Business news from Ukraine

STARTUP FROM UKRAINE RAISES $90 MLN OF INVESTMENT

IT company with Ukrainian roots Grammarly has raised a $90 million investment led by General Catalyst, which also led its investment round in 2017 with $110 million, with participation from other existing investors including IVP, and new investors, the company has said in a press release.
Since the first round of investments in May 2017, Grammarly has more than tripled the number of users and has added a number of updates to its product, which, according to a press release, “helps more than 20 million people every day.”
The company also opened its fourth office in Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada) and doubled the number of team members in offices of Kyiv, New York and San Francisco. It plans in the near future to expand the current office space in Kyiv by additional 1,300 square meters where 130 people can work.
According to the report, the funds raised by Grammarly will be aimed at further expanding the company’s product coverage in order to make it available wherever written communication in English can be used. The company will also continue working on more complex aspects of language and communication, in particular on the development of the recently launched tone detector, to provide users with practical advice on how to adapt it.
Grammarly was founded by Kyiv residents in 2009: Max Lytvyn, Alex Shevchenko and Dmytro Lider. The offices of the company are located in Kyiv, San Francisco, New York and Vancouver.

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INVESTMENT OF HUMAN CAPITAL INTO NATIONAL WEALTH IN UKRAINE MUCH LOWER THAN IN EUROPEAN COUNTRIES

Investment of human capital in national wealth in Ukraine is much lower than in European countries, according to a report of the World Bank.
According to the World Bank’s study of the sphere of education in Ukraine, investment of human capital into national wealth in Ukraine is 34% of total national wealth. For comparison, in low-income countries this indicator is 41%, in Europe and Central Asia – 62%, and on average around the world – 64%.
The World Bank said that in Ukraine the percentage of people with higher education is more than 80%, which exceeds the figures of the EU (68%) and countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (74%), but the level of functional literacy among adults is behind indicators of these countries.
In addition, it is said that in Ukraine, there is a gap between education and employment, especially among young university graduates.
Other areas of concern include: unequal access to schooling, a gap in education among students in urban and rural schools, and less likely that graduates from rural schools will go to higher education (40% of graduates from rural schools compared to 70% of graduates in cities).
The World Bank said that about 50% of Ukrainians do not believe that secondary education provides everyone with the same opportunity of studying for free, and 70% believe that corruption in higher education is very common.
At the same time, according to the World Bank, Ukraine spends 6% of GDP on education, which is significantly more than in OECD countries (4.4%).
Among other things, the World Bank said that Ukraine has a too wide network of schools and universities, which is one of the reasons for the high level of expenses. There are 11 students per teacher in Ukraine, and in the OECD countries this indicator averages 13.1.

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UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT DISCUSSES PROSPECTS OF BOOSTING INVESTMENT BY UBER WITH UBER CEO

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met Uber Technologies Inc. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on the sidelines of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly in New York and discussed the prospects of increasing capital investment of the company in Ukraine with him.
“During the meeting, the parties discussed a number of issues regarding Uber’s activities in Ukraine, as well as the prospects of increasing the company’s investments in our country,” the press service of the head of state reported.
Zelensky informed Khosrowshahi of the implementation of the reform policy aimed at improving the business climate in Ukraine and creating favorable conditions for attracting foreign investments.
In addition, the use of environment friendly vehicles in Ukraine by Uber was discussed during the meeting.

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INVESTMENT OF EUROPEAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT IN UKRAINE EXCEEDS $1 BLN

Investment of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) this year exceeded $1 billion, EBRD Vice President Alain Pilloux has said. This week, by coincidence, the bank’s investments in the country in 2019 exceeded $1 billion. And by the end of the year, the EBRD is going to invest even more, he said at a meeting with reporters on Thursday.
This amount may not be enough, but this is clearly not a small amount of investment in the country, Pilloux said.
He also added that he had visited Ukraine six times over the past year. Pilloux said that the EBRD knows Ukraine “in detail:” the EBRD is working not only in Kyiv, but in all regions. The bank is working with cities, Ukrainian companies, he said. Pilloux said that they are not the kind of people who arrive from London or other places and look at Ukraine from windows of five-star hotels.

CYPRUS AGAIN LEADER IN FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT TO UKRAINE, FOLLOWED BY THE NETHERLANDS AND RUSSIA

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Ukraine as equity capital as of July 1, 2019, was $33.724 billion, which was 2.6%, or $0.84 billion more than in the beginning of the year, the State Statistics Service of Ukraine said. According to the data, the inflow of FDI for the sixth months of 2019 totalled $1.256 billion, $728.9 million was written off, other changes of the cost of the corporate capital of nonresidents totaled $309 million with exchange rate differences of $520.8 million.
According to previously published data, first quarterly inflow of FDI in Ukraine grew by $45.5 million.
Cyprus was the leader in FDI surplus in the first half of 2019 with $388.8 million, followed by the Netherlands ($295.1 million), Russia – 145.5 million, and Switzerland ($100.3 million).
Meanwhile, FDI from Hungary decreased $250.6 million.
Nonresidents invested $318.5 million in financial and insurance activities, $184.9 million and $176.4 million in extractive and processing industries respectively, $113.8 million in wholesale and retail trade, $122.6 million in transactions with property, $128.4 million in science and technical activities.
Although there was a $270.4 million drop in FDI in the field of administrative and supportive service for the mentioned period.

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VASYL KHMELNYTSKY’S UFUTURE PLANS TO INCREASE INVESTMENT BY 20% IN 2019

The UFuture investment group of Ukrainian businessman Vasyl Khmelnytsky plans to increase investment in various businesses by 20% in 2019, to $60 million.
“Last year, the UFuture group invested almost $50 million in various businesses. In 2019, we plan to invest another $60 million. If we talk about investments only in impact projects, I estimate the total amount, taking into account capital investments, to be more than $50 million,” Khmelnytsky said in an interview with the Top 100. Rating of the Largest magazine.
He said on his Facebook page that in September this year, UFuture will open a new campus on the territory of the UNIT.City innovation park (Kyiv).
“At UNIT.City, everything is in line with the schedule. In September, a new campus and an art facility [will appear],” he wrote.
As reported, in January 2019, UFuture in partnership with KAN Development on Wednesday took part in the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the third campus – a new six-story B12 business center with a gross area of 16,900 square meters – in the UNIT.City innovation park (Kyiv).
In February 2019, Khmelnytsky said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine that the first phase of LvivTech.City is scheduled for opening at the end of 2019.
He said that the first Lviv campus will combine office and commercial sections (cafes and restaurants). The office space will be 9,500 square meters, commercial – 3,000 square meters.
UFuture unites companies and social projects of Khmelnytsky. The group includes the Bila Tserkva industrial park, the UDP development company, the Sikorsky Kyiv International Airport, outdoor advertising operator RTM-Ukraine, as well as innovative businesses: UDP Renewables (creates and develops photovoltaic power plants under its control), the pharmaceutical company Biopharma, innovative parks UNIT.City and LvivTech.City.

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