Stas Prisiazhnuk, a 16-year-old entrepreneur from Donetsk, a war-torn city in Eastern Ukraine, is expecting to receive $40,000 in seed-stage funding from Muru-D, a Australian startup accelerator program, to develop his fintech project Persollo. Muru-D will receive a 4% stake in the company.
The young entrepreneur told Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA that the project had been valued at $1 million.
Persollo has been selected in top ten startups among 170 applications. All the ten successfull projects will receive investments from the accelerator, said Prisiazhnuk, who signed muru-D’s term-sheet.
“We accepted 390 registrations and 171 completed applications and were blown away by some of the creative ideas we received this year. Between the drones, the nano-satellites, apps and Internet-of-things platforms, this intake has raised the bar again and reminded us what an incredibly exciting time it is to be part of today’s technology landscape,” said Muru-D co-founder Annie Parker.
Persollo is a tool to facilitate online trading. It was launched by brothers Prisiazhnuk, Yaroslav and Stas, in April 2015.
Previoulsy, Persollo received $5,000 from Incubate, another Australian accelerator, at the prototype stage. The Prisyazhnyuk brothers attended Incubate’s online acceleration program from their Ukrainian hometown.
“Thanks to Incubate, we have got knowledge which will enable us to succeed, as well as mentors and new connections. Now, we are starting the next stage of our development, with Muru-D offering a full-scale seed-stage funding. We have to move forward and develop more actively,” Prisiazhnuk said.
“We have chosen Australia for the second time as it is our initial market. There are many connections and potential major partners there,” the entrepreneur added.
Muru-D’s acceleration program will kick off on February 1. The participants will be trained by a highly developed network of mentors and industry professionals. To benefit from the program, the Persollo team may move to Australia, however the young entrepreneurs are considering participation via Skype.
From prototype to major clients
With only a prototype in summer, the team launched MVP by the end of August 2015. As a result, 120 sellers joined the project and $10,000 transactions were performed per week.
“We have already collaborated with several major events. For instance, the tickets to OzUke lunch, the Australian-Ukrainian business forum, were sold via Persollo. At the moment, we are negotiating with Digivizer and several other major Australian banks the implementation of an advanced technology, which will push Persollo to a new level”, said Stas.
In Persollo’s team, Stas is responsible for design and product management, while Yaroslav is in charge of process engineering and development. The other team members are Kyrylo Medvediev, Olga Oleinikova and Alex Shirshov.
Backed by telecom company Telstra, Muru-D provides mentoring, tailored acceleration services and financial support to early stage technology companies from the Asia and Pacific region.