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8 impact driven startups worth following

Check out these 8 mission-driven startups that strive to make our lives more connected and balanced. This may be your next investment!
8 impact driven startups worth following

For those who are planning to build an impact-driven business amid today’s AI boom, Europe has by far the most fertile environment with the highest share of impact funding (over 30 per cent) in the world.

Even though European investors are quite supportive of initiatives with a social, environmental, and economic focus, the founders still have to learn ways to make their businesses profitable. 

A specialised acceleration programme for impact-driven ventures from ULTRA.VC is here to help the new companies scale by validating sales channels, getting sustainable traction, and prepping to raise funding.  

ULTRA.VC has recently completed the first cohort of its acceleration programme and proudly showcases the graduates — eight mission-driven startups, striving to make our lives more fulfilled, connected, and balanced.

1. Fandy: Matching local charities with businesses

Fandy is a platform that directly connects EU e-commerce businesses with local charities and helps them make meaningful contributions by implementing donations into the checkout flow, as well as benefiting from increased customer loyalty.

The platform provides 100 per cent transparency in communication and money transfers, which plenty of traditional charity funds can’t guarantee, and ensures that all donations reach their destination. 

A track record that has already resulted in $700,000 in donations raised indicates a particular level of trust in the new venture from representatives of both businesses and non-profit organisations. 

For businesses, Fandy helps to boost sales, increasing their Average Order Value by 26 per cent, and becomes a foundation for building impact-marketing strategies, which are widely used by Amazon, Revolut, McDonald's, and others.

2. Raised: Startup executives go freelance

After COVID-19, plenty of professionals decided to forego a return to office life with its fixed schedules, prioritising freedom and flexibility instead. This phenomenon created a new category of high-ranked freelancers, represented by C-suite managers and tech leaders from a hypergrowth environment, who can work with multiple organisations at once and usually don’t have full-time contracts. 

Raised is an AI-powered platform that enables startups and scaleups to connect with 500 top-tier professionals, like VPs and Directors from Pinterest, Payoneer, Calendly, Miro, etc., and employ them for a specific task or a scope of work.

With 45 paying clients backed by such VC firms as Greylock and YC, Raised has tripled its monthly gross revenue up to $27,000 and continues to grow. The project is currently in the process of closing its Pre-Seed round. 

3. Yung Sidekick: AI for the therapists’ wellbeing

Session note-taking is one of the most painstaking and time-consuming parts of the job for mental health professionals in the US, taking at least 2 hours weekly. It’s also the major cause of therapist distraction and anxiety during the session, that leads to provider burnout.

Yung Sidekick is an AI session note automation platform for therapists that takes care of notes, letting the therapists focus on what matters most - their clients. It reduces the time spent on notes by 90 per cent, leads to fewer insurance rejections, makes time to billing faster, and offers insightful analytics to facilitate supervision and enhance therapeutic strategies.

With a team of ex-Uber and Groupon professionals and American Psychology Association advisors, Yung Sidekick launched a market-ready version in December 2023, with 80 per cent of the platform trial users converting to paying customers, and has shown 2x growth of paid sessions in January 2024 vs  December 2023. Yung Sidekick is currently closing its pre-seed round to scale in the US and Canada.

4. Stry: Making a personal fitness trainer 12x more affordable 

A hundred dollars per hour for a personal fitness coach is quite a lot of money. Stry offers the benefits of personalised fitness support for a month for the same price. 

The digital platform connects US users with professional fitness trainers from Europe, who are as skilful as their US colleagues but charge less. A personal coach creates weekly workout plans, gathers trainees’ feedback to adjust the plan, and gives live consultations via calls and messages. 

Stry boasts 50 per cent retention during the six months and has recently increased its MRR by 32 per cent after an acceleration camp at ULTRA.VC. The project is currently closing the Angel round and welcomes investors.

5. Govar: Speaking practice and global connections

Everyone who has ever tried learning a foreign language knows the challenge of actually starting to speak. Govar provides English learners with a safe and comfortable space that enables them to meet interesting people from around the world and start speaking within the first 30 seconds, instead of role-playing unrealistic dialogues.

The speaking club sessions are held in small groups of five and give a chance for everyone to participate in the discussion. Govar provides conversation topics and eliminates psychological barriers by reducing the need for cold outreach, taking care of the schedules, and waiting for appointed meetings for several days.

The platform has hit the mark of over 10,000 registered users and shows steady 20 per cent monthly growth. Govar is working on increasing its revenue stream and getting ready for fundraising this April.

6. Maramora: Art for wellbeing

Maramora presents a healing digital space, where one can relax and minimise their negative emotions through the power of art therapy. Users get access to a selection of comforting art courses and therapeutic art practices (in the fields of visual arts, text, sounds, and dance), designed by a team of art professionals and certified psychologists.

88 per cent of Maramora users have reported that the therapeutic effect of art practices has already helped them improve their emotional state. Over the last three months, Maramora has attracted more than 2,800 engaged customers and will be focused on revenue growth over the next quarter. The project plans to start fundraising at the end of spring 2024.  

7. Helping immigrants feel at home is here to help labour immigrants find a sense of home in their new country and integrate into the local community with less stress by practising communication skills.

Parla is an AI-powered personal playground for professionals, where they can prepare for various scenarios of interaction with the locals: practice for job interviews, learn how to negotiate salary, make doctor’s appointments, and other real-life problems an immigrant may face.

The product was created by a team of skilled professionals with previous experience at Joom, Tesla, Apple, and launching other AI products. Currently, Parla is at its initial stage with a working prototype, which has already got paying customers.  

8. IAWY: A tutor reducing student dropout rates

IAWY is a young project envisioned by the Forbes 30 under 30 list founder to give a breath of fresh air to the educational process. With student dropout rates potentially reaching 70 per cent, IAWY is poised to help Edtech companies increase retention and reduce student guidance costs.

With the help of the AI-powered tutor, which can easily integrate into any educational environment, students receive academic support, get feedback on practical tasks, and receive valuable tips throughout their studies.

Educational institutions spend tens of thousands of dollars each month to support their students and keep them on the learning track. IAWY is here to reduce these support costs and keep more learners learning. 


As long as the global investment community remains narrowly focused on money-making, a lot of projects with potential positive impacts remain unrealised. Modern businesses have to be both profit-oriented and impact-driven, and luckily, today there are many great accelerators and funds that offer impact founders a helping hand. 

In such a way specialised acceleration programmes become an important element in the chain connecting an impact-driven idea and its realisation. By helping startup teams solve major business challenges — achieving sustainable traction, finding a profitable business model, and realising paying customers — accelerators make impact-driven businesses investable, thus sufficiently increasing the chances of positive social and environmental changes to happen.  

And if you think that your project might benefit from one,  consider ULTRA.VC. Check the programme and apply before 25 February to get into Spring Batch and accelerate your business. 

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