Over 71,000 visitors from 160 countries, 2,300 startups, more than a thousand speakers, and two thousand journalists — these are general numbers of Web Summit, the record-breaking tech conference held in Lisbon. But we have some more numbers.
This was the second year in a row when Ukraine was represented with a national stand, and for the first time, Sigma Software Labs was a partner as a separate investment vehicle of Sigma Software Group. The organizer team included also the Ukrainian Startup Fund, the Ministry of Digital Transformation, the Embassy of Ukraine in Portugal, the Ukrainian Hub, and the European Business Association.
The scale of the Ukrainian technological ecosystem representation was impressive. Dozens of VC funds, IT service and product companies, government institutions, and local ecosystem organizations. The country’s stand was almost 10 times larger than last year. The Ukrainian delegation of startups included 70+ teams, which is three times more than in 2021. Sigma Software Labs and SID Venture Partners jointly invested in 12 of them.
Despite everything, the technological ecosystem of Ukraine continues to grow at an incredible pace. We are observing the development of cool companies that were born despite the war. The amount of investments in Ukrainian projects since the beginning of the year has exceeded $350 mln. These facts are impressive.
The Ukrainian pavilion was jam-packed during all 3 days of the Summit. Thousands of people have found new connections and partners. Let’s dive deeper and see how it went.
Gamified Experience and Interactive Quizes from Sigma Software Labs
As a partner of the Ukrainian national stand, we had our moments during three intensive days of the event.
During November 2nd, we were presenting our own products — Black Snow Games, founded by our Board Member and Extended Reality evangelist Vlad Beck, showcased the next-gen AR gaming and business gamification with their unique tech synergized with blockchain. Currently, the technology that emerged on the basis of Sigma Software XR expertise is used in the large-scale immersive AR game Black Snow and in an innovative AR solution improving user experience in one of the world’s largest malls — Mall of Emirates.
The stand visitors could test the technology by playing a custom demo of the company’s AR game and discussing it with Vlad Beck and Daria Yaniieva, Sigma Software Labs’ Investment Director, who were present at the stand. Over 160 played the game.
“On behalf of Sigma Software Labs, we convey the idea that technologies are in continuous development and demonstrate it with our startups’ new products. Nowadays it is even more important than ever. We clearly understand that our experience in providing premier IT solutions to world-known brands, as well as a strong venture story can help Ukrainian tech ideas to go beyond the standard progress orbit and achieve huge results in the international arena. And that is the goal for us — support creative ideas and contribute to startup ecosystem growth” – says Daria Yaniieva, Investment Director at Sigma Software Labs
On November 3rd, we held a “Back to the Future of tech” quiz about the most outstanding inventions in the tech industry since the earliest one. On November 4th, we presented the “Unicorns: UA edition” quiz that was related to the history of Ukrainian startups and unicorns.
Having over 30 teams in the joint portfolio of Sigma Software Labs and SID Venture Partners, we are more than sure to see our portfolio companies one day in such quizzes. Over two days, more than 50 visitors took part in each quiz. Those with the best results received prizes from us.
Ukrainian Startup Alley
The Ukrainian Startup Fund together with GIST organized the largest delegation of Ukrainian startups in history, which included 24 teams. The teams demonstrated the resilience of the Ukrainian tech ecosystem and amazing results of the country’s tech sector – Ukrainian startups and tech companies raised almost €351 mln in the first six months of 2022. The export volume of computer services for the first half of 2022 has reached €3.75 bln, which is 23% more than for the same period in 2021.
Startup teams formed the Ukrainian startup alley close to the main stand, while the total number of Ukrainian companies at this year’s Web Summit reached 70. The startups had an excellent opportunity to pitch their products and ideas in front of hundreds of people.
Our portfolio companies on the Web Summit
Five startups from our portfolio took part in the Web Summit this year:
- Datrics, the first successful investment of Sigma Software Labs, YC alumni. Datrics is a drag-n-drop AI platform that provides the fastest way to create and operate Machine Learning solutions. The platform enables Machine Learning for non-practitioners and automates MLOps for professionals within an enterprise. This September, Datrics partnered with NEAR Foundation. During the Web Summit Datrics made it to the TOP-100 startups!
- Datuum – a set of tools that connect to a database (RDBMS, CSV file, or even Excel spreadsheet) and scan it, after which the AI-based toolset finds and displays the data automatically, giving users the ability to adjust the process. This technology reduces the cost of mapping and retrieving data by up to 80% compared to the manual process, which makes the platform a unique solution for large enterprises and public sector structures in the transition to updated processes for working with big data.
- Finmap – an online financial accounting service for small and medium-sized businesses that provide users with access to business financial analytics. Among the unique features are dashboards about business expenses and income, filters by project and customer categories, automatic synchronization via API with accounts of different banks, etc. The Finmap SMB market segment today has insane potential. For example, the competitor BukuKas in the Asian market recently raised a round of $ 50 million, the next round has a chance to bring it closer to the unicorn. Finmap has a chance to approach similar positions in the potential market.
- Black Snow — platform for the development of AR games and navigation, as well as a separate shooter game with elements of virtual reality and with the ability to participate in a battle anywhere in the world via a smartphone screen.
- Coaty World gamification solution, allows brands to attract new customers in an innovative way and provide effective advertising. Users are building their unique raccoons, dressing them up with digital clothes, and networking. A new way of advertising at an amazing innovation for publishers and advertisers
Veronika Korzh, the board member at Sigma Software Labs, held a webinar with her own product GeekPay. On behalf of co-founder and CEO at GeekPay Veronika held a master class “Pains and Gains of crypto payments” and a QA session after to elaborate more about a product that provides an opportunity to quickly and conveniently set up payments in cryptocurrency and how it can boost businesses. The team of the startup GeekPay could also be found at the Ukrainian startup alley.
Despite the unprovoked and brutal russian aggression, the Ukrainian IT sector has shown incredible resilience and determination even in the country’s darkest hours. To this day it remains the only industry in Ukraine that still shows growth during the war.
Many tech giants such as Amazon, Apple, and SpaceX have shown their support to Ukraine. Microsoft’s Brad Smith announced the extension of aid for Ukraine’s tech wartime tech innovation by up to $100 million in Microsoft services.
Our main goal is to contribute to the startup ecosystem growth and provide Ukrainian teams with even more opportunities to scale their solutions globally.