When you're faced with issues such as displacement, insecure infrastructure and utilities, the safety of team members and their families, and the sorrow of war, funding for your startup becomes less of a priority. In the past year, numerous startups and investors have been compelled to relocate to different regions or countries.
Some joined military forces in various capacities, and all put significant human and financial capital into fundraising to provide equipment for the Ukrainian Army.
But despite the challenges, many Ukrainian-founded startups, some well-established, some more nascent, enjoyed successful fundraising rounds. Here are some of the most notable rounds:
Preply is a language-learning app and e-learning platform that allows language tutors and students to connect using the platform for one on one digital tutoring sessions.
The company was founded in 212 and is currently headquartered in Massachusetts. It has raised $100 million in funding over eight rounds, including $50 million Series C in March 2022.
Spin Technology is an AI-Powered data platform that protections mission-critical SaaS data against cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
Spin Technology's platform SpinOne includes:
- Ransomware monitoring and response
- Apps risk assessment
- Data leak prevention
- Backup and recovery
Founded in 2017 in Ukraine and now based in the US, the company has raised $16.5 million in funding over five rounds, including $16 million from a Series A round in August 2022.
Releaf Paper literally turns fallen leaves and recycled fibre into paper products.
With patented technology, the company makes cellulose from the leaves collected by city authorities that are usually burnt or left to decompose - turning them into paper for writing, bags, and boxes.
Currently based in France, Releaf Paper has raised €2.6 million in funding over three rounds, including an EIC grant in December 2022.
Tera Monada is a Ukrainian social startup founded to build quality housing for Ukrainian people who lost their homes in the war. Its focus is quality modular built from sustainable materials, manufactured at capacity. Each house is prefabricated, ready for immediate on-site assembly, and equipped with everything necessary for family living, including utility connections.
Based in Kyiv, the company raised $5 million in a Seed round in May 2022.
My NFT Wars
My NFT Wars is a Play-Create-Own-based massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). Players enjoy an open market crypto-collectable experience with a strong emphasis on RPG and strategy elements.
The initiative is a joint venture between award-winning crypto collectable game developers Blockchain Cuties Universe and iLogos Game Studios.
The company raised $2 million in Series A funding in February, 2023.
Founded in Ukraine, Fairo is a platform built by freelancers for freelancers and small businesses that automates everything related to your taxes, invoicing, bookkeeping and other boring tax-related topics. The app provides professional real-time tax calculations and quick business overview through automated tracking, pairing and sorting of your transactions.
The company raised €2 million in a Seed round in Aug 2022.
Founded in 2022, Kolibrio developed the first BEV Relay (Broadcaster Extractable Value) that allows transaction broadcasters like node providers, non-custodial wallets, cross-chain bridges and other dApps to improve user experience, enable MEV ownership, optimise infrastructure and improve the bottom line.
It helps transaction originators get ownership of the order flow they create with the option to monetise it via a system of on-chain order flow auctions (OFAs).
The company raised $2 million Seed funding in February 2023.
Zibra AI develops a system of tools that bring a new level of realistic visual effects, improve and speed up the development process, and provide a hyper-personalised in-game experience to game creation with a particular focus on data compression, visual effects creation, and 3D content generation.
The company has raised $1.7 million in funding over two rounds. It raised $1.2 million in November 2022 from a Convertible Note round.
Yesterday Deus Robotics announced it has raised $1.5 million in seed funds. This investment was received from Ukrainian VC fund SMRK.vc in a further signal the country's tech ecosystem remains open for business, despite the fallout from Russia's aggression.
Deus Robotics creates versatile automated robots capable of sorting warehouse items and organising racks so product is ready for picking and shipping.The robots navigate using LIDAR, and quick response (QR) tags for easy navigation through facilities and can sort materials and move goods to their correct location. Their use reduces the need for manual labour, which is especially important during worker shortages.
Fuelfinance is a Kyiv based startup founded in 2021. It replaces the most mundane work of startup founders and financial teams, with its suite of tools which streamline financial management from bookkeeping to producing reliable P&L statements, and then – financial planning scenarios, and economics, and dashboards. This allows management teams to make decisions based on reliable data and stop wasting days on manual spreadsheet-fighting.
The company has raised €2 million, including €1 million in January 2023.
Dedicated funds for Ukrainian startups
The aid ranged from practical help with finding accommodation and workspaces, to supporting Ukrainian startups financially — Google for Startups and Microsoft provided some companies with equity-free grants, while VCs from the region started to look more intensively at the Ukrainian ecosystem to find new investments.
Over the last year, we've also seen investors focus on Ukraine. Some examples:
- FfVC, a Polish-American VC firm, launched a new €50m fund targeted solely at Ukrainian founders.
- Polish Inovo VC creates a new €100 million fund focusing on Ukrainian startups.
- Demium Capital launched a new fund focused on CEE and Ukrainian Startups.
- Flashpoint raised a $75 million fund with a focus on Ukraine.
- In September, Ukrainian private-equity firm Horizon Capital announced the launch of the $125 million Horizon Capital Growth Fund IV, LP, to back visionary entrepreneurs from Ukraine and Moldova.
- In June, the European Innovation Council (EIC) announced € 20 million in grants to at least 200 Ukrainian deep-tech startups.
- Seasoned tech entrepreneurs Andriy Fedoriv, Volodymyr Popereshnyuk, and Vyacheslav Klymov founded a new Ukrainian Venture Capital company Vesna Capital, in July 2022.
- GR Capital's second fund raised €30 million in November.
- Ukrainian Phoenix Fund has a €50 million budget to invest in innovative domestic startups.
- Google for startups kicked off a dedicated Ukraine fund.
This article is part of Tech.eu's highlighting of remarkable Ukrainian startups on the one-year anniversary of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Read more ...
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