Tech Wrap Aug 7: Ukrainian Startups Raise Funds, Kazakhstan’s TikTok Moment


📃Releaf Paper Startup Collects €8 million for Factory Construction

Releaf Paper, a Ukrainian startup that uses energy-efficient technology to turn fallen leaves into paper, receives €8 million investment–including €4 million guaranteed investment from the European Commission. The investment will go towards the construction of two new small factories and one big one in other countries.  [Source: InVenture]

🩺 Medical AI Startup Receives Investment from Co-founder

Ukrainian medical startup Mark, developing an application that manages patients’ medical information and analyzes health indicators of potential problems, raises $200,000 in seed investment from fintech company GEO Pay co-founder Maksym Demjaniuk. The application has so far been in test mode since May 2023 with 5,500 users and plans to exit this phase by the end of 2023. So far Mark startup has raised $500,000 from its founders and two unnamed business angels. [Source: InVenture]

🇺🇸A New US Proposed Bill Promises $1.8B to Restore Ukraine’s Energy Sector

Two US Senators put forward a proposal to allocate over $1.8 billion for restoration of Ukraine’s energy sector. The aim of the bill is to attract American investment into Ukrainian energy infrastructure, while also strengthening the energy security of Eastern Europe. This plan assumes technical assistance from Europe to reduce the dependence of the region on Russia. [Source: Ukraine Business News]


📱Limited Format of Kuaishou Becomes More Popular in Kazakhstan

Kuaishou, which allows users to create and share animated images, expands into 30 countries with over a billion users. Unlike its Chinese rival TikTok, the app has a built-in marketplace with customer service and marketplace. In Kazakhstan, users can access the app only in the form of a video application, but the popularity of the app is expected to grow. [Source:]


💰US and Kyrgyzstan Develop New Investment Platform

American Chamber of Commerce in the Kyrgyz Republic announced the plan between the United States and Kyrgyzstan to develop a new platform for attracting investment into the local economy. According to AmCham, the agreement reached will create favorable conditions for the subjects of foreign economic activity, while also having an effect on the increasing investment in the Kyrgyz economy. [Source:]


⚠️MED365 To Enter the Market in Uzbekistan in 6 Months

MED365, a startup allowing employees in hazardous industries to undergo a pre-shift and post-shift medical examination, plans to start working in Uzbekistan in the next few months. Recently the company received a certificate to do so. [Source:]


Smart Energy Fund Brings 1.4x Return on Investment since 2017

The Smart Energy Fund, managed by Lithuanian firm Contrarian Ventures and Ignitis Grupė with the mission of investing in energy startups, has yielded a 1.4x return on investment since its inception in 2017. The fund made successful exits from three startups, including Moixa, Voltaware, and Last Mile, and has allowed Ignitis Grupė to continue investing in startups through its second fund, including participation in the World Fund, a German climate tech venture company supporting startups in various sectors. [Source: BalticVC]

💵Lithuanian Firstpick Pre-acceleration Program Welcomes Four New Startups

Firstpick, an accelerator and venture capital fund investing in tech companies in the Baltic, welcomes four new startups in its pre-acceleration program with each team receiving a grant of €4,5K per person. The new participants, usually at the MVP stage of development, include Micapass, Edufy, Fable Wizard, and Cleantech Death Zone. They will be provided with training, mentoring, coaching, and an opportunity to apply for full-time accelerators or first investment. [Source: BalticVC]


🧪Elogium Startup Raises €500K from Latvian Commercialization Reactor Seed Fund

Latvian biotech startup Elogium, developing a probiotic chicken broiler feed addictive, has secured €500K in funding from the Latvian Commercialization Reactor Seed Fund and Belgian incubator biotope. Elogium aims to use the investment to pursue product authorization in the European market, with the goal of increasing broiler chicken weight and reducing pathogen transmission to humans. [Source: BalticVC]


🖼️Estonian Yolo Investments Backs US Streaming Service Loupe Art 

Estonian venture capital firm Yolo Investments invests in the US art streaming service Loupe, as part of a $3M seed round led by AliaviaVC. Loupe offers visual art streaming services on various platforms and plans to use the investment to expand its partnerships with major media and hospitality companies in 2023 as weel as to secure lead generation around consumer awareness and branded content. [Source: BalticVC]


🔍LetMeSpy Spyware Shuts Down After Hacker Attack

Polist LetMeSpy spyware has concluded its operation following a June data breach, during which server data was wiped out including data from thousands of victim’s phones. The Android monitoring app, known for its stealthy behavior, had been used to steal data from over 13,000 compromised Android devices worldwide before its shutdown. [Source:] 


📹NTechLab Supplies Indian Schools with Face Recognition Technology

Russian NtechLab, a facial recognition technology developer, has signed a contract to supply its systems to Indian schools for exams. The technology will be used to check exam attendance and prevent cheating by comparing students’ faces with their photos in documents, with the project to be implemented in 220 cities across India. [Source:]


🛳️A New Joint Venture Partnership Between Fracht Group and YLOAD Startup

International freight forwarder Fracht Group enters the Romanian market through a joint venture partnership with YLOAD, a Romanian startup specializing in digital transport operations. Fracht Romania aims to invest around EUR 10 million in Eastern Europe, focusing on Romania, the Republic of Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia, and other countries in the region, with a target turnover of EUR 100 million by 2025.

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