Startup Central Eurasia News Digest

09 February, 2022

We collected the main news of Central Eurasia, affecting the region’s startup ecosystem.

 1. PandaDoc has finally removed its legal entity in Belarus

February 3, 2022. PandaDoc is a Belarusian service for the free creation of electronic signatures and working with electronic documents. In August 2020, PandaDoc’s co-founder Mikita Mikado launched a financial assistance project for security forces who wanted to resign amid protests in Belarus but could not do that due to the lack of money. In September 2020, four directors of PandaDoc’s Minsk office became part of a criminal theft case. The company rejected the allegations and called them an attempt to put pressure on executives because of civic activity. A few days later, the company announced the blocking of accounts in Belarus against the background of a criminal case. The company decided to close the office in the country. In 2021 PandaDoc opened offices in Ukraine and Poland and became a «unicorn» – the company is estimated at $1 billion.

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2. Kazakh startups Cerebra, Oquda and Clockster addressed the Japanese investors at a virtual exhibition

February 3, 2022. Astana Hub. Teams from Kazakhstan became participants of the branch webinar «Cooperation in the area of IT». Oquda is the first market network platform in the industry of recruiting students to foreign universities. Clockster is a tool for small and medium-sized businesses, designed to manage the staff, calculate salaries, and account working time for employees. The virtual exhibition, organised by the Japan Association for Trade with the Newly Independent States (ROTOBO), is being held from 17 January to 4 March 2022.

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3. Ukrainian-based startup Remo raised $1 million

February 4, 2022. Ain. Remo creates professional workspaces for remote workers both offline and online. Virtual space is a platform where the office space is recreated. Videoconference participants can move from floor to floor and join their colleagues' desks. Remo planned to raise $1 million, and in fact, the round was significantly larger than originally voiced. According to TechUkraine, Remo has more than 20 angel investors from Ukraine and other countries. The startup is going to set up a second location for remote work in Mexico and is preparing for the opening of the first locations in Kyiv and the USA.

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4. Audubon Bioscience, a Ukrainian startup, sells $6.5 million in a cancer cell and plasma collection services

February 5, 2022. Forbes Ukraine. Audubon Bioscience, founded by Rostislav Semikov, is a biobanking company that collects and stores human biosamples: tissue, blood plasma, cells. The company then sends these samples to research institutes and companies involved in testing and developing new diagnostic tools and drugs. The company has over 70 clients, including the American Cancer Institute (NCI), the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. Now the startup is looking for an investor for the A Round for $10-15 million. Potential investors estimate the startup at $50-60 million. 

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5. Zborka Labs Startup Laboratory in Minsk invites to join one of the startup teams on February 11

February 5, 2022. Zborka Labs.Team’s Day is a meeting at which 12 startups present their projects to potential team members and future cofounders. Each team will give its three-minute pitch presentation, followed by a time for networking. Developers, marketers, designers, and specialists in other fields are invited to participate.  

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6. Over 500 IT companies became residents of IT Park Uzbekistan in 2021

February 7, 2022. IT-Park Uz. IT-Park of Uzbekistan published the results of the previous year and announced that the total volume of services provided by residents amounted to 2.5 trillion. Exports are expected to reach $80 million by the end of 2022. Exports are expected to reach $40 million. Moreover, thanks to the benefits provided, IT Park residents create additional jobs and increase the number of IT specialists in Uzbekistan. Thus, at the end of 2021, 9,850 persons were employed by resident companies.

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7. startup launches «buy now pay later» service in Ukraine

February 7, 2022. Ain. «Tascombank» and Ukrainian financial startup launched the BNPL service. It provides a deferred payment service for purchases. It is an alternative to traditional lending, allowing the purchase of goods with an interest-free payment for two months. At present develops cooperation with Ukrainian brands, any store can join the service.

Deferred payment services are also offered by the most expensive European startup Klarna, based in Sweden.

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