Top Stories April 10: Estonia’s competitive IT industry, Kyrgyzstan’s solar energy plant


Estonia has the most competitive IT industry in Eastern Europe, topping the Emerging Europe’s IT Competitiveness Index that encompasses the sectors of 23 countries. The country is a leader in the category of economic impact, but also performs high in all other metrics–talent, IT infrastructure, and business environment. [Source: Emerging Europe]


Kyrgyzstan has started construction of the country’s first solar energy plant with a capacity of 300 megawatt. Kyrgyzstan’s prime minister Alykbek Japarov said the country should better use its natural resources for renewable energy sources which he said is “the future of our energy industry.” [Source:]


What makes Slovakia an attractive destination for launching a startup? Tax rates, wages, GDP growth and quality of life. [Source: The Recursive]


Ukrainian coder Taras Slivka has created a web-browser extension that blocks Russian-made propaganda videos on YouTube. The extension called stopRU is now used by 1,400 users that block 1,700 videos a day on average. [Source: Highload.Today

An Ukrainian IT company AppCake continues hiring specialists in Russia and Belarus, despite the ongoing aggression of these countries against Ukraine. The company said that their hiring policy is “apolitical.” [Source: Highload.Today]


Russian hosting provider RuVDS has opened its data centers in two cities of Kazakhstan–Astana and Almaty–to provide its services to clients in Central Asia. The location of servers will enable the company to lower load time and request latency. [Source: RB]

Russian Internet giant Yandex is negotiating the entry of its marketplace Yandex.Market with Armenia’s top government officials. At the moment, more than 700,000 local consumers a month use Yandex services. [Source: Prime

Russian biggest bank Sber, the Far Eastern Federal University and the Hanoi University (Vietnam) will open the joint Artificial Intelligence Center in Hanoi. The establishment will be conducting research in the field and designing education programs in AI for students of both universities. [Source: Spark


The most popular country for Russian professionals who relocated in 2022 was Canada, followed by the U.S., Cyprus, Turkey, Germany, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Azerbaijan. A survey of 7,000 individual respondents and 220 companies revealed that 62% of the respondents are ready to return to Russia in the near term citing economic prospects and personal circumstances. [Source: Forbes]

The administration of the US President Joseph Biden is considering possible sanctions against a Russian cybersecurity provider Kaspersky Lab over online security concerns. The administration has been weighing sanctions against Kaspersky since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but no agreed solution has still been achieved yet. [Source: Wall Street Journal]

Lithuania has introduced a ban for Russian citizens, Russian companies or businesses managed by Russians till May 2024 to buy real estate in the country. The new regulation doesn’t apply to Russians who have a temporary or permanent residence or heired real estate assets. [Source: RBC]


Investment fund The Garage Syndicate has invested $450,000 in a Sweden-based installment payment service Klarna. Klarna, now active in 16 countries, has evolved into a platform that enables retail outlets to automate their customer relationships. [Source: Telegram-channel Russian Venture]

Investment company Winter Capital has invested an undisclosed sum in India-based food delivery service Curefoods during the latest $36.6 million round. Curefoods wants to expand its geography and diversify formats. [Source: VC Circle]

Venture fund NRG Ventures in cooperation with government bodies of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched a free six-month accelerator program for startups ready to relocate to the kingdom in autumn 2023. In return, NRG wants a “micro stock option” that will be executed if only a startup meets mutually agreed KPIs. [Source: RB]

Russian investment fund LETA Capital has exited a UK-based sports results, broadcasts and news application 365Scores after the British company was acquired by Entain, a gambling and betting group. LETA Capital was a lead investor in 365Scores’ $5.5 million round in 2014. [Source: LETA Capital]


Uzbekistan and China invested $500 million in the establishment of a joint biotechnology cluster in Uzbekistan. The cluster will include a university, an innovation medical clinic, a genome center and a cell therapy center. [Source:]The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) lent $205 million to an Uzbekistan-based energy company Masdar for construction of three solar energy plants with a total capacity of 900 megawatt. The capacity will make it possible to provide electric energy to more than 1 million houses. [Source:]

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