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What shall we expect from the startup arena of Ukraine in 2020?

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Startup Jedi

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

In the previous Startup jedi article we successfully concluded the results of 2019, where we mentioned “ukrainian unicorns” that are worth tracking in the new year, and now we will try to fray “the crystal ball” and foresee the future to understand what awaits us in 2020.
Startup arena of Ukraine in 2020

Projects that are worth mentioning

Perhaps, the “hottest” projects in Ukraine this year will become two startups from two experienced serial entrepreneurs, who mainly started the development of venture industry in Ukraine.

Together with his team, Denis Dovgopolyi is working on a project called Unicorn Nest, the soft launch of the project is planned for this March. It can become second to none in usability for entrepreneurs, as it will unify the information about funds, “angels” and how to get their contracts.

Alexey Mas, who once created the first banner network in Ukraine, decided to have his own fight with Mark Zuckerberg and to launch “Craft Networks” — his own vision of how social networks should look like. Craft social networks will be something between Telegram and Facebook, the main difference lies in the big number of gamification elements.


Startup arena of Ukraine in 2020

Investments and exits

During this year, we can surely await a few successful “exits” from Ukrainian projects — quite possible, that we will witness both company purchases and new rounds of financing (the dynamics of the first months of attracting money enables us to be optimistic — Ukrainian projects were concluding deals in the first few weeks of the new year, we mentioned a few of them in our first article about the results of 2019). The general global tendency of increasing the “average check” for all financing rounds will affect the Ukrainian market as well, which means that there will be more zeros in term-sheets.


Startup arena of Ukraine in 2020


Traditionally, the largest IT-forum in Ukraine will make some noize — iForum; it starts in a few months and they will open the new season of IT shows in Ukraine by this. We are waiting for the next attendance record, opportunities on how to look at the large companies that are represented on the Ukrainian market as well as at the “newcomers” who are just taking their first steps. It would be awesome to see new formats within the forum, not just panel discussions and speeches.

What Ukraine is lacking for sure is the autumn forum in Kyiv, as Lviv IT arena is traditionally held at the end of September — beginning of October, so there is a possibility to hold another forum in October-November to sum up the results in the capital of Ukraine. A few years ago, IDCEE conference fulfilled this function, it was organized by TA Venture, the venture fund of Viktoria Tigipko, but after cancelling the conference in 2015, Kyiv remains without any large-scale IT event in autumn.


Startup arena of Ukraine in 2020


In our article, we already wrote about those startups that are worth attention this year — Denis Dovhopolyi and Aleksey Mas are preparing truly awesome projects. Except them, on the Ukrainian market, you should also keep your eye on Oleksandr Soroka, Startup.Network and his startup-battles which are happening all around the world. Olexander Kosovan with his “dream-team” at MacPaw will strengthen its own alternative to MacStore — Setapp this year, and this company is definitely worth your attention.


Startup arena of Ukraine in 2020


Most possibly, 2020 will become a breakthrough in VR/AR technology usage and Ukraine with all its tech-companies has high chances to be ranked pretty high at this market. The second market that will be actively developing this year is going to be the alternative energy, and here Ukraine also has high chances to become a regional leader in the industry. The implementation of the 5G standard by mobile operators will attract additional attention to the IoT field, which will push both to the solution development in the field (the Ukrainian project Blynk has been successfully developing IoT solutions since 2014) and in security services (I recall the old joke that few people know that the letter s in IoT means “security”).

And at last, new means of communication — I doubt that Elon Musk will finish Neurolink till the end of this year to establish the direct connection between human and computer but we can predict new means of communication to appear (like it was with TikTok last year).


Startup arena of Ukraine in 2020


The Ukrainian parliament has already defined its interest in regulating the startup industry by the projected law #2615 that was pretty criticised. It is to be hoped that Ukrainian deputies will have enough strength not only to skip imposing their vision, what is easy to do with a “mono majority” in the Parliament, but will listen more to the point of view of field-oriented associations and entrepreneurs, who can feel “the improvements” approved by the new parliament, on their “own skin”

Talking about positive moments — there is a high chance that Ukrainian Startup Fund, which is created by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, will continue its functioning. It has already issued first grants in February this year, having selected winners of the first pitch-day: 6 projects received grants in the Seed-rounds and 2 projects in the Pre-Seed round. We hope that it won’t be the end of it, and for instance, we will see the Fund of funds that Ukraine needs for the further development of the venture industry, as there are many countries that successfully created such funds and now they show high level of venture market development.



Let’s be honest, no one knows what will happen in the world in a minute for sure. That’s why, this article with “predictions” for the development of ukrainian tech-market in 2020 can be perceived as anything but the ultimate truth from the Tablets of the Law. It will be interesting for us to take stock of this year and see what comes of the “predictions” but for now it remains to work together to make the Ukrainian market more and more attractive not only in terms of outsourcing or the R&D centers development of large world companies but also creating their own grocery companies that will join the “club of Ukrainian unicorns.”

12 Mar 2020


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