Investment in Ukrainian and Ukrainian-founded startups fell sharply last year, according to the latest edition of the Dealbook of Ukraine, an annual report offered by Ukrainian fund AVentures Capital.
The amount of startup funding deals reached a mere $218 million in the period including the full year 2022 and the first four months of 2023 — down from a record $832 million in 2021. The data covers startups based in Ukraine as well as those founded by Ukrainian entrepreneurs but established in other jurisdictions — which is the case, essentially in the USA, for most mature Ukrainian startups.
The decline in investments in Ukrainian startups is partly due to the global downturn that severely affected technology companies last year. “Both the US and the EU saw a 20-30% slowdown in their own VC investment volumes between 2021-2022,” notes the report.
Investments in growth and secondary deals, which usually account for the better part of deal volumes, fell dramatically. Meanwhile, early-stage investment in Ukrainian companies remained at a relatively high level, demonstrating resilience in a time of war. At $89 million, grants, seed and Series A funding in FY 2022 + 4M 2023 was below the levels of FY 2020 and FY 2021, but above that of any preceding year.
AVentures Capital reports several exits, including Augmented Pixels (acquired by Qualcomm), DMarket, Homsters (acquired by Ringier), Newoldstamp, Rest.app, and identifies several “unicorns-to-be:” Ajax, Creatio, WellTech, Genesis, Preply, Restream, as well as Ciklum, Intellias and Softserve in the software development industry
The study confirms a trend that has been established for more than a decade: Ukrainian investors tend to participate more actively in early-stage rounds (Seed and Series A up to $7 million) while foreign investors, which have more capital to commit, are generally involved in Series A and later rounds.
However, “an increasing number of international funds [now] invest across all stages: from offering world-class acceleration programs to leading in growth rounds of Ukrainian startups,” notes AVentures Capital.