Leading Ukrainian online tech publication AIN.UA has revealed their list of the top 10 most promising domestic startups that have appeared in recent years. The publication asked experts (angels, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs) to identify their top five startups, based primarily on achievements from 2014.
Notable achievements may have included the completion of new investment deals, the release of a product, a pivot, winning a prestigious competition, and so forth. Each startup named received a point and the winners were then listed by score.
- Petcube gained notoriety for its successful Kickstarter campaign, through which it raised more than $250,000 from 1,758 backers. As the company’s name suggests, this startup produces a small electronic cube that allows its users to remotely interact with or view their pets. The startup was founded in 2012 and is currently based out of San Francisco. Petcube tops AIN’s list for the second year in a row.
- Coppertino is also based in California, but maintains their headquarters in Los Angeles. Founded in 2011, Coppertino is known for developing the VOX player, a minimalist audio player for Mac that is capable of handling files in a variety of formats. The company raised $400,000 from Kyiv-based (Kiev) venture fund AVentures Capital in 2013 and then followed it up in April 2014 with an undisclosed amount from AVentures, venture fund TA Venture, and Torben Majgaard, the founder of software development company Ciklum.
- Kyiv (Kiev)-based startup Advice Wallet was created by Anna Polishchuk and Stas Matvienko back in 2012. Its service, Settle, combines mobile payments and a loyalty scheme in one app, making it possible to both order and then pay bills at restaurants or cafés through a smartphone. Users register via a social network and link their bank card to the app. The company pulled in $1.5 million from Russian fund Life.SREDA in August 2014, while Advice Wallet claims funding from Russian VC firm Imperious Group.
- iblazr is a flash device for mobile devices using the iOS and Android operating systems. The device is typically used to produce better photos in dark settings. The company picked up more than $156,000 through a Kickstarter campaign in September and then launched their product in May 2014.
- Luciding – In September, this startup launched to offer a device that aims to help sleepers enjoy lucid dreaming, which involves dreams that can be controlled. In late October 2014, Luciding joined Odessa-based accelerator WannaBiz and received $15,000 in pre-seed funding.
- EcoisMe provides a subscription-based energy-management system that allows homeowners to monitor the energy output of various devices in the home. Created in 2013, the obtained 80,000 euros in funding this past summer from Deutsch Telekom and Polish accelerator Hubraum and moved to Krakow. The company also obtained 10,000 euro through competing at the IDCEE tech conference in Kyiv in November 2014.
- Looksery, founded in 2013 and based in San Francisco, provides facial-tracking and modification software to enable users to modify their appearance in photos and videos (adding filters, changing into a 3D character, etc). The company is promoting its software as a tool with potential application in video chat, marketing, healthcare, and more. As a result of their 3rd place finish in the startup competition at IDCEE, the company received 5,000 euro. (See the interview with Looksery founder Victor Shaburov).
- The concept behind Kwambio is that allows the owners of 3-D printers to customize and print their own creations. Still in private beta, this startup was the big winner in the startup competition at IDCEE and took home 15,000 euro as a prize. The company, founded in 2013, says that the service will initially be free, but that they will eventually charge for each print.
- Kaznachey has developed a payment platform for businesses that allows customers to pay through any legal means and for businesses to receive cash in their account or on a card. Kaznachey obtained $200,000 in April 2014 from WannaBiz and then followed that up by taking in $50,000 from the Polish incubator Next Step Labs.
- LeadScanner scans social media accounts for potential leads that businesses may find interesting. The Kyiv-based company, which launched in 2013, says that it offers leads in areas such as health and beauty services, fitness and yoga, foreign languages, and more. To date, the startup reports that it has generated more than 13.5 million leads for 10 industries.