2021 was marked by several high-profile events for the IT sector of Ukraine at once: the appearance of the first decacorn, Grammarly (the investments in it exceeded $1 billion), and the entry of Ukrainian venture funds into the US market. Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev), Founding Partner at venture capital fund Adventures Lab, explains what IT areas Ukrainian funds are most willing to invest in and why.
One-click marketing analytics
In November 2021, Narrative BI, a platform for B2B analytics, became one of the most high-profile startups Ukrainian funds Adventures Lab and Digital Future invested in. The project managed to raise $1.2 million during a pre-seed round, American funds also took part in it.
The project is a no-code analytics platform intended for the marketers and professionals whose job is to push up the company’s sales and scale it. Taking the company’s statistics as a basis, the service automatically generates actionable data insights. In addition, the platform helps reduce the company’s dependence on IT specialists. With just one click, a team can apply the available intuitive marketing and analytics tools and gain the insights they need to plan a successful marketing strategy.
Ruslan Tymofieiev notes that he paid attention to this startup not only because the project itself seemed promising to him. Its founder, Michael Rumiantsau, previously held the position of CEO at FriendlyData. The startup was bought by ServiceNow and Rumiantsau was offered a senior position but he refused to take it, exchanging a considerable salary and comfortable working conditions for an opportunity to create his own project.
AI as an assistant in customer communications
Last fall, Digital Future, a Ukrainian fund, included the Ukrainian-American startup Outloud.ai, a retail platform that uses AI technologies to automate voice communication with clients, to its portfolio. Several large clients, including the American restaurant chain Burger King, already use the project’s services.
According to the Digital Future founder Alex Vitchenko, this project attracted the investors’ attention with its business model that is very promising for scaling in Western European and North American markets.
Notary services online
In January 2022, following the negotiations that had begun in 2021, the American project OneNotary raised $1.75 million from US and Ukrainian funds, including Adventures Lab, Digital Future, and U.Ventures. The founder and CEO of the startup is Ukrainian Ivan Zinkov. Part of the project team works in Ukraine.
OneNotary is an online document notarization service in the United States that helps perform this procedure remotely. US legislation allows one to certify documents in this format in 39 states, which makes the startup very promising. So far, 10,000 notaries have joined OneNotary.
According to Ruslan Tymofieiev, the startup team is focused on developing the product independently that is confirmed by their refusal to sell the platform to one of the major players in the US legaltech market at a good profit. In the future, the company plans to expand into the global market.
AI to assist developers
Last October, Seattle-based project Spice AI raised $1 million from the Ukrainian fund TA Ventures and business angels from Microsoft and GitHub. The uniqueness of the AI-based platform lies in the availability of integrated machine learning algorithms in applications that help developers significantly reduce the time spent on the software programming. For example, if an app is being developed to control an air conditioning system, then AI will offer an algorithm that helps reduce energy consumption.