While Google and Amazon are patenting drones and driverless car parcel delivery methods, companies in Ukraine have started budgeting the implementation of parcel sorting robots, development of mobile apps, tests of drones delivery, and replenishment of their electric autopark.
One major trend that has already made a breakthrough is a change made thanks to internet customers. Logistic firms now have to be omni-channeled to match each individual customer’s needs.
At the end of each year AIN.UA, the leading Ukrainian tech blog, offers its ranking of the country’s most successful startups. The ranking, based on a survey among local business angels and venture investors, features projects which were created or pivoted, over the past three years. Although they were created by Ukrainian teams, some of these companies have established their headquarters in another country.
This year’s ranking includes 10 startups, to which Ukraine Digital News is adding an additional list of companies which have drawn particular attention on the global high tech scene.
Although many countries across the world strive to build a Silicon Valley of their own, regional technology business ecosystems are all very different, and are likely to remain so. It’s very interesting to observe how each country’s history affects the way startups and bigger companies grow and coexist on the market.
In Ukraine, a country of great technological talent that has historically been linked with outsourced software development, the startup movement only gained momentum around seven years ago.
Only a few Belgium technology companies currently have offices in Ukraine. But hundreds of Ukrainians work for the sector in Belgium, either by moving there or working remotely. In fact, according to a survey conducted by popular developer forum Stackoverflow, 31 percent of Ukrainian developers are teleworkers.
“So far there has been lots of interest from Belgium. They come here often to talk with people,” Tatiana Korotitch, the Trade Envoy at Belgium’s Embassy in Kyiv, told the Kyiv Post.
In mid-October Colombia 4.0, an international event dedicated to digital content industries, highlighted the latest trends in animation, video games, web, mobile development, digital advertising, monetization, digital media, music and entrepreneurship.
During three days in Bogota, more than 190 national and international speakers were involved in lectures, panels and workshops. Among these speakers, Ukraine Digital News chief editor Adrien Henni highlighted the lack of coverage of innovative industries in emerging markets by international media and databases.
Over the past five years or so, Ukrainian outsourcing companies have developed a solid understanding of the US business environment and the US startup sector, and it’s paying off, writes Evgeniy Vyborov, a figure of the Ukrainian tech scene, in the Hunffington Post.
The Ukrainian startup scene is stronger than ever despite its economic and political woes, Vyborov believes. Total venture investment in Ukrainian startups increased 237% year-over-year from 2014-2015, after having dropped in 2013-2014, he notes, refering to the latest Ukraine Dealbook report.
Denis Dovgopoliy: “Outsourcing is the base upon which a number of strong startups will emerge in Ukraine”
The history of startup infrastructure in Ukraine is one of highs and lows. The last few years have seen a few accelerators come and go, with others significantly reducing their operations. However, despite all the crises of the last decade, some of the major players have managed to stick around and show the way to more entrants to the market.
“Now we’re witnessing the second exodus of accelerators and incubators from the Ukrainian market,” said Denis Dovgopoliy, a figure of the local digital scene, in an exchange with Ukraine Digital News.
It’s been a good year for Ukraine’s electronic commerce market.
The rollout of third-generation mobile telecommunications technology, which has increased smartphone use, means there are more e-customers online to sell to. And Ukraine’s first law on e-commerce, which entered force in September 2015, has made it considerably easier to run an online business in Ukraine.
TA Ventures founding partner Viktoriya Tigipko: “The quality of Ukrainian startups has been improving”
Despite its political woes, Ukraine is country of technology talent with a plethora of startups going through local and global acceleration programs and receiving support from investors.
One of Ukraine’s largest institutional venture funds, TA Ventures, has been around for some six years, and is active on both local and international markets.
“We focus on startups with global potential in such sectors as fintech, digital health, big data, cloud computing, and online marketplaces,” said the fund’s founding partner Viktoriya Tigipko.
Given the nation’s economic setbacks in recent years, some Ukrainian entrepreneurs have been seeking better places to develop their businesses, find new customers and reach new markets. For more many, those desires have led them to Poland.
According to Polish national daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita, more than 400,000 Ukrainians have moved to Poland over the last few years.