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The first two weeks of December were quite hot, especially on the Polish, Ukrainian and Russian side of the startup scene. In this recap we prepared for you 2 news from Lithuania, 3 from Poland, 5 from Ukraine, and 4 from Russia.
The Lithuanian startup outdid its competitors – Estonian TransferWise – making it to the TOP 5 biggest seed round investments in the Baltics. The $2.5 round was led by Mark Ransford, Voria Fattahi, and Richard Tudor.
TransferGo offers the service of transferring the money abroad. Since 2013, it has gained more than 100,000 customers, having more than £100 million transferred, and has grown its customer base by 20% each month.
The money will be used to improve the product itself, increase compliance with financial regulations and expand new remittance corridors in Europe. More on ArcticStartup.
Lithuanian e-commerce startup for second-hand shopping Vinted has raised $27 million in Series C in a round led by the international media company Hubert Burda Media. The participation of VC firms Accel Partners and Insight Venture Partners brought Vinted’s total raised capital to $60M.
Vinted allows members to buy, sell or give away used fashion on the Web and in the app. The platform has over 11 million registered users spending on average 45 min/day using the service Headquartered in Vilnius, the company also has offices in San Francisco, Munich, Paris, Warsaw, and Prague. Now the company plans to expand to markets outside EU and the United States and to further invest in its products and community.
Previously, Vinted had raised a €20 million investment from Insight Venture Partners and has gained the title of the “highest-valued startup in the Baltics”. Source Tech.eu.
Restaumatic raised 2 million zł (approx. $500K at current exchange rate) from Inovo venture capital fund. The startup offers an online system for food ordering directly from restaurants for home-delivery and simultaneously a marketing tool for restaurateurs. The tool enables the restaurants to handle online orders directly, without having to use brokerage platforms. They can build the customer base within the service and use the data for marketing campaigns.
Within a year and a half, Restaumatic has subscribed to its services more than 340 restaurants across Poland without outside investment. The co-founders – Mark Skubacza and Michael Kozakiewicz – plan to allocate funds for foreign expansion, and to strengthen marketing and sales. Germany is the first foreign market they are aiming at.
Inovo, with a capital of over $7.6M coming from National Capital fund and private investors, invests in Polish SMEs with high-growth-potential. For the information, Polish food delivery segment is estimated at $500M and has been growing at 3.4-5.5% a year, compared to the world’s average of 2-3%. More info (in Polish).
Another investment by the Polish Inovo Venture into a successful Polish startup Brand 24, a social media monitoring and analytics tool used by IKEA, H&M, Uber, Vichy, Intel and 1,000 other companies, adding 100 new clients each month.
The fund got 5% of Brand24 shares in exchange for an injection of $360K, valuing the company for 5% of Brand24 shares, valuing the company at almost $7M.
Google has opened its startup-hub and incubator Campus Warsaw, the first in CEE and 5th in the world (after London, Seoul, Tel-Aviv, and Mountain View). Curiously, it’s located in the former vodka-factory building.
The Campus offers office space and training from affiliated gurus for several dozen start-ups to develop within their fields of expertise. Read more.
Launched in 2009 by Ukrainians, DepositPhotos is currently in top 5 among photo banks. They announced they had closed a $5M investment round led by EBRD (via their venture capital investment program), with a $1M participation from TMT Investments. In 2011, TMT had already financed the startup with $3M.
The company will be spending the money on hiring more people at Kiev’s R&D office, and to dominate the developing markets of CEE, Brazil and Turkey. Dmitry Sergeev, the founder, aims to make the company “an interesting goal for either future takeover or IPO”. For more information on the story, follow the link.
Two applications from Readdle, based in Odessa, got to the top of Apple’s annual ranking of the best apps. Their PDF Expert became the second among the applications for the Mac.
