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Quick News №5

Monday, May 3, 2021

Have a great start to the week, and everybody goes for a run!

Startup Jedi

We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.

While some people run, others prefer to move using transport. The good news: at the end of April, French service BlaBlaCar not only reached a valuation of $2B but also announced the acquisition of Ukrainian company Octobus. The cloud-based bus transportation automation platform will expand the parent company’s capabilities and also scale the Ukrainian startup to the countries where BlaBlaCar operates. Furthermore, in order to develop bus transportation, the company announced about launching an engineering hub for 50+ people in Ukraine earlier this month.

Another Ukrainian company, startup ZooZy, raised a Seed round led by Yuriy Sinitsa, CEO of pet products’ manufacturer. This project is an app for pet owners where they can fill out a pet profile, find a map of animal-friendly places as well as a personalized shopping feed.

Russian startup Capsula raised the $600 000 round: together with an “unnamed European fund”, Expo Capital, business angel Oleg Maslennikov and Dmitry Ryzhov, marketing director of Carprice, financed the project. The service provides clothing matching services from a stylist: when a customer fills out a form, he receives a selection of six items and decides for himself what to pay for and what to refuse. The company reported six-fold growth and 10 000 orders delivered over its lifetime.

Telegram is operating with much larger sums: the company has decided to place an additional $750M in convertible bonds, bringing the total amount of bonds to $1.75B. According to sources, most of the securities were bought by Western investors, primarily JP Morgan. At the same time as the bond offering, the project announced the launch of several new features within the messenger. Among the most anticipated is the ability to accept payments using 8 payment systems within groups and channels.

The week was rich in project and unit launches. For example, Sber is launching Sber Games, its own gaming division. It plans to invest $100M in the project at launch, for testing business hypotheses. The launch will not only expand Sber’s existing ecosystem but will also contribute to the development of a competitive gaming market in the CIS, where another corporation, Group, currently plays a major role.

The game industry includes not only ‘classic’ gaming and various games, but also hybrid formats. Recently a project from New York, startup Ergatta, raised $30M in round A to develop its gamified fitness service. Pandemic has turned the attention of investors and entrepreneurs to “home fitness” users, Ergatta’s founders decided not only to provide equipment but also to accompany the classes with digital content involving gamification elements. This allowed the company to stand out from the competition and earn the love of users.

Have a productive week!


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