Illustrating a willingness to reshape and open their industry to the global market, Ukraine’s venture capitalists have launched their own association. Joining the initiative are 30 industry players including not only such major Ukrainian funds as AVentures Capital, Horizon Capital, TA Venture or Vostok Venture, but also the EBRD and the Ernst & Young Venture Capital Excellence Center.
Christened UVCA (Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association), the organization held its founding meeting on Friday, August 22.
Jaanika Merilo, a significant figure in the Eastern European venture scene and a managing member of the recently created UAngel association, has been chosen to head the association. “Attention should be brought to Ukraine not only in regards to war, but also to its huge investment potential. This is the message we’re sending today,” she stated.
“Since 2002, there have been several attempts to launch such an association, but this time we had a common, strong understanding that it is needed for investors and investments,“ commented AVentures Capital Managing Partner Andrey Kolodyuk, who was one of the initiators of the association.
“Even in such difficult times for the country, we are witnessing a high level of activity in the venture industry with the emergence of two associations [UAngel and UVCA]. Venture investment is crucial to modernizing the country; and even though our fund is conducting its activities globally, we are bringing all our support to such initiatives,” said Viktoria Tigipko, founder of TA Venture and organizer of the industry event IDCEE, in an exchange with Ukraine Digital News.
Included in UVCA’s plans for the next few months is the election of its managing bodies, an application to join the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA), and participation in legislative discussions to improve the investment climate in the country.
The association, which aims to become “the front door for foreign investors considering investing in Ukraine,” will launch a PR campaign focusing on the high-tech sectors.
Mrs. Merilo was not available for comment when approached by Ukraine Digital News. A presentation of the association’s functions and goals is available here.