Russian online rental service launches in Ukraine

In early November The Locals, a Russian online platform for apartment rentals, made its debut in Ukraine — just days after Yandex.Taxi, another service from Russia, entered the market.

Launched in 2010, the service covers Russian cities Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Kazan. Following the extension to Kyiv (Kiev), The Locals is planning launch in Warsaw and Tel Aviv “in a couple of months or so,” co-founder Eugene Luchinin told Ukraine Digital News.

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Yandex.Taxi launches in Ukraine

In late October Yandex, the Russian search giant, launched taxi booking service Yandex.Taxi in Ukraine. The service – which operates exclusively in partnership with taxi companies – is available exclusively in Kiev (Kyiv), but Yandex plans to expand it beyond the Ukrainian capital.

“Our next targets are Odessa, Kharkiv (Kharkov) and Dnipro [previously known as Dnipropetrovsk],” said Elina Staviskaya, Head of PR projects at Yandex.Taxi, in an exchange with East-West Digital News.

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Belgium technology firms love Ukrainian developers – but not enough to move here

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.

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Internships at Google, Microsoft, Twitter or Facebook made more accessible to Ukrainian students

A group of Silicon Valley-based engineers from Ukraine have launched UA Internships, a non-profit initiative to help Ukrainian students get an internship at US technology giants. The news was reported earlier this week by Ukrainian tech blog AIN.UA.

Internships may take place in either the European or the American offices of these companies.

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New law allows Ukrainian service exporters to deal with foreign companies by email or invoice

Earlier this week the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament, approved amendments to the Ukrainian export legislation, which may facilitate the export of services. The new legislation will apply to all exporting companies, including service providers and freelancers from the IT industry.

The new legislation lifts the obligation to sign a paper contract, use a rubber stamp, provide a report of completion and translate documents from English to Ukrainian when delivering services to a client from outside the country.

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PrivatBank launches e-payments via iMessage and Telegram

The clients of PrivatBank, an innovation-friendly Ukrainian bank, can now transfer money and pay their mobile phone bills directly via iMessage, if they have an iOS 10-supported iPhone.

To perform a transaction, users just need to press the Privat24’s icon shown in iMessage’s menu, indicate the amount of money to be transferred, and choose the necessary operation.

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PrivatBank’s Corezoid wins 2nd prize in Las Vegas hackathon

Last week Corezoid, a cloud process engine that allows companies to create their own digital core, won the second prize and $5,000 at the Money20/20 hackathon in Las Vegas, for their application Share.CreditCard.

Corezoid is a California-based company which is owned by PrivatBank, a major Ukrainian bank, according to the bank’s press service.

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Busfor secures $20 million “to reinvent bus travel” across Europe and beyond

Busfor, an online bus ticketing and distribution platform based in Kyiv (Kiev) and Moscow, has just raised $20 million from private equity funds Baring Vostok Capital Partners and Elbrus Capital.

Launched in Ukraine in 2010, the company — previously known as Gillbus — had previoulsy received financial support from Intel Capital, InVenture Partners and FinSight in 2014, and from Ukraine’s Chernovetskyi Investment Group (CIG) in 2015.

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Ukrainian IT business targeted by indiscriminate secret service pressure

Since early 2010 the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) has been checking the legality of the work of IT companies. While some cases of large investigation program towards big IT-companies proved to be justified, law-abiding IT businesses have also been targeted. Among the latest examples are Adamant, Lucky Labs, KM Core, and V.O.K.S.

Sadly enough, the guilt of IT-companies has been proven in none of the cases, writes The Libertarian Republic.

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Ukrainian startups invited to pitch at Belgrade Venture Forum (deadline: Oct. 30)

Innovative companies from Ukraine and neighboring countries are invited to pitch their projects to the board of jury of international investors as part of Belgrade Venture Forum. The event claims to be the largest forum of innovations, entrepreneurship and investments in the South East Europe region. It will be held on December 5 – 7 in Belgrade, Serbia.

The Pitching Competition provides strong innovative startups with an opportunity to present themselves directly to a large group of international investors interested in the region.

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