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Perhaps April wasn’t the warmest in Russia, but the deal flow made up for it: Luka, Virool, ScentBird, Timescnery, Cardparking, Cloudpayments, Elemenraree, Brain4net raised a combined $23.03 million in April 2016.
The startup, based in San-Francisco and a graduate of YCombinator winter 2015 class, secured $4.42 million in a Series A lead by Sherpa Capital, Y Combinator, Ludlow Ventures and Justin Waldron, co-founder of Zynga.
Luka is an iOS messaging app with a AI-powered bot platform. Bots are getting really popular, Facebook and Telegram are already trying to capitalize on their potential. The user can ask @Luka anything, and the app will connect him to the right bot, which will book a table at the restaurant, play games, read news, and much more. The startup was founded by Eugenia Kuyda, the editor-in-chief of Afisha, a lifestyle and events publication in Russia, and Philipp Dudchuk, an ex-journalist of RIA Novosti. Read more about Luka and their expansion plans.
New-York based startup ScentBird, founded by Russian immigrants, has recently secured $2.8 M in venture funding from a stack of investors including TMT Investments, Scrum Ventures, Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian, and Michael Seibel of SocialCam. For $14.99/month, the service subscribers get a set of samples of luxury perfumes, which will be just enough for 30 days. The company claims to have shipped more than 300,000 samples since 2014. Details on VentureBeat.
Founded by the Russian team, Y-Combinator graduate Virool now runs around 75,000 video advertising campaigns worldwide and monitors users’ reactions via web cameras. The funding raised from Menlo Ventures, Yahoo Japan, 500 Startups and Flint Capital, will help the company to expand in North America, Latin America, and Europe. The full story on Techcrunch. We covered their previous round in September 2015.
CardParking is an app where users can store, get or buy discount cards, and affiliated partners get new customers and data on their behaviour. The company is focused on the B2B segment and claims to have 200,000 registered users and to be profitable since its start in 2014. Funds will go on establishing feedback connection with the customers, introducing loyalty programs and other marketing tools into the app. The deal was agreed on in November 2015, but the announcement came out in April. More details of the story (the link is in Russian).
An undisclosed Kazakh investor invested $3,4 M into the Titanium.vc-backed startup in exchange for 40% in the subsidiary “CloudPayments Kazakhstan”. The funds will be allocated to the development at the Kazakh market. CloudPayments offers easy-to-build payment solutions for e-commerce thanks to the integration of various methods of payments. It has offices in Latvia, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan. More on the story (the link is in Russian).
An anonymous investor backed the Russian foodtech startup Elementaree with $500,000 for business development and process automation. Elementaree is a food delivery + recipes service combined with ideas of healthy food and time-saving. The user chooses a meal plan (special evening, healthy eating or supermarket substitution) and the service delivers the pack of sliced ingredients and instructions for the meal. The founders say that the weekly package turns our to be cheaper than the same the same product basket from the supermarket. According to Elementaree, it currently serves meals to 5,000 customers and expects its revenue to reach 20 million rubles (approx. $301,000 at the current exchange rate) in April. In five year, the company is planning to become a mainstream substitute for supermarkets. Learn more (the link is in Russian)
CityAds, an online performance marketing and advertising platform powered by Big Data, plans to reach $2.6 M in revenue in Poland by the end of 2016 and to become a noticeable player of CPA (cost-per-action) market in the CEE region. On the domestic market, the company works with AliExpress, Bank Home Credit, Tinkoff Credit Systems, IVI.ru, Tom Tailor, and currently has an ambitious plan to generate up to 80% of the company’s benefit from foreign markets such as Brazil, Malaysia, China, USA. In November 2015, they opened an office in San-Francisco, in the US, with the consulting support from Gagarin Capital. Futher reading (the link is in Russian)
Founded by Mail.ru Group’s CEO Dmitry Grishin, the venture capital fund Grishin Robotics announced the second fund for startups from the US and EU in the area of robotics, collaborative and material handling robots, AI, data analytics, industrial IoT. The fund will mostly finance Series A&B deals, and its first investment was allocated into Ring, an advanced video doorbell system developed in California. Find out more details here.
The provider of advanced SDN/NFV solutions for network infrastructure management Brain4Net has secured nearly $1.75 million (120 M RUB) from KommIT, the venture branch of the biggest Russian telecom operator Rostelecom, and Leta CapitalWhile Brain4Net deals with companies in Russia, the US and Europe. Learn more on EWDN.
Moscow-based asset management company RIO injects $600,000, at $4M valuation, into the Russian startup that promises to provide all-trip plans to travellers. Timescenery creates an interactive graphic representation of every possible route, flights, jetlags, local commuting and housing in order to pack all travel questions in one app. Continue reading on EWDN.
Cover image credit: Timescenery Facebook account.
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