1. Home
  2. investment
  3. news
  4. A non-profit venture fund aims to back 200 startups established by refugee Ukrainian entrepreneurs

A non-profit venture fund aims to back 200 startups established by refugee Ukrainian entrepreneurs

Urooba Jamal   

A non-profit venture fund aims to back 200 startups established by refugee Ukrainian entrepreneurs
  • The fund hopes to help Ukrainian entrepreneurs who have fled to the West, founder Roman Tyan told Insider.
  • The founders won't be taking salaries and are personally investing in the fund themselves.

A non-profit venture fund is seeking to support Ukrainian entrepreneurs who have had to flee from Ukraine to the West because of Russia's invasion.

Ukrainian Tech Ventures is bidding to raise $50 million to back 200 startups for Ukrainian individual entrepreneurs or teams who want to resume their business in the West, founder Roman Tyan told Insider.

"It is a very timely and positive idea in view of the current situation in Ukraine, as lots of Ukrainian founders are forced to quickly relocate their businesses to Western countries," Tyan – who is also a managing partner of NRG Ventures, a US-based business that funds startups in Eastern Europe – told Insider.

The founder added that displaced Ukrainian entrepreneurs are facing challenges in attracting new capital.

"Such a fund can help them gain a foothold and grow successfully in a new location," said Tyan.

The conflict in Ukraine has shuttered businesses as Russia's shelling forced people to flee its business hubs in the capital of Kyiv and other parts of the country. Many international firms have also had to cease their operations there. The country has 250,000 technology professionals, Bloomberg reports, home to notables such as WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum, and Revolut co-founder Vlad Yatsenko.

The founders of the fund, launching May 1, hope it will play a role in mitigating some of the negative impacts of the conflict on Ukraine's tech industry.

Sergii Kremeno, a Kyiv-based cofounder of Apollo iGDS, a company that provides ticketing software, has joined the venture fund after being approached by Tyan.

Tyan and Kremeno won't be taking salaries from their venture and are personally investing into the fund themselves, Tyan confirmed to Insider.

"We see the fund as both a humanitarian and commercial initiative," said Tyan, adding that it's also why they aren't charging a carry fee unlike traditional venture fund managers.

The duo hope that its non-profit status will attract investors, who will get a bigger share of profits compared to investments into other venture funds. Investors will share 100% of the profits compared with the usual 80%, Tyan said.

One startup the fund is looking to support is Mobility Partners Ukraine, a small fintech company that makes it easier to make payments for multiple bus trips, Tyan said.

"This startup needs capital to restart its operations in Europe, relocate employees from Ukraine, find working and living spaces, [and] accelerate its sales to connect with transportation and OTA operators in Europe," the founder explained.

"Ukrainian Tech Ventures can assist with all of it," he added.


Popular Right Now