Last week eight Ukrainian startups were distinguished in the 8th edition of the Ukrainian Startup Rating, a ranking presented by prominent industry figure Denis Dovgopoliy at the iForum conference in Kyiv (Kiev).
The ranking was open to IT startups with a Ukrainian founder or team member with less than three years of existence and an annual turnover not exceeding $1 million.
The jury was composed of 36 industry experts, investors, entrepreneurs and press representatives.
Energy-management startup Ecoisme was named as last year’s best startup. Since its inception in 2013, this company has been supported by Deutsche Telekom and Polish incubator Hubraum and, more recently, was selected to participate in Richard Branson’s Virgin Media Accelerator program. It has been backed by several business angels, including Nick Bilogorskiy, Sergey Povzner and Dutch marketing expert Bas Godska.
In 2015, the startup presented its device on Indiegogo where it overreached its crowdfunding target.
Earlier this year, Ecoisme was awarded at the EDF Awards as offering the best Connected Home technology. In January, its co-founder Ivan Pasichnyk got listed in Forbes Europe “30 Under 30” success list in January this year.
The other distinguished startups of 2015 were the following:
- Competera — Having developed a SaaS solution to monitor prices, this startup serves clients offers clients from as far as Great Britain, the USA and Australia.
- Kwambio — Initially a developer of 3D printing devices with headquarters in New York, the company has become an online store selling 3D-printed goods. Founded in 2013, Kwambio entered into a 3-month-long summer program at the TechStars accelerator in Boston and secured $650,000 from it in June 2015. Now Kwambio is preparing to launch its own production of 3D models.
- Life Tracker — This startup aims to “track all dimensions of your life automatically” with “automatic monitoring of mood changes and emotions.” It is designed by PDNA, a Ukrainian startup that develops projects in the field of symbiotic artificial intelligence. In January 2016, Life Tracker raised €200,000 from local venture fund Digital Future.
- Looksery — Launched in 2013 and based in Odessa, Looksery has developed an application that enables users to simulate their appearance for a photo or video chat in real-time. In September 2015, the company was acquired by the US unicorn Snapchat for a reported $150 million.
- Preply — This platform to find foreign language tutors for home or Skype lessons was launched in 2013. Preply entered the acceleration program of the US accelerator TechStars and received $120,000 from it in summer 2015. In January 2016, Preply entered the Brazilian market.
- SOC Prime — This startup has developed a security and intelligence management platform for enterprise and public organizations.
- Wishround — Focusing on social commerce, this company has developed “Europe’s number one friends fund-raising platform.” Wishround enables group payments via social networks.
The majority of Ukrainian startups are globally oriented. “As the Ukrainian economy is experiencing hard times, innovations are not in demand here,” commented Dovgopoliy.
“Therefore, local teams are working for the western market. It is a good thing, on the one hand: the more money is there, the more chances to succeed they have. On the other hand, Ukraine’s brain drain has become a concern to both entrepreneurs and engineers,” he added.