What is the future of the Ukrainian startup market and what are the selection criteria for investors to choose projects to invest in? Ruslan Timofeev, the founder of Adventures Lab, knows the answers to all these questions.
Best projects funded by Adventures Lab
Adventures Lab, one of the leading Ukrainian investment funds, was founded by Ruslan Timofeev (Ruslan Tymofieiev) in 2019. With the fund’s help, fourteen business projects have been built from scratch. The total amount of investment in all the projects exceeds $15 million.
Among the most successful projects that grew rapidly with the financial support of Adventures Lab, should be mentioned such educational and entertainment startups as EduDo, Reface, and StreamHERO.
EduDo is a learning platform founded in Belarus that allows users to easily create and share short educational videos, a kind of TikTok focused on knowledge sharing. The investment made by Adventures Lab to this project amounted to $300,000 and aimed at upgrading the application by adding new features and tools.
Reface is another project in the investment portfolio of Adventures Lab. Ruslan Timofeev was one of the first investors who believed in the idea of an application that allows users to add their faces to videos. The appearance of the application became a real sensation in the entertainment industry. A lot of celebrities and famous people appreciated Reface, and even Elon Musk did not want to stay out of it.
The StreamHERO project, a live stream advertisement service, received $550,000 of investment, and Adventures Lab was the leading funder. The idea of the project was so promising regarding the ways of monetization that the investors were truly impressed by it. The founders of the project created a way how to integrate advertisements into streamers` live videos. Since the cybersport industry is increasing year by year, the StreamHERO project has a great perspective to be successful and attract more and more investment.
Ruslan Timofeev explains that the process of choosing a startup for investment is a complicated process based on analytics and forecasts and without guarantee of success: “To some extent, project selection is always a risk. Despite all the expertise, it is not always possible to be sure that the project will be successful. In the Silicon Valley, likewise, there are startups making millions, and there are those which failed in the first year. Although no less money was invested in their development.”
How do investors choose projects?
According to Ruslan Timofeev (Ruslan Tymofieiev), a project audit includes reliability of the project and its innovation degree, professionalism of the team and their previous experience, correspondence to the ideas of sustainability, and scalability.
The investor explains that there are three categories of startups, such as early-stage projects, growth stage, and late-stage brands. Depending on the stage, they receive different amounts of funding – from thousands to millions and even multi-million investments.
The Adventures Lab team mostly is looking for the projects on pre-seed and seed stages, which means that the team is developing an idea or a prototype or that the product has been released already and is ready to be scaled.
Ruslan Timofeev says that the projects on these stages are at increased financial risks but at the same time at the highest payback in case of a successful launch.
Ruslan Timofeev is convinced that the Ukrainian startup industry is doing well, and the IT sector is on the upswing currently. After a wave of relocation to Cyprus, some European countries, and the US swept Ukrainian business in 2013, the national market has recovered and meets Eastern European standards in 2021.
The investor says that as long as Ukrainian entrepreneurs are young, ambitious, and bright-eyed with a desire to develop, investors will be interested in the national market and their projects.