January 29, 2023
Ukraine-founded startup GitLab began buying and selling at the Nasdaq inventory alternate on Oct. 14, 2021, issuing over 143 million stocks. (Photograph: GitLab)

Challenge investment in Ukrainian startups hit an all-time prime in 2021.

Startups with Ukrainian founders attracted a report $1.5 billion from native and international buyers in 2021, in line with the Kyiv Impartial’s estimates, in comparison to $577 million ultimate 12 months. The true quantity may well be even upper as dozens of alternative startups haven’t disclosed their funding offers.

But it surely wasn’t all about cash. Ukrainian startups hit necessary milestones reminiscent of maintaining preliminary public choices, attaining “unicorn” standing and checking out waters in dangerous industries like cryptocurrency and rocket construction.

Right here’s a recap of 5 tales that formed the Ukrainian startup scene this 12 months. 

GitLab’s mega IPO

Ukraine-founded startup GitLab began buying and selling at the Nasdaq inventory alternate on Oct.14, issuing over 143 million stocks. The startup is already valued at $13.5 billion, whilst its founder, Ukrainian Dmytro Zaporozhets, 32, has develop into the richest tool engineer in Ukraine, creating a fortune of just about $460 million.

In November, Zaporozhets surrender, leaving the corporate to the Dutch local Sid Sijbrandij. Zaporozhets is handiest the second one Ukrainian, whose trade went public within the U.S. The fintech startup Confirm, based through Ukraine-born Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal, turned into public in January elevating its marketplace cap from $12 billion to $28 billion these days.

GitLab develops on-line products and services that assist tech consultants to paintings sooner and extra successfully. It automates the method of writing code, detects insects and connects consultants that paintings on other portions of the venture — from building to operation. The corporate’s big-name shoppers come with Nvidia, Siemens, Goldman Sachs, Zip Recruiter, Pearson and Radio France.

See also  Ukraine’s resilient tech business doing smartly despite struggle

All 1,350 of GitLab’s staff paintings remotely in 65 nations, making it one of the crucial international’s greatest public corporations that doesn’t have a head administrative center.

Vlad Yatsenko (L) and Russia-born Nikolay Storonsky based fintech startup Revolut in 2015. This 12 months, it turned into U.Ok.’s most useful fintech corporate after elevating $800 million from buyers, who valued the undertaking at $33 billion. (Courtesy of Revolut)

First tech billionaire

The co-founder of the U.Ok.-based tech startup Revolut, Vladyslav Yatsenko, has develop into the primary Ukrainian billionaire who made his fortune within the generation trade. With a web price of $1.1 billion, he may input the approaching Forbes listing of ten richest Ukrainians, between oligarch Vadim Novinsky and monetary and ironworks magnate Oleksandr Yaroslavsky.

Yatsenko’s virtual banking startup turned into U.Ok.’s most useful fintech corporate in July after elevating $800 million from buyers, who valued the undertaking at $33 billion. 

Revolut is a neobank that operates on-line and doesn’t have brick-and-mortar places. Its challenge is to create a “international monetary tremendous app, permitting consumers to regulate funds thru a unmarried platform. Revolut permits customers to shop for cryptocurrencies, industry shares, purchase insurance coverage merchandise and create accounts for kids.

Revolut isn’t to be had in Ukraine – it handiest permits cash transfers to the rustic. The startup plans to make use of the funding to enlarge within the U.S, input India and different global markets.

Ukrainian startup Other people.ai has attracted $100 million of funding on Aug. 11, 2021, bringing the whole valuation of the corporate to $1.1 billion. (Courtesy of Dou.ua)

New unicorn

Ukraine-founded startup Other people.ai has joined the membership of the so-called ‘unicorns,’ startups valued at over $1 billion. This listing additionally contains corporations like Grammarly, GitLab, BitFury and Revolut, all of that have Ukrainian founders.

Other people.ai attracted $100 million in August, bringing its general valuation to $1.1 billion. The startup created a program that is helping gross sales consultants forecast gross sales, shut offers and to find new shoppers extra successfully. A few of the corporate’s shoppers are large names like Zoom and Lyft.

See also  US massive chipmaker Qualcomm acquires Ukrainian startup Augmented Pixels

The corporate’s strategic objective is to head public, in line with its co-founder Oleg Rogynsky. After the new funding spherical, Forbes estimated Roginsky’s fortune at $440 million – he’s now at the listing of the 25 richest Ukrainians.

California-based Other people.ai employs over 240 folks, 40 of whom paintings from the administrative center in Kyiv. Over the past 12 months, Other people.ai higher the collection of its shoppers through 260%, however it isn’t winning but.

Depositphotos designers paintings throughout the startup’s administrative center in Kyiv (Courtesy of Dou.ua)

Giant acquisition

The U.S. company VistaPrint bought Ukraine-founded corporate Depositphotos in October for $85 million. It’s one of the crucial greatest Ukrainian IT acquisitions in the previous couple of years.

The inventory picture site Depositphotos will proceed operating as a separate logo, using just about 450 folks in six nations, together with Ukraine. Its founder, Dmytro Sergeev, were given just about $50 million from the deal.

The U.S. VistaPrint creates trade playing cards, internet sites, and products for small and medium-sized companies – it has over 20 million customers and employs over 6,000 folks in 29 places of work international. The corporate will assist the Ukrainian company release new merchandise and enlarge on Eu and U.S. markets.

VistaPrint’s shoppers may probably use Depositphotos’ platform Crello to create Instagram posts, trademarks, reward playing cards, or shows, after which flip to Vista to print them or put them on products.

The U.S. area corporate Firefly Aerospace, co-owned through Ukrainian entrepreneur Max Polyakov, develops small and medium-sized rockets and satellites for business launches into orbit. In Might 2021, the corporate’s valuation exceeded $1 billion. (Courtesy of Firefly Aerospace)

Rocket trade

It was once a large 12 months for the U.S. corporate Firefly Aerospace, co-owned through Ukraine-born entrepreneur Max Polyakov, 44.

Firefly introduced its first rocket into orbit in September from Vandenberg House Pressure Base in California. The rocket exploded two mins into the flight when one in every of its 4 engines close down. The strive price Polyakov $15 million.

See also  Ukrainian rap diva Alina Pash wins EU award for younger artists

The failure all through the primary take a look at flight didn’t come as a marvel: Attending to area is difficult, particularly for a tender startup like Firefly. Polyakov has stayed positive and scheduled the following flight for overdue January.

To perform his area desires, Polyakov bought South Africa’s Dragonfly satellite tv for pc maker in April. Polyakov didn’t reveal how a lot he paid for the corporate, however stated that with the assistance of Dragonfly he may get started production all of the spacecraft “in-house.”

Firefly has additionally partnered with the U.S. corporate SpaceX, owned through international’s richest guy Elon Musk. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket will ship Firefly’s lunar lander to the skin of the Moon in 2023. This challenge is part of the $93.3 million deal between Firefly and NASA signed in February.