Tech Wrap May 30: Estonian fund raises $22M, Georgia’s new e-commerce law


🌱 Estonia-based Venture Fund Launches $22 Million Fund for Baltic Startups

Change Ventures, a venture fund based in Estonia, has launched a $22 million fund to double its pre-seed investments in startups founded in the Baltic countries. The fund will prioritize sectors such as artificial intelligence (AI), SaaS, e-commerce, software, and hardware. [Source: BalticVC]

💰 Estonian Fund Invests $1.4 Million in Three Startups

Tera Ventures and Estonian syndicate of business angels EstBAN have invested $1.4 million in three Estonian startups. These startups were selected at the Latitude59 Pitch Competition 2023, a major startup event in Estonia. The winning startups include Flowstep, an UX library; Cino, a virtual card that splits bills; and Äio Tech, a company that grows microorganisms capable of producing fatty acids, antioxidants, and pigments from by-products and side streams from the food, agricultural, and wood industry. [Source: BalticVC]


💻 Georgia to Adopt New Electronic Commerce Act

Georgia is preparing to adopt a new Electronic Commerce Act to facilitate the development of the industry in the country. The new law will define contracts between suppliers and consumers, provide clear guidance on price policy, and indicate government bodies responsible for various aspects of e-commerce. [Source: Caucasus Business Week]

🔗 Tether Signs MOU with Georgia-based University for Cryptocurrency Education

Tether Operations Limited (Tether), the company behind stablecoin USDT, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Georgia-based Business & Technology University. This collaboration aims to enhance cryptocurrency education by offering courses on blockchain, cryptocurrency, and related topics to students. [Source: Tether

🎮 Georgia’s Arena Games to Expand Platform with Blockchain Technology

Georgia’s Arena Games plans to increase the number of games on its platform from three to 23 in 2023. This expansion is made possible through the company’s participation in the Global 500 acceleration program. Arena Games aims to implement blockchain technologies to bring web3 innovation into its product. [Source: Caucasus Business Week]


💼 Russia Tops List of New Businesses in Uzbekistan

During the first four months of 2023, 341 new companies with Russian ownership were registered in Uzbekistan. This number is 1.5 times higher than in the same period last year, making Russia the leading country in terms of new business ownership. [Source:]


🏦 European Bank Ready to Assist Kyrgyzstan in Stock Market Development

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has expressed its readiness to assist the Kyrgyzstan government in renewing the stock market development strategy and evaluating national finance legislation. This agreement was reached during talks on the digitization of Kyrgyzstan’s financial markets and the development of modern institutions. [Source:]

💻 Kyrgyzstan Banks Slow to Implement Digital Technologies

Kyrgyzstan’s banks have been slow in implementing digital technologies, according to Zayr Chokoev, the deputy director of the country’s National Bank. Chokoev noted that only eight banks currently use Google Pay, emphasizing that all banks in Kyrgyzstan should adopt this service. [Source:]

💰 E-commerce Turnover in Kyrgyzstan Set to Reach $480 Million in 2023

The government of Kyrgyzstan projects that the turnover of e-commerce in the country will reach $480 million in 2023. With an estimated average annual growth of 13.9%, it is expected to reach $799 million by 2027. [Source:]


🇰🇿 Kazakhstan Invites Russian IT Companies to Utilize Its Jurisdiction

Askhat Orazbek, Kazakhstan’s Vice Minister of Digital Development, Innovations, and Aerospace Industry, has invited Russian IT companies to utilize Kazakhstan’s jurisdiction for their activities. Orazbek emphasized that Kazakhstan is not under sanctions and proposed that Russian businesses establish data centers in the country. [Source:]

🚀 Startups from Central Asia Take on Acceleration Program in Silicon Valley

Fifteen startups from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Mongolia, selected by Astana Hub, Draper University, and fund My Ventures, have begun an acceleration program in Silicon Valley, USA. After the five-week program, the founders will have the opportunity to scale up their projects and reach international markets.[Source:]


💼 Russians Show Increased Interest in Digital Nomad Visas

The demand for digital nomad visas from Russian citizens has increased fivefold from January through April 2023, reaching 15,600 applications. Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy, Argentina, and Greece are among the most popular destinations for Russian digital nomads. [Source: RB]

👤 Russian Businesses See a Lack of Top Managers

Russian businesses are experiencing a shortage of top managers due to the relocation abroad of highly skilled professionals and worsening business conditions in the country. Headhunting agencies report that it now takes an average of six months to find a top manager, twice as long as before. [Source: Kommersant]

🌍 Russian Entrepreneurs Consider Exporting Goods and Services

A study revealed that one-quarter of Russian entrepreneurs surveyed are considering exporting their goods and services. Additionally, 10% of respondents are contemplating relocating their businesses due to the complicated geopolitical situation. [Source: Spark]


💰 The TON Foundation Allocates $25 Million for Projects Based on TON Technology

The Open Network (The TON Foundation), a Web3 blockchain network based on the Telegram messenger, plans to allocate $25 million in 2023 to promising projects based on TON technology. The funding will be provided through a $250 million investment fund, TONcoin.Fund, with mentor support from TON’s partners. [Source: TON]  

🔒 Blockchain Platform Mask Network Invests in TON Foundation

Mask Network, a blockchain platform enabling users of social media to share encrypted content and send cryptocurrency, has announced its investment in the TON Foundation. Mask Network aims to bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3-era decentralized apps and sees synergy between its vision and that of the TON Foundation. [Source: Mask Network


💼 Ukrainian Entrepreneur Launched Robot-as-a-Service Startup Offering for Logistics Companies

Yegor Anchyshkin, a prominent Ukrainian entrepreneur, has been developing a new startup called Instock since 2020. Instock offers robot-as-a-service (RaaS) for logistics companies. The company, now active in the U.S., raised $4.6 million in investments. [Source: Forbes Ukraine]

💡 Ukrainian IT Company and Catholic University Launch AI Product School

AI House, a Ukrainian IT company, and the Ukrainian Catholic University have partnered to launch a school called AI Product: from Scratch to Launch. The three-week program will teach students AI skills and select participants with a passion for AI. [Source: Dou

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