EWDN: Investment in Ukrainian-founded startups reached record high $571mn in 2020

EWDN: Investment in Ukrainian-founded startups reached record high $571mn in 2020
Venture and private equity investors poured a record $571mn into Ukrainian tech companies in 2020
By East West Digital News in Moscow April 7, 2021

In 2020, the total VC and PE investment volume in Ukrainian or Ukrainian-founded tech companies reached a record high $571mn. This data is provided by AVentures Capital, a major local VC firm, in its authoritative VC report published last month, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).

The volume of seed deals more than doubled year-on-year to $42mn. Meanwhile, the volume of Series A deals more than quadrupled to a $119mn, notes the report.

The better part of the funding went to a handful of global companies founded by Ukrainian entrepreneurs — and still relying, at least partly, on Ukrainian technical teams — but established in the USA. These companies are:

Most Ukrainian funds focus on early-stage rounds, while international investors target high growth opportunities at the Series A and further stages.

The reports sees exits as a sign of maturation of a “product-oriented ecosystem:” globally-successful Ukrainian product companies “continue drawing attention from of strategic players, international buy-out funds, and generate returns for early backers.”

Several startups with Ukrainian roots —  Gitlab, Bitfury and Grammarly — are now unicorns, the report points out. A few others are on the track to become new ones: these includes airSlate, Ajax, Genesis and People.ai, as well as software development company Softserve.

Domestic market leaders Rozetka (e-commerce) and Monobank (neobank) are on the same track, the report believes.

Finally, the Ukrainian tech sector showed a certain resilience in this crisis year, said AVentures Capital’s Yevgen Sysoev, who co-authored the report, in a previous exchange with East-West Digital News.  “Most companies and sectors, including product startups and IT service companies, returned back to growth in Q3 and we saw a peak of tech investments in Q4. The last quarter of 2020 was the best ever for tech deals, and a number of companies are considering an accelerated path to IPO.”

The report also provides insights on the Ukrainian VC scene, the state startup fund USF, M&As in the field of software outsourcing, international R&D centers, and more.