Readdle’s e-mail client Spark made it to the list of the best programs for iOS. Also, two other Ukrainian products – AuroraHDR and DaisyDisk – got in the list of the best applications for OS X. AuroraHDR is an advanced photo software while DaisyDisk is a hard disk analyzer tool which visualize its usage.
TRData, called Bloomberg for emerging markets, offers traders access to market data and analytics in real time. Founded in 2011 by Anton Pasechnikov, the company started having positive dynamics only in 2013, after receiving support from Seedcamp and fixing issues with the usability of the platform.
Growing by 20% a month recently, the service is already catering to well-known financial institutions, including Societe Generale, Raiffeisen Bank, BNP Paribas, Barclays, Commerzbank.
The startup has previously participated in the 500 Startups acceleration program and now raised $1.3 from 500 Startups (lead) with participation from Western and Russian top managers in banking and finance.
The funds will be used for expansion in Russia and in other emerging markets. TechCrunch has a story about them.
The Australian seed fund accelerator Muru-D selected the Ukrainian startup (out of 170 applications) to join its 3rd batch. The program is to start in February. As a part of the deal, the incubator will invest $40 000 for a 4% share in Persollo, evaluating it at $1 million. During the Demo day, they presented an MVP and boasted to have 120 sellers and $10 000 in transactions per week.
Persollo is personalized finance service run by a 16-year-old Ukrainian Stas Prysyazhnyuk. The tool enables users to quickly create a payment form in a single click without any complicated software manipulations. The system generates a URL to the payment form, which allows easy selling via any platform, including social networks. The team chose to join the Australian incubator since this is their target market at the moment, and they already have a great deal of partnerships and leads there.
Rentberry, founded by Ukrainians and developed in Kiev, has received $845,000 from a group of investors (Carlyle Group, Synergo Private Equity, Pegasus Capital, Abris Capital, World Bank subsidiary IFC and Ericsson). The startup, scheduled to enter the market in March 2016, is aiming to disrupt the long-term property rental market. Rentberry is valued at $3M. Details on Ukraine Digital News.
VisionLabs, a resident of Skolkovo Innovative center in Russia, is entering Numa Moscow’s acceleration program to support the international expansion of the startup. NUMA Moscow is the largest innovation hub in Paris that launched its program in Russia about 6 months ago.
VisionLabs is one of the most innovative computer vision companies, and it is in TOP 3 best visual recognition systems in the world by the Independent test Labeled Faces in the Wild by the University of Massachusetts.
The technology can be applied in several identity-related areas, through security to finance and robotics. Read the press release (in pdf).
Yet another success story in the same field: the face recognition software developed by the Russian N-Tech.Lab outperformed Google’s Facenet and more than 100 other competitors at the world’s facial recognition championship MegaFace Benchmark held by the University of Washington.
The unique algorithm based on the artificial neural networks extracts unique features of a human face, and is 73.3% accurate on 1 million faces. The founder, Artem Kukharenko, said they were working on the integration of their technology in some commercial products and were also considering raising funding. Details here.
With the aim to boost the user experience in its stores, IKEA invites developers, business experts, retail specialists, designers and marketers to join its “Mega Accelerator”. Applications accepted till January, all the selected teams will receive $5,000 and mentorship by their partner, GVA LaunchGurus, a western-style accelerator in Moscow. The winner will be announced in June 2016 and will get $50,000. Details on EWDN.
The remote rendering service Turborender got $140K from private investors Ramil Ibragimov and Kirill Belov.
The hardware-software complex Turborender offers web service for the calculation of computer graphics, visual effects in movies, 3D-models of complex production facilities and devices. The startup puts at the service of its clients the power of 800 CPUs on its 400 servers of 15984 GHz. The cost of rendering the image in the very top of this recap wasa bit more than $2.
The company claims to have handled about 50,000 orders from customers in the past two years, including a Russian full-length 3D animated cartoon. They also have customers in Australia, Brazil, the United States and Western Europe. Source: Rusbase (in Russian).
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