Last week Zakaz.ua, a major Ukrainan e-commerce site, secured $2.5 million from Chernovetskyi Investment Group (CIG), an investment company backed by businessman and former Kiyv (Kiev) mayor Leonid Chernovetskyi.
A groceries delivery company serving the inhabitants of Kyiv (Kiev), Zakaz.ua was launched in 2010 by Yegor Anchishkin – whose first startup, Viewdle, was acquired by Google in 2012.
Since its inception, Zakaz.ua had already raised “less than $1 million” in total, reports the Ukrainian edition of Forbes magazine.
Valentin Kalashnik, president of the Ukrainian Direct Marketing Association (UADM), describes Zakaz.ua as “a profitable and autonomous project” and “an example of a scalable business model that can adapt to virtually any market.”
Strengthened by “sound management principles, this project has a great chance to become a big international success,” the expert told Ukraine Digital News.
Anchishkin had originally planned on entering the Russian market. However, in connection with the recent events, he decided to change his focus and concentrate on other foreign markets. “All the advantages of Russia have been eroded because I can be stopped at the border at any point, while directors of grocery chains could refuse to cooperate with me due to ‘patriotic’ reasons,” Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA quoted Anchishkin as saying.
“The Ukrainian e-commerce market remains fundamentally attractive for investors, even though many deals have been delayed due to the current geopolitical crisis. Now that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, investment activities are resuming,” AVentures Capital’s Yevgen Sysoyev, a prominent figure on the Ukrainian venture scene, told Ukraine Digital News.
A giant fund with a secret portfolio
CIG was founded in 2012. Its available capital, which exceeds $750 million, is the personal funds of Leonid Chernovetskyi.
In 2008, the controversial businessman sold his bank, Pravex, which stood as one of the country’s leading banks, to the Italian financial group Intesa Sanpaolo.
CIG, which focuses on “IT and Internet projects that are scalable internationally,” does not only consider Ukrainian startups. “We may invest in foreign companies as well. The key geographical destinations are South-East Asia, India, China, and Brazil,” CIG’s press service explained to Ukraine Digital News.
The company declined to disclose information about its existing portfolio.
- The UADM association is preparing the first ever report on the Ukrainian e-commerce market in association with Ukraine Digital News. For more information, please contact us.