came from the Ukrainian Startup Fund (USF). Investments attributed to private equity amounted to $82.8 million, while only agreements with a declared amount were calculated.
UVCA added that in 2021 the Ukrainian venture capital market was replenished with six new players: GEEK Ventures, SID Venture Partners, ZAS Ventures, ANCHOR, PAWA. They offer Ukrainian startups financing at the level of $0.5 million, as well as their experience and expertise. In addition, last year 19 large international companies opened their R&D centers, offices and engineering hubs in Ukraine.
“But the most important thing that happened in the first quarter of 2022 was 11 transactions and 8 exits. It is very important for the ecosystem that transactions continue. Despite large-scale Russian aggression, the development of private technology investment markets has not stopped,” Kolodyuk emphasized.
According to the report, according to the results of January-March 2022, 11 venture agreements were concluded for the amount of $11.5 million, three transactions in the private capital market for the amount of $4 million, and eight exits were made for the amount of $135 million. Over the past year, UVCA estimated the total cost of the exit at $944 .7 million
According to the study, the total valuation of Ukrainian startups before the war was $20.7 billion.

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An influential official and businessman from Saudi Arabia, Abdulrahman Alolaya, arrived in Ukraine on an unofficial business visit.

He is the CEO of the TaibahVally investment campaign and one of the leaders of the national investment program “Saudi Vision 2030”, which is looking for the most profitable and innovative areas for investment. The Sovereign Wealth Fund of Saudi Arabia, which finances the program, is one of the largest investment funds in the world.

The meeting took place at the Ministry of Digital Transformation. The guest was told about the developments in the field of digital state. Alexander Bornyakov, Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation for IT Development, promised to provide a list of the most successful Ukrainian startups and promote cooperation in every possible way.

“Ukraine is very interesting for us, because it has a lot of experience in modern technologies, there are highly qualified personnel and interesting startups. At the same time, the investment market is in the early stages of development and this is a good period for investing,” said Abdulrahman Alolaya.

Abdulrahman Alolaya also visited the offices of several Ukrainian technology companies, including UNITCity.

“Ukraine has a large number of interesting IT services. However, the weak marketing of these services to the Arab market leads to the fact that they do not know about it. We want to fix it,” said Ukrainian businessman Oleksandr Chechuga. He and his partners invited an Arab investor to Ukraine. Dmitry Buravel and Alexander Chechuga are co-owners of the Ukrainian company BlockHunter, which work with block chain technologies, develops electricity storage systems; Roman Movchan is the owner and CEO of PrimeBerry, one of the largest producers and exporters of berries. These companies have already managed to enter the Saudi market and are ready to help other Ukrainian startups.

More guests from Saudi Arabia were interested in Ukrainian developments in the fields of education, block chain and digital government services.

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The competition committee of the Ukrainian Startup Fund according to the results of the 13th Pitch Day has defined three more startups, which will be considered by the supervisory board and approved for a grant of $50,000, the press service of the fund reports on Facebook.
In total, ten projects took part in the pitching, of which three projects at the seed stage became the winners, scoring 15 points or more:
– a platform that allows hospitality companies to automate voice communications with clients using the artificial intelligence (20.7 points);
– the Esper Bionics startup, developing the next generation of hand prostheses and a cloud platform as a service that teaches prostheses the user’s habits, improving management (20 points);
– the online application for organic development and monetization of social media profiles IGnation (15.3 points).
The funds will be transferred after the relevant decision of the fund’s supervisory board.
In general, as of October 2020, there are 2,178 applications.
The Ukrainian Startup Fund is a state fund established at the initiative of the Cabinet of Ministers. Its purpose is to provide financing to technology companies in the early stages of development (pre-seed and seed).

