Regardless of difficulties in operating business due to the quarantine restrictions and overall pandemic situation, 2021 turned out to be quite a successful year both for the IT industry in Ukraine and Ukrainian investment funds that managed to enter the American market. Adventures Lab founder Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev), Digital Future founder Alex Vitchenko, and others are sharing their experience about promising American startups that became interesting for the Ukrainian funds.
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Easy analytics for sales teams
In autumn 2021, American startup Narrative BI raised a $1.2 million pre-seed funding round. Among the investors, there were two Ukrainian funds: Digital Future and Adventures Lab. The startup provides no-code analytics that is easy to comprehend and that can be automatically created based on the company’s data and statistics. This service makes it much easier and faster for sales and marketing teams to operate with information.
The founder of the startup, Michael Rumiantsau, is originally from Belarus. According to Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev), the personality of the startup founder and his story can be as valuable as the startup product, and with Narrative BI this is precisely the case. Before developing his project, Rumiantsau was the CEO at FriendlyData. The company was then bought out by ServiceNow, and Rumiantsau was offered a senior position in a new company.
“Instead of a comfortable office and a serious income, the founder of Narrative BI has chosen an opportunity to create a new business. It says a lot about his ambitions and personal qualities,” emphasizes Ruslan Tymofieiev, Founding Partner at Adventures Lab.
A platform for real estate in the US
Another American startup that attracted the attention of Ukrainian investment funds, is Propertymate. It raised $1 million funding from the Ukrainian fund Pragmatech Ventures.
The young company is created by two Ukrainians – Bohdan Hnatkovsky and Sofia Vyshnevska – and is located in the US and Ukraine. The Propertymate’s service allows real estate developers and buyers to communicate directly. The service is easy to use and significantly reduces time on finding what one needs. The funds that the startup got is planned to spend on widening the service on two more American towns – Dallas and Houston in addition to New York and Austin.
AI-based retail platform
By the end of 2021, the Ukrainian investment fund Digital Future invested in the project Outloud.ai. IT is a retail platform that uses AU to help users to automate voice communication with customers. This service comes in handy for large catering and food chains, and, for instance, restaurants of Burger King that are already using it.
Digital Future founder Alex Vitchenko admits that they pay attention to whether a startup has a business model that can be scaled to the markets of Western Europe and North America. And in the case of Outloud.ai, they saw this potential.
“Unlike the online world that is convenient to analyze the interaction between a client and a service, the same sphere in offline is non-transparent yet. Outloud.ai solves this problem with proprietary voice analysis technology in noisy environments and helps businesses understand what problems they have on their front line. We were also convinced by the size of the target market and the founder’s good experience in the American retail industry,” notes Vitchenko.
Online notary service
Negotiations on investing in American startup OneNotary started in 2021 and the deal of $1.75 million in investments was closed at the very beginning of 2022. Among the funds that invested in the startup, there were also Ukrainian Adventures Lab, U.Ventures, and Digital Future.
Adventures Lab founder Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev) emphasized that the project has a great highly motivated team.
“The guys passed the easy money test and turned down an offer to sell the project to one of the big US players in Legal Tech. Many would consider this offer very lucrative. And that happened when they were working to the limit, out of their financial comfort zone. Such dedication to the project demonstrates their desire to further develop it independently,” says Ruslan Tymofieiev.
The startup offers an online notarization service for US citizens. During the covid restrictions, such an offer became really handy. Previously, online notarization was legal only in a few US states, and now it is allowed in 39 states.
The service managed to gain interest in the public quite fast, and now it offers services of more than 10,000 notaries. The startup is planning to spend the invested funds to widen its market and cover other countries.