Ukrainian fund Fison injects half a million dollars into e-commerce recommendation startup with global ambitions
The Ukrainian investment fund Fison has invested $500,000 in DataProm, a Kyiv (Kiev) -based startup developing data-driven recommendation solutions for online retailers. The deal – which valued the startup at $2 million – was closed in May but made public only last week.
“We’ve been paying attention to the Big Data segment for a long time already,” Fison’s co-founder Dmitry Vishnyov told Ukraine Digital News. “In contrast with the USA and Europe, there were practically no specialists and no projects in this field in Ukraine. We quickly found a common language with [the DataProm team] as soon as we discovered them.”
A kind of revolutionary solidarity made the dialogue even easier: “We, the Fison staff and ourselves, are all [revolutionaries] from Maidan,” the startup’s CEO Anton Vokrug said in an exchange with local tech publication AIN.
After testing the solution in Ukraine, DataProm will target the global market, including Europe, Brazil, India and maybe China. A team of 12 people is working for the startup under an outstaffing arrangement with DataArt. While the DataProm company and trademark have been registered in the Seychelles islands, the corporate website is still under development, AIN reported.
While the raised funds will be spent on product development, Fison is considering additional investment for marketing, Vishnyov told Ukraine Digital News.
Fison is a $20 million investment company founded last year by Dmitry Tomchuk and Dmitry Vishnyov, two businessmen from Dnipropetrovsk (Dnepropetrovsk) in Eastern Ukraine. One third of its capital was crowdfunded – a unique practice in the country – with 17,000 individual investors bringing their contribution from as low as $100.
The company invests a part of its capital in seed- and early stage startups with a focus on mobile apps, e-commerce and Big Data.
The troubled political situation did have an impact on Ukraine’s investment climate, “but not on the assets themselves,” Vishnyov told Ukraine Digital News. “Significant projects have global potential and strategy, which reduces the risks of losses for investors. In addition, the Ukrainian president [Petro Poroshenko] is planning to reform the IT sector, which will improve conditions for doing business.”