US government fund WNISEF to invest $5 million in Ukrainian IT startups

Western NIS Enterprise Fund (WNISEF), a $150 million regional private equity fund backed by USAID to invest in Ukraine and Moldova, intends to inject at least $5 million in Ukrainian IT startups.

“We have been authorized to launch a new fund to support startups in the IT sector,” WNISEF President and CEO Jaroslawa Johnson was quoted by Interfax as saying.

Contacted by Ukraine Digital News, the fund could not provide any details about this new investment program.

Since its inception, WNISEF’s cumulative investments totals over $168 million in 118 companies in Ukraine and Moldova.

Under a $35-million Transformation Program launched last year, around 20 projects and programs promoting qualitative social change at various levels have already received a total of $10 million in financial assistance.

As part of this program, Ukraine’s first incubator for Open Data projects — dubbed ‘1991 Open Data Incubator’ — was launched by WNISEF earlier this year in partnership with the Ukrainian government Microsoft Ukraine and tech NGO SocialBoost.

By 2018, the fund intends to create six 1991 Open Data Incubators in Ukraine and Moldova as well as 15 ‘Leadership Academies’ in different regions of Ukraine, according to a WNISEF press release.

Among other programs, WNISEF provided the initial funding to develop the ProZorro public e-procurement system.

Last month the US fund joined the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA).

Topics: Finance, International, News, Venture/Private equity
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