In war-torn Ukraine, private equity houses are still doing deals.
Despite the uncertainty caused by Russia’s invasion, new data shows that there is still life in Ukraine’s emerging private equity and venture capital markets.
In the first quarter of 2022, there were 11 VC deals totalling $11.5m, with investments ranging from a fintech startup to a mobile assistant firm for truck drivers.
Private equity houses also struck eight exits totalling $135m and four acquisitions totalling at least $4m with one deal of an undisclosed value.
Late last month Horizon Capital, a US-domiciled PE firm which has been one of the most active investors in Ukraine in recent years, said that its $200m emerging Europe growth fund III acquired a minority stake in a Kyiv-based IT services business called Miratech.
“After February 24 it seemed that ongoing war would stop any industry development until better times, but this is not the case,” said Andrey Kolodyuk, chairman of the board at the Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA).
“In the first quarter of 2022, venture capital and private equity investments and exits went on, and many foreign companies established their offices in our country.”
He added: “Despite the war, the industry keeps rolling and makes ambitious plans for the future so more unicorns will emerge.”
The report, published by the UVCA alongside Kreston Ukraine, AVentures, and ISE Corporate Accelerator, also found that 2021 was a blockbuster year for VC investments in Ukraine.
Startups attracted venture capital investments worth $779.6m, 46% more than in 2020. Investments with a disclosed amount attributed to private equity reached $82.8m USD.
“It is easy to destroy buildings, but Ukrainian digital products, intellectual capabilities and abilities, [and] entrepreneurial spirit won’t be destroyed,” said Elena Malitskaya, CEO and founder of ISE Corporate Accelerator, which helps to grow startups in the country.
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