Ukrainian startup investment grew threefold in 201706 Mar 2018

Only three years after a revolution and despite the occupation of a part of its territory, Ukraine sees its digital markets and innovation scene growing very fast. Ukrainian startups (or startups founded by Ukrainian entrepreneurs), raised $265 million in 2017, up 231% from the previous year. This is one of the key findings of “The Dealbook of Ukraine”, an annual industry report published by AVentures Capital in partnership with UVCA (Ukrainian Venture Capital & Private Equity Association), as well as UAngel and Ukraine Digital News.

According to Dealbook, there were 44 disclosed investment deals in 2017, 90% of which were led by foreign investment funds (i.e. General Catalyst, IVP, Spark, Almaz Capital) with the participation of local funds in the majority of the rounds.

The fact that more than $630 million were invested in Ukrainian startups over the past years years signals the industry’s resilience amid the country’s economic and political challenges.

Yevgen Sysoyev
managing partner of AVentures Capital and co-author of the Dealbook

    The biggest deals of last year involved:
  • Grammarly ($110 million from General Catalyst, IVP, and Spark Capital);
  • BitFury ($30 million from Credit China Fintech Holdings);
  • Petcube ($10 million from Almaz Capital, Y Combinator, AVentures Capital, U.Ventures, Digital Future and others);
  • People.ai ($7 million from Lightspeed Venture Partners, Index Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Y Combinator, SV Angel).

The past two years were marked by the entry of Netflix and Uber in the local market; most recently an international consortium launched the preliminary studies for a Hyperloop project in the country, while the $1billion acquisition of video doorbell firm Ring by Amazon illustrated the Ukraine’s excellence in software R&D.

To my mind, the number of venture deals with Ukrainian IT companies will increase in 2018. It is unlikely that we will see a very large increase in the amount of investments, given that it has grown threefold in 2017. But there is a feeling that there will be more successful exits. In addition, I believe that as a result of our joint work (investors, startups and UVCA), a number of foreign venture funds will start investing in Ukrainian companies.

Olga Afanasyeva
Executive Director of UVCA

The Dealbook also lists the Ukrainian tech startups which grew the most over the past years to become major players in their industries. These companies include Attendify, BPMOnline, Depositphotos, Grammarly, Jooble, Petcube, Readdle, Starwind Software, Zeo Alliance, among others.

The Ukrainian startup and venture scene is also highlighted in a regional study released almost simultaneously by East-West Digital News. The report “Startup Investment and Innovation in Emerging Europe” encompasses 24 countries of the region with a rich set of data and insights about the local innovation landscapes.
More info: http://www.ewdn.com/files/cee_media.pdf.


AVentures Capital
Founded in 2012, AVentures Capital is a leading venture capital fund focused on global companies that leverage R&D in Ukraine and CEE. The fund targets the following IT categories: software, e-commerce, cloud services, mobile technology, IoT and others. AVentures Capital has over 10 companies in its portfolio, including Augmented Pixels, nuPSYS, Petcube, Spinbackup, StarWind Software, Rallyware, Bookimed, Teamfusion, CoreValue and others. AVentures Capital portfolio companies mostly focus on the U.S. market and raised follow on round from internationalfunds.

The Dealbook of Ukraine