Category Archives: Business & Prices

Ukraine is like a dream for Dutch farmers, says director of DIFCO International

“We (the Dutch farmers – ed.) have the knowledge in agriculture which we can apply here on a big territory. I am a son of a farmer, so for the Dutch farmers Ukraine is like a dream: you have so much very fertile lands, you can improve your production so much and you can really make big steps forward.” Ir. J. H. (René) Kremers says, Difco International director.

The company participated in an annual international exhibition of the innovative solutions in grain business “GrainTechExpo – 2016” which took place in Kyiv this February.

Ukraine’s Digital Future takes part in YouAppi’s $13.1 million funding round

YouAppi, a San Francisco-based startup that has developed a Big Data-driven solution for mobile marketing, has raised $13.1 million from an international consortium of investors, including Ukraine’s Digital Future.

Also participating in this Series B round are Click Ventures, Emery Capital (Russia), Global Brain (Japan) and Hawk Ventures (USA), Israeli funds Glilot Capital Partners and 2B Angels, as well as AltaIR Capital and Flint Capital, two funds operating essentially from Russia and Israel.

Flint, Glilot and 2B Angels had already put $3 million in YouAppi’s Series A round in October 2014.

The funding will be used to enhance YouAppi’s products and accelerate growth in China, Japan and other growth markets, while moving the company’s headquarters to San Francisco.

Initially based between Israel and New York, the startup also has offices in Beijing, Berlin and London.

Launched in 2012, YouAppi “enables the world’s leading apps to find the right customers at the right conversion price across countries and verticals, based on post-install event analytics.” Its proprietary predictive algorithms can “analyze the usage habits of 1.5 billion users of 3,500 mobile apps and sites.” These include The New York Times, Pandora, EA, Orbitz, Zynga, Yandex, Wayfair, and Viber in 200 countries via 100 billion impressions monthly, the startup claims.

In Asia, YouAppi works with Baidu, UC Union (Alibaba Mobile Business Group), Sungy Mobile, Apus, NewBornTown, Kika and Bandai Namco, as well as global YouAppi clients. The company expects its Chinese revenue to double in 2016 from 10% to 20% of its global revenue.

Top IT companies in Ukraine by Staff

Top IT companies in Ukraine

rank/company/offices/number of specialist/growth in second half of 2015

1 EPAM Киев, Харьков, Львов, Днепропетровск, Винница 4400 +500
2 SoftServe Киев, Харьков, Львов, Днепропетровск, Ровно, Ивано-Франковск, Черновцы 3891 +44
3 Luxoft Киев, Днепропетровск, Одесса 3730 +3
4 GlobalLogic Киев, Харьков, Львов, Николаев 2672 +111
5 Ciklum Киев, Харьков, Львов, Днепропетровск, Одесса, Винница 2335 +44
. . . .


Andrey Kolodyuk: ​Building a startup nation is a new Ukrainian dream

Two months ago I welcomed a delegation of European investors and tech entrepreneurs for the informal 3-day WEF/YGL/GS Ukraine Discovery Tour in Kyiv. I met them at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January and invited to Ukraine despite skeptical views on the “country in war.”

These views weren’t surprising because of the Russian propaganda that displayed the war with the purpose to scare off all business people and investors.

“So how is it in Ukraine? What’s going on with businesses? What was it like before the war?” – these were the first questions I was attacked with. So I told the story straight and fact-full. . . .

We have over 2,000 startups, about 100 global R&D centers, more than 500 outsourcing firms and 100 e-commerce companies. All of them add up to over $5 billion industry’s volume worth as of late 2014. The figure could be higher if it wasn’t for the economic downturn.

Creating an enterprise software startup with 20 people on the team working for at least 2 years would take $10 million if it was in the U.S. In Ukraine, the same team for the same time span will cost 10 times less. Just think about it. It is possible to raise $1 million in the U.S., develop the product here and then return with the developed product to sell it in the U.S. . . .

There are more than 50 Ukrainian companies with valuation of $20-100 million that operate globally.

Ukrainian vs. Russian-Owned Businesses (you can tell)

Russian vs Ukrainian owned businesses.

Ukraine has only had capitalism for 25 years, and unlike in Poland, its development was severely stunted by rent seeking, subsidies, and inertia. Everything is getting better, and it’s been a thrill to watch — from the breadth of goods and services offered, to the quality of customer service, to the reliability of deliveries (I love you, Nova Poshta).

Though you still have the feeling that if the market was more accessible, western businessmen would run circles around the local competition.

You can often tell whether a business is Ukrainian owned or Russian owned.

The UKRAINIAN OWNED businesses tend to be like incompetent families.

– Things don’t happen on time.
– There are no processes — instead of one competent staff person helping you, the entire office will get involved in something that you can’t imagine isn’t a standardized, daily task.
– They may try to hike prices for westerners. (They assume all westerners are millionaires.)
– Customers are asked to accommodate the personal travails of the staff — they have to go next door to get change, they haven’t had time to update the prices on the menu, can they pay you later because they paid for their uncle’s dental surgery.

RUSSIAN OWNED businesses tend to be like the mafia. Everything revolves around rules and status.
– The staff will demonstrate their authority by ignoring you.
– There can never be enough vulgar attempts at sophistication: pleated curtains, lights, rhinestones, and Russian pop music. This, I think is byzantine style. More is better. There is no efficiency or functionality. Perhaps the mentality goes: everything sucks, so more is better. More wins.
– There are rules. Forget the fact that all but one table in the entire place is empty. They are all reserved. The staff will flex their authority by telling you the table you sat beside is reserved, then watch you go to the next one so that they can get another status boost and doing it again. It’s not their fault, they insist. Those are the rules.
– Authority trumps usability. Forget the fact this is the obviously the door to use. It may be the only door, and it won’t have any signs or barriers indicating any restriction. It will only have a grave, suited man standing beside it (not in front of it, but beside it), who say in a guff, irritated manner, as if it’s obvious, that the door is closed. Those are the rules.