ff Venture Capital launches the first US venture capital fund dedicated to Ukrainian startups

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ff Objectives of the Blue & Yellow Heritage Fund $50 million supporting Ukrainian entrepreneurs in the face of unprecedented challenges

NEW YORK, September 13, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — ff Venture Capital (ffVC), an early-stage venture capital firm, has launched the ff Blue & Yellow Heritage Fund, the first U.S. venture capital fund exclusively for Ukrainian founders and startups. Targeting $50 million, the Fund received early commitments of $30 million from institutional investors, family offices and leading companies. With a signed memorandum with the Ukrainian government and access to ffVC’s vast network of Ukrainian entrepreneurs, the fund will support Ukrainian startups facing the unprecedented challenges of the Russian invasion, while enabling cutting-edge technology from an emerging innovation hub.

“Ukrainian companies are traditionally among the best software developers in the world. Ukraine has everything to become a powerful IT hub and enter the top five European companies in terms of the number of startups per capita,” said the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in prepared remarks to deliver at the SALT New York 2022 conference later today. “Ukraine is the largest post-war economic reconstruction project in our lifetime. You can ask how you can get involved. My answer is: invest. Invest in Ukrainian companies and startups. Support funds that help Ukrainian talent.”

The Blue & Yellow Heritage Fund will invest in startups led by Ukrainian founders, relocated startups from Ukraine and startups that employ Ukrainian refugees. As one of the only US venture capital firms with established operations in the center and Eastern Europe, ffVC will provide unrivaled access to a business ecosystem to create opportunities across the region. The fund will prioritize providing office space and resources to Ukrainian startups relocating to central regions and Eastern Europe and creating jobs for refugees, while accelerating long-term technological development in areas critical to Ukraine’s development. In addition, all investments will include strong oversight and governance controls.

“The IT sphere has become one of the few that continues to regularly fill the Ukrainian state budget, despite the large-scale invasion,” said Mykhailo Fedorov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Transformation. “Tech companies strongly support the economy of Ukraine. They will become the future uplift of our country. We must therefore help existing businesses and promote the development of new ones. ffVC’s Blue and Yellow Heritage Fund will play an important role in this regard. It will invest in our startups and specialists when it needs them most.”

Ukraine has a long history of innovation and world-class investment success, including the invention of the hard drive, the market-leading software development platform (Gitlab), and an email platform that billions use every month (WhatsApp). Recent unicorns built by Ukrainian entrepreneurs and engineers include Affirm, Gitlab, Grammarly, and People.ai; even in the depths of war, Ukrainian innovation continues in a range of applications from drones to cybersecurity. Ukraine has more technology graduates than most European countries and 240,000 citizens employed in the IT sector. The country was ranked fifth for developers in a 2019 SkillValue ranking and is home to R&D centers for more than 100 major tech companies, including Google, Samsung, Snap, Oracle, Nvidia, Lyft and Ring.

“Ukrainian startups continue to thrive amid unprecedented economic headwinds,” said Mariusz AdamskyffVC partner based in Warsaw. “We have known for years that we are one of the only US venture capital firms with established operations in Eastern Europe that investment in Ukrainian innovation consistently drives good results. There’s no better time for ffVC to lead the way in advancing Ukrainian startups with financial and strategic support that will create more Ukrainian tech powerhouses, while providing immediate relief to startups that need it now.”

In 2019, ffVC led the funding round of Respeecher, which provides voice cloning software to content creators and works on high-profile projects including The Mandalorian. “Ukrainian entrepreneurs are building world-class products and need support now, but many investors are avoiding our country because of the war and our small, early-stage venture capital ecosystem,” said KyivRespeecher-based CEO Alex Serdiuk. “FFVC’s network and expertise helped Respeecher avoid any disruption to operations and even grow our customer base during the invasion. They provide tremendous value not only by accelerating our business, but also by strengthening the Ukrainian community of entrepreneurs at large.”

About ffVC

ff Venture Capital (ffVC) is an early-stage venture capital firm focused on global opportunities, with over 90 portfolio companies active in emerging technology sectors including Applied AI, FinTech, Insurtech, drones and robotics. Notable investments include: Addepar, Cornerstone OnDemand, Clarity Money (acquired by: Goldman Sachs), Movable Ink, Omaze, Owlet, Plated (Albertsons), Transactis (MasterCard), Rescale and Socure. Founded in 2008, the ffVC has offices in New York and Warsaw. To learn more about ffVC and the ff Blue & Yellow Heritage Fund, visit ffvc.com/ukraine.

SOURCE ff Venture Capital

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