14 startups with Ukrainian roots that raised money in 2023

14 startups with Ukrainian roots that raised money in 2023

By Polina Fomenkova, PR Writer

Despite challenges such as the war, global financial instability, and a 38% decrease in European startup investments, Ukrainian founders show resilience and keep raising money to build global innovative businesses.

Here are 14 Ukraine-founded startups that successfully secured funding in 2023.

This list doesn’t aim to include all the Ukraine-related startups that raised money in 2023. If you believe someone else should be on the list, please contact me at polina.fomenkova@flyerone.vc.

Carmoola — $125 million

The British fintech startup with two Ukrainian co-founders Carmoola raised $125 million in February, not disclosing its valuation.

The Series A $10-million round was led by QED Investors, with participation from VentureFriends and InMotion Ventures, the investment arm of Jaguar Land Rover. An additional $115 million was secured from the British bank NatWest in the form of a debt facility.

Carmoola is a “neo-car finance” service that speeds up the process of purchasing a new car. It generates a budget in 60 seconds, offers a free vehicle history check, and enables users to make instant online payments or pay in the showroom using a Carmoola virtual card.

The startup was co-founded by Aiden Rushby, Amy McKechnie, and Ukrainians Roman Sumnikov and Ihor Hordiychuk in 2022. It is based in London while half of its 20-person team is located in Ukraine.

Preply — $70 million

Global e-learning platform Preply raised $70 million (a combination of debt and equity) in July, which took its Series C funding to $120 million. It didn't disclose the valuation at which it closed the round.

The round was led by Horizon Capital, with participation from Reach Capital, Hoxton Ventures, and other existing investors.

Preply develops a platform that allows tutors to teach 50 languages, including English, German, Arabic, French, Polish, and Ukrainian. The startup has 35,000 tutors from 190 countries. The funding will help Preply launch an AI assistant for tutors and develop personalized learning tools.

Preply was founded in 2012 by three Ukrainian entrepreneurs: Dmytro Voloshyn Kirill Bigai, and Sergey Lukyanov. The startup employs over 500 people and has offices in Barcelona, New York, and Kyiv.

CAST AI — $55 million

The Lithuanian startup with Ukrainian co-founders CAST AI raised $20 million in March and $35 million in November (Series B). The valuation hasn’t been disclosed.

The latest ($35 million) funding was raised from Vintage Investment Partners and existing investors Creandum and Uncorrelated Ventures, bringing the company’s total funding raised to $73 million; and the $20 million investment round was led by Creandum.

CAST AI automatically manages the cloud resources of its customers and, according to its website, saves users up to 63% on cloud technologies such as AWS, Google Cloud, and Azure. The startup's tool analyzes cloud usage for the best cost-performance combination. ShareChat, Iterable, and Branch are among its clients.

The startup was founded by Laurent Gil and Ukrainian co-founders Yuri Frayman and Leon Kuperman in 2019. It has 75 employees who work from its Miami and Vilnius offices, and remotely from Ukraine.

Fintech Farm — $22 million

Fintech Farm raised a $22 million Series B round in April. According to Dealroom, its valuation may exceed $100 million.

The round was led by Nordstar; Chrome Capital was among the contributors along with other participants, according to Ukrainian tech publication AIN.Capital.

Fintech Farm creates digital banks in emerging markets. One of its projects is Leobank in Azerbaijan. In March 2023, Fintech Farm launched Liobank in Vietnam.

The startup was founded by Oleksandr Vityaz, Mykola Bezkrovny, and serial entrepreneur Dmytro Dubilet in 2020. It employs about 200 people and headquarters in London; it has offices in Kyiv and Dnipro.

DressX — $15 million

Digital fashion retailer DressX raised $15 million in a Series A funding round in March, not disclosing its valuation.

The round was led by Greenfield Capital, with participation from Slow Ventures, Warner Music, The Artemis Fund, Red DAO, and other investors.

DressX is a fashion tech company that sells more than 3,500 digital clothing and accessories items worn in AR, video calls, photo dressing, and by avatars in metaverses. The garments can also be found on external marketplaces like Roblox, Zepeto, Meta (Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Horizon Worlds), and Snapchat.

The startup has teamed up with tech, fashion, and lifestyle brands, including Google, The Coca-Cola Company and Farfetch; it launched an exclusive collection on the Meta Avatars Store with Diesel in September 2023.

The startup was founded in 2020 in Los Angeles by Darya Shapovalova and Natalia Modenova. DressX employs around 70 people who are based in Los Angeles and Ukraine.

NewHomesMate — $5.5 million

Proptech startup NewHomesMate (formerly Propretymate) raised a $5.5 million Seed round in June. It’s valued at $30-40 million, according to Forbes Ukraine.

The round saw participation from Gaingels, Geek Ventures, Asymmetry Ventures, Unpopular Ventures, Flyer One Ventures, U.Ventures, Verras Capital, SID Venture Partners, Pragmatech Ventures, and several angel investors.

NewHomesMate is an online marketplace to find, compare, and buy new construction homes. The startup operates in 10+ markets, including in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina. The platform hosts over 26,500 new buildings, and its clients include American agencies Keller Williams, eXp Realty, and Compass.

Bohdan Hnatkovskii and Sofia Vyshnevska launched NewHomesMate in 2018. Currently, the company employs 200 people and has offices in Austin (where it’s based) and Lviv.

Deskree — $1.5 million

Deskree, which builds a no-code cloud infrastructure tool, raised a $1.5 million Seed round in September. It didn't disclose the valuation at which it closed the round.

The money came from Forum Ventures, Hustle Fund, N49P, Flair Ventures, ZAKA VC, League of Innovators, Flyer One Ventures, AAl VC, and Vesna Capital.