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The Ministry of Digital Transformation has selected 15 technology startups that will represent Ukraine at Startup Grind Global 2020, the tenth global conference of entrepreneurs and investors in Silicon Valley. According to the organizers, the results of the competition have demonstrated great potential for the development of Ukraine as a technological IT center.
“The competition made it possible to select the most interesting and promising Ukrainian startups. The experience of the Competitive Economy of Ukraine [CEU] program in supporting Ukrainian startups in global technological events testifies to the interest of foreign investors in the products of Ukrainian startups,”, USAID CEU Program Deputy Chief Olesya Zaluska told reporters during a pitch in Kyiv last week.
Following the results of the competition, a list of startups-finalists who will be included in the Ukrainian delegation was compiled:
1. Let`s Enhance – Improving Image Quality with Machine Learning;
2. – A multi-channel sales platform that automates contacts using emails, calls and tasks;
3. Legal Nodes – A global marketplace for the technology business, with the help of which the founder or legal adviser of a technology company can contact a lawyer that is most relevant to legal needs and financial capabilities;
4. Poptop – The leading marketplace for booking performers of various kinds and locations for events in real time;
5. Delfast – Electric bicycles;
6. Animal ID – Service for the identification of animals;
7. Kray Technology – A drone that helps to increase crop yields and reduce the amount of fertilizer in the agricultural sector;
8. Costless – A personal shopping assistant who helps to make smart decisions, saving money, time and energy. It provides agencies, brands and retailers with real-time analytics, forecasts of changes in prices and volumes of consumption, information on consumer behavior;
9. AxDraft – Helps to draw up legal documents 10 times faster, avoiding mistakes and increasing the efficiency of the legal department by 25%, delegating part of the legal work to “non-lawyers” without risks;
10. Effa – An environment-friendly toothbrush made of paper and environmentally friendly materials as a “green” alternative to disposable plastic brushes;
11. Pix – A backpack with support for animation;
12. Nuka – Creates a convenient way to record. The first product is a waterproof perpetual notebook with the ability to clean sheets. It can be fully synchronized with the nuka mobile application. The second product is an eternal pencil;
13. CamTouch – A complex that allows you to turn any flat surface into an interactive one and control it using a laser pointer or a special stylus;
14. ActiveChat – A service for creating virtual assistants;
15. ADAM – 3D bioprinting of organic bone structures.
Startups-winners will receive the right to participate in the conference in the United States, own exhibition booth, promos, PR support from the organizers and reimbursement of financial costs for logistics.
More than 160 Ukrainian startups fought for the right to participate in the conference, of which 25 applicants were selected who presented their products to the jury during the Open Call Pitch Event in Kyiv in the evening on December 19.
“Of the 160 applications received, more than 50 startups are ready to attract foreign investment and bring their products to new markets,” Startup Grind Kyiv Chapter Director Kateryna Dehtyar said.
According to Startup Grind Kyiv Chapter Co-Director Hannah Zenn, Ukrainian startups that are on the delegate list have great potential to attract Seed and A-round investments, find customers among U.S. companies such as Facebook, Deloitte, Target, BMW, CISCO, as well as partners for further growth.
The competition was held jointly with Startup Grind Kyiv (the official representative of the Startup Grind international startup ecosystem) with the support of the USAID CEU Program.

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Eight Ukrainians startups are representing Ukraine at one of the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in 2019, which is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, the press service of the Ukrainian embassy in the United States has said.
“Ukraine is represented by its own technology stage Ukraine Tech Pavilion at one of the world’s largest consumer electronics exhibition Consumer Electronics Show 2019, which is taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada, from January 8 to 11,” the embassy said in a statement.
The startups are presenting various ideas and developments from modular lighting of photo studios to a food 3D printer, according to the statement.
“The participation of the Ukrainian companies in such a large-scale event as CES 2019 demonstrates the importance of developing the innovative vector in Ukraine’s cooperation with the United States and the interest of potential investors in Ukrainian ideas,” the embassy said.

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U.Ventures investment fund, founded by Western NIS Enterprise Fund, has invested $1.15 million in Ukraine’s startups YouTeam, 3DLook and Pufetto, the fund has said. “Ukraine has prominent product companies and startups that make revolutionary products and are highly competitive on a global market, and YouTeam, 3DLook, and Pufetto are dazzling examples of this. We are very pleased to invest in these startups and are convinced that they have a great potential to become leaders in its segments not only in Ukraine but worldwide,” President and CEO of Western NIS Enterprise Fund Jaroslawa Z. Johnson said.
3DLook, founded by Vadym Rohovsky, a serial entrepreneur from Odesa (the co-founder of the Clickky startup), in 2016, is an innovative solution for apparel retail and e-commerce that uses proprietary body measuring technology to make a perfect size and fit recommendations to consumers.
YouTeam, founded in Lviv in 2014, is a marketplace for hiring tech talent from software development firms.
Pufetto is a Ukrainian furniture manufacturer and e-commerce player that enables customers to customize its furniture (sofas, armchairs, beds) through its online platform and have it delivered to door within three of four weeks. Pufetto sells furniture through the proprietary online platform, as well as via show rooms in Ukraine and Germany.
Attracted investments will help startups to improve their products, hire new people and expand to new markets.

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