Kiev Startup Week

Kiev Startup Week: The place to be for tech entrepreneurs and investors from Ukraine and beyond

Next month startup entrepreneurs and investors from Ukraine and beyond will gather at the Kiev Startup Week (April 14-19), a series of events held in the Ukrainian capital. One of them is iForum, a key conference on the Eastern European IT scene with more than 5,000 of Internet entrepreneurs and business people attending each year.

Entrepreneurs will be able to present their projects at ‘Pirates on Shore’ (April 14) – with a chance to win a pass to Cologne’s Pirate Summit in September, – or in a more classic format at the Investor Pitch session (April 16)

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Ukrainian antivirus software gets popular abroad, but not at home

Ukraine is known as the producer of useful software for businesses and individuals. But it also has something worthy to offer in cyber security.

ALLIT Service company released its antivirus software Zillya! in 2009, becoming the first antivirus software producer in Ukraine. Six years later, while successfully selling its product outside Ukraine, it is finding less success at home.

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Battle For Donetsk

“Battle for Donetsk:” Belgian game studio launches war game with anti-war message

Belgian game studio LuGus Studios has developed “Battle for Donetsk,” a mobile game that has no winners. The anti-war game was created to raise awareness about the current eastern Ukraine conflict and educate a larger audience on what exactly is happening in the region.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian forces continues despite several failed attempts to establish ceasefires in the region. The conflict has included the annexation of Crimea, economic sanctions against Russia, the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and has led to 6,000 deaths and close to a million displaced citizens.

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International payment service provider PayU quits Ukrainian market

Earlier this month, Ukrainian clients of PayU, an international PSP which belongs to Naspers via the Allegro Group, were informed that the company will stop activities in the country in the near future.

While the company explained its decision as “based mainly on an assessment of the current and expected market conditions,” Ukrainian tech publication AIN.UA noted that the operator, which entered the market in 2012, has thus far not succeeded in gaining significant market share.

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Broadband Ukraine

Ukrainian government starts to push for greater transparency in online public information

One of the reasons why corruption flourishes in Ukraine is the lack of public information available freely online. But the parliament is taking the first steps to transparency in this area.

On March 5, Ukrainian Parliament gave preliminary approval (with 243 votes) to a law that would make more public information available online and free of charge. If adopted into law, government agencies would be obliged to publish operational data, statistics and reports on a national open data web platform.

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Ukrainian restaurant app Settle to conquer US market

Settle, a mobile booking and payment service for restaurants developed by Kyiv(Kiev)-based startup Advice Wallet, has secured an undisclosed amount from the SMRK VC fund, as tech blog reported last week. The funds will be used to launch Settle in the American market.

“In the United States, there is a severe problem with wait-times at restaurants, as guests are waiting suffer through lengthy waits for tables and their food. Thus, local restaurants are interested in mobile pre-orders. We have reached agreements with 15 institutions regarding the launch of Settle. By the end of March, we will launch a new product oriented at the American market,” says Stas Matvienko, founder of the service.

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Petcube raises $1.1 million to let owners interact with pets remotely

Pets that stay home alone too much can get depressed or out of shape due to a lack of interaction with humans. But a startup called Petcube Inc. has raised $1.1 million in seed funding to keep pets happy and healthy with hardware and apps, the company announced.

AVentures Capital and Almaz Capital co-led the seed investment in the San Francisco-based company, with participation from SOSVentures, co-founder and CTO David Michaels and Nick Bilogorskiy, who was a former chief malware researcher for Facebook.

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Smart emailing solution Traqli inks deals with major digital publishers and raises seed-stage round

Newzmate, a startup that develops emailing solutions for digital publishers, has just attracted a $300,000 investment from Polish VC firm Xevin Investments and Dutch angel investor Bas Godska for their smart emailing solution.

Newzmate main product, christened ‘Traqli,’ helps digital publishers create and deliver news digests based on readers’ individual preferences and interests. Based on semantic analysis and content curation techniques, the Traqli technology recognizes content topics, defines connections between articles and tracks users’ behavior on the site.

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How IT offshoring center Lviv is turning into a software and hardware R&D hub

Lviv (Lvov), a major city in western Ukraine, is known for its second largest tech community in the country. Hosting about 25% of all Ukrainian developers, it is currently undergoing a transformation from an major IT outsourcing destination to a technology hub with its own software and hardware startups.

Community initiatives have sprung up to further develop the human capital in terms of both technological abilities and entrepreneurship.

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Dmytro Sholomko Google Ukraine

Google Ukraine chief wants stability in order to flourish

Ukraine’s rapidly developing tech scene saw global giant Google, mostly known for its popular search engine, establish an office in Kyiv in 2006. Today, Google’s country manager for Ukraine, Dmytro Sholomko, says that behemoths like his employer are now looking for stability in Ukraine in order to develop.

Sholomko hopes for support from Ukraine’s government to tech businesses. Tax benefits are not needed, he said, but providing discounts on rent or utilities for companies that make innovative products would be helpful.

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