Deskree is a versatile platform that simplifies backend infrastructure creation by eliminating the need for expensive DevOps and cloud architect specialists. Deskree promises to help its clients create backends in minutes, for a $19 monthly subscription, saving them thousands of dollars and months of their time.

Over the last year, the number of Deskree users has grown from 300 to 10,000 developers worldwide.

Founded by Dmytro Grechko in 2021, Deskree employs eight people and is based in Toronto, Canada.

Masthead Data — $1.5 million

Masthead Data raised $1.3 million in a pre-Seed round in June, not disclosing its valuation.

The investment round was led by focal, with participation from SMOK Ventures, DEPO Ventures, Monochrome, and Alchemist Accelerator.

Masthead Data reads tables, processes, scripts, and dashboards in data warehouses and connected BI tools, looks for anomalies and, if any data failures occur, notifies data teams.

In 2022, Masthead was one of the startups that received funding as part of the Google for Startups Ukraine Support Fund.

Founded in 2022 by Yuliia Tkachova and Sergey Tkachov, Masthead Data employs 10 people and headquarters in Toronto.

Zeely — $1 million

The AI-powered sales-growth mobile app Zeely raised $1 million in a Seed round in April, not disclosing its valuation.

The round was supported by Vesna Capital, Angel One Fund, ZAS Ventures, Imaguru Ventures, as well as angels Murat Abdrakhmanov and Adrian J. Slywotzky.

Zeely is a platform that allows businesses to create an online store and promote themselves on social media. It integrates with platforms like Shopify, Wix, and WooCommerce and helps set up ads on social media. The app automatically creates ads and, using machine learning, promises to help entrepreneurs achieve higher ROI.

The app was downloaded more than 50,000 times in the U.S. alone; it’s also used by businesses in the U.K., Brazil, and Mexico.

Zeely was founded in 2022 by Alina Bondarenko, Dmytro Samoiliuk, and Yaroslav Samoiliuk. Twelve people work at Zeelly both remotely and from the Google for Startups Campus in Warsaw.

Osavul — $1 million

Information security company Osavul raised $1 million in a Seed round in May, not disclosing its valuation.

The round was led by SMRK.

Osavul develops an AI-powered tool for information security intelligence. The AI-based software helps identify and counteract disinformation campaigns and other forms of malicious activity.

Currently, Osavul software is used by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and the National Security and Defense Council, as well as businesses like FlixBus, Ukravto, and Alliance Novobud. The startup will use the money to scale globally; according to Forbes, it has already started negotiations with foreign states and NGOs.

Osavul was founded in 2022 by Dmytro Pleshakov and Dmytro Bilash.

All Right — $1 million

Online English school All Right raised $1 million in April. The startup is valued at $20-40 million, according to Forbes Ukraine.

The money was attracted from 11 private investors, including Depositphotos founder Dmitry Sergeev, ex-Kyivstar CEO Peter Chernyshov, and three of the startup’s board members.

All Right offers online English classes for kids 4-12 years old combining lessons with real teachers and homework with AI-powered tutors. The company operates in 12 countries, helping more than 22,000 young students learn English

In 2021, All Right bought EnglishDom, a company that teaches English to adults.

The EdTech startup was launched in 2019 by Oleg Oksyuk.

Fuelfinance — $1 million

Financial planning software Fuelfinence raised $1 million in a pre-Seed round in January, not disclosing its valuation.

Among the investors are Stratmind, BADideas.fund, and two CEOs of unicorn companies, Bolt’s Markus Villig and SendBird’s John S. Kim.

Fuelfinance simplifies financial management for SMBs, reducing the time CEOs and CFOs spend in spreadsheets. It provides a set of tools from accounting to producing reliable P&L statements, and provides its users with financial planning scenarios.

Startup manages finances in dozens of companies, including Reface, Petcube, and Awesomic.

In 2019, Alyona Mysko created Fuelfinance; Petcube’s co-founder Yaroslav Azhnyuk joined the company in 2021 as a partner and co-founder. The company’s biggest market is the U.S. Most of its 20+ person team are Ukrainians.

Workee — $900,000

The online business management system for freelancers Workee raised a $900,000 Seed round in July at a valuation of $9–12 million, according to Tech Ukraine. This round brings the company's total funding to $1.6 million.

The round was led by SMOK Ventures, with participation from the Google for Startups Ukraine Support Fund, Slava Ventures, and anonymous angel investors from Silicon Valley.

Workee is a platform that enables freelancers to create a personalized website with a booking system, built-in payments, invoicing, and tax management. With this software, they can manage all their work processes: tasks, schedules, communication with clients, and finances. The startup has more than 7,000 active users from 50 countries.

Workee was founded in May 2020 by Ihor Bauman, Artem Kanaki, and Yevhen Kiseliov. Currently, it employs 12 people. The head office of Workee is located in Delaware, the U.S., its R&D is in Kyiv. The startup also has offices in Lithuania and the Czech Republic.

Awesomic — $800,000

The Y Combinator-backed startup Awesomic raised $800,000, adding it to the $2 million Seed round it raised in 2021. The company’s valuation hasn’t been disclosed.

The money came from Pioneer Fund, Flyer One Ventures, Red Rooster Ventures, Y Combinator managing director Michael Seibel, Y Combinator group partner Jared Friedman, and other participants who haven’t been named.

Awesomic is a platform that helps companies quickly find designers for their projects. It’s subscription-based, and customers receive workweek-long status updates on their tasks.

The company has completed over 10,000 projects for more than 1,500 clients, including such companies as Reface, Ciklum, and Reply.io.

The startup was launched in 2020 by Roman Sevast and Stacy Pavlyshyna. It headquarters in San Francisco, California. According to the company’s profile on Linkedin, it employs around 150 people.

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