Crunchbase and East-West Digital News are teaming up to cover key tech and venture trends from Eastern Europe. The last column by EWDN Chief Editor Adrien Henni highlights the most notable industry facts and trends in the first quarter of 2021.
Almost no major local deals took place in this period, but Eastern European tech companies continued asserting themselves on the global scene. This was exemplified by major financial deals involving airSlate, Creatio and Preply, to cite just Ukrainian cases.
The first months of the year were marked by constant political turmoil in two countries of the region. In Belarus, as the intensity of the revolutionary unrest, which began in August 2020, tended to diminish, the startup ecosystem entered an uncertain process of recovery. Startups took protective measures – typically, moving headquarters abroad and resuming development outside Belarus while keeping IT teams in Belarus.
In Russia, the turmoil around Alexey Navalny – a fierce opponent to Vladimir Putin who survived a poisoning attempt last year and was sent to jail in January 2021 – did not have major visible consequences on startup or venture activity. However, these events ignited a digital rebellion on TikTok, which in turn triggered the authorities to restrain the activity of Twitter and other social networks in Russia. The recent Russian military concentration near the Ukraine border and the subsequent diplomatic tension with Western powers did nothing to ease the atmosphere.Eastern Europe quarterly review: Major Ukrainian deals secured abroad, Belarusian startups adapt to political turmoilRead More