Tech Wrap June 5: Bolt Drive Raises $140M for Expansion


🚗 Bolt Drive Secures $140 Million Agreement for Car Sharing Expansion

Estonia-based mobility startup Bolt Drive has signed a leasing framework agreement worth $140 million with Swedbank and Luminor. This substantial investment will be used to expand Bolt Drive’s car sharing services across the Baltic region. With this funding, Bolt Drive aims to enhance its presence and accessibility in the market. [Source: Emerging Europe

Estonia Tightens Regulations for Crypto Assets

Estonia has adopted stricter regulations for crypto assets to combat money laundering and potential criminal activities, aligning itself with the European Union’s policies. However, these regulations may result in the loss of Estonia’s appeal as a site for crypto startups and could decrease the number of companies operating in the crypto field within the country. [Source: Emerging Europe]

🦄 Founders of Baltic Tech Companies Emerge from Unicorn Alumni

According to a report by US venture capital fund Accel and data platform Dealroom, former employees of five Estonian and two Lithuanian unicorns have founded 60 tech companies in the Baltic region. Many of these founders are graduates of prominent companies such as Skype, Wise, and Bolt. This entrepreneurial ecosystem has contributed to the growth of the tech industry in the Baltics. [Source: BalticVC]


🇺🇦 Bug Bounty Legalized to Boost Digital Security

The Ukrainian government has taken a significant step in enhancing the security of its digital assets by legalizing Bug Bounty procedures. Under this initiative, organizations will define the compensation to be given to individuals who successfully identify and report bugs. This move aims to foster a more secure digital environment in Ukraine. [Source: Dou]

💻 Intellias Expands Global Presence with 700 New Hires

Ukrainian IT company Intellias is set to hire 700 specialists in 2023, with over half of them based abroad. Despite the ongoing conflict with Russia, Intellias remains dedicated to expanding its operations in Ukraine and beyond. The company has been opening new offices and development centers in various locations worldwide, including Portugal, Croatia, Poland, Colombia, and more. Their focus is on tapping into the US market. [Source:]

📉 Decline in Ukrainian IT Service Exports Raises Concerns

The export of Ukrainian IT services experienced a decline of over 10% in April 2023 compared to the previous year. During the first four months of 2023, the revenue from IT services exports amounted to $2.2 billion, marking a significant 14% drop from the same period in 2022. This downward trend has raised concerns within the Ukrainian IT industry. [Source: Dou]


🚕 Electric Taxis Hit the Streets of Bukhara

In the city of Bukhara, Uzbekistan, the first taxi company exclusively operating electric cars has commenced its operations. Currently, the fleet consists of 30 Chevrolet Menlo vehicles from China, and the company plans to increase its fleet size to 50 electric vehicles. This move represents a significant step toward sustainable transportation in the region. [Source:]

🔌 Uzbekistan Promotes Electric Vehicle Adoption with Charging Infrastructure

Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has mandated the establishment of electric vehicle charging stations at petrol stations, parking facilities with a capacity for 50 or more cars, major markets, and other high-traffic areas. To further support the growth of e-mobility, a state-run ecological fund will provide subsidies for charging stations in remote desert areas. Uzbekistan aims to create an extensive charging infrastructure network. [Source:]


📶 5G Network Expansion Targets 80% Coverage

Kazakhstan is set to provide 5G network access to 80% of its population by 2027. Kazakhtelecom, the national telecommunications giant, won the tender to develop the network and plans to install 7,000 mobile stations throughout the country. This ambitious initiative will significantly enhance connectivity and pave the way for the next generation of digital services. [Source:]

💻 Astana Hub Offers Free IT Courses for Women

Astana Hub, an IT park located in the capital of Kazakhstan, will be organizing free IT courses specifically designed for 2,000 women. These courses cater to unemployed women aged 18 and older, covering topics such as no-code programming and basic computer skills. This initiative aims to empower women in the field of technology and promote gender diversity in the industry.  [Source:

Narkhoz University to Issue NFT Diplomas for Authenticity

The University of National Economy, Narkhoz, in Kazakhstan is set to issue non-fungible token (NFT) diplomas to enhance their authenticity and protect against counterfeiting. These NFTs will contain personal data of graduates and other information related to their education, utilizing blockchain technology for verification. This innovative approach ensures the integrity and security of academic achievements. [Source:


📲 Rise in Stolen User Accounts Raises Concerns

In May 2023, the number of stolen Telegram user accounts reached 260,000. Cybercriminals employ phishing websites and bots to deceive users into providing their Telegram account details. The proliferation of such malicious websites has increased by 67 times compared to a year ago, raising concerns about user data security. [Source: Vedomosti]

⛓️ The Open Network Launches Liquidity Mining Campaign

The Open Network (The TON Foundation), a Web3 blockchain network built on the Telegram messenger, has initiated a liquidity mining rewards campaign. This campaign aims to encourage increased activity from miners within the TON ecosystem. The rewards, totaling $720,000 in Toncoin, will be used to seed liquidity for digital staple tokens within the growing network. [Source: TON Foundation]


Increasing Foreign Investments in Uzbekistan

Over 60,000 foreigners, primarily Russians, have invested $892 million in Uzbekistan’s banks due to the tense geopolitical situation in 2022. This represents a staggering 9.5-fold increase compared to 2021. Many Russian citizens have traveled to Uzbekistan to obtain local bank cards as Mastercard and Visa cards are no longer valid for international payments. [Source:]

🇺🇸 Growing Russian Emigration to the U.S.

In 2022, a record number of 10,400 Russians became citizens of the United States, marking the highest figure in the last decade. Russians also secured the second-highest number of Green Cards among all nationalities. This trend is driven by deteriorating business conditions in Russia, leading many Russians to seek opportunities abroad. [Source: RB]

💱 Rosbank Launches International Cryptocurrency Bank Transfers

Rosbank, a leading Russian bank, has become the first in the country to offer international cryptocurrency bank transfers. This service caters to both individual and business clients. However, experts suggest that the demand for this service may not be significant. Rosbank aims to provide customers with a convenient and secure option for international cryptocurrency transactions. [Source: Vedomosti]

VkusVill Expands Services with Food Delivery in Kazakhstan

Russian premium food retailer VkusVill has launched a food delivery service in Kazakhstan. This move allows VkusVill to leverage delivery as an additional marketing channel alongside its existing petrol stations, cinema network, and marketplaces. By expanding its services, VkusVill aims to enhance customer convenience and reach a wider audience. [Source: Kommersant]

🌍 Web3 Tech Expands Presence to Africa

Russian blockchain developer Web3 Tech is expanding its operations to Africa. The company plans to sell its products and services to both state and private sectors while also investing in local workforce development and education. This expansion demonstrates Web3 Tech’s commitment to global growth and its efforts to contribute to the technological advancement of African nations. [Source: TASS]

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