While the goal of the first report was to map all the major ecosystem players and provide stakeholders with data to intensify discussion about ecosystem size, the second report aims to take a closer look at the ecosystem, presenting more accurate and detailed data, to find out what drives particular changes in the ecosystem, and which sectors and companies lead the growth.
The analytical report “Belarus startup report 2020”, prepared by Bulba Ventures and CIVITTA, highlights the leading role of the ICT sector as a key driver of the Belarusian economy due to rapid growth and high export rates of computer and information services, as well as the positive dynamics of the startup ecosystem: since 2013 Belarusian startups have attracted about 500 million USD, and their number has increased by 35% compared to 2018. The local startup community is also growing: Minsk is acknowledged as one of the fastest-growing startup hubs in Europe by the growth rate of active members.
The report also emphasizes that success stories of local startups (Viber, Maps.me, MSQRD and others) boost ecosystem growth energizing the flow of capital and transfer of knowledge and skills. Moreover, successful local founders become serial entrepreneurs reinvesting further in local projects. This stimulates entrepreneurial initiative in the country and allows unlocking the potential of the ecosystem.
The review systematizes and reveals the industries in which Belarusian startups operate. As of 2019, most startups are specialized in enterprise software development (17% of startups), followed by health-related startups (11%). Meanwhile, about half of all startups specialize in deep tech with artificial intelligence and big data leading the scene.
Since 2013, Belarusian startups have attracted more than 500 million USD cumulatively. Though there are no proven unicorns in Belarus, according to Dealroom, at least four companies are on the way to achieving this status: Flo Health, Behavox, Profitero, and Workfusion.
Despite the fact that the number of investment deals in 2019 was the same as in 2018, the total volume of investments is significantly lower, which is explained by the fact that several large investment deals were concluded in 2018 (Wokfusion and Behavox). In general, the total investment in the two above-mentioned startups is about 60% of the total investment since 2013. In Belarus where large, usually late stage, investment deals are not common, this can affect the investment dynamics significantly. At the same time in recent years, small deals have been gaining momentum owing to the increasing early-stage investment from local business angels, accelerators, and funds.
The report also provides data on the contribution of Belarusian startups to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Due to the high number of MedTech startups, Sustainable Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing is by far the most addressed goal.
In "Belarus startup report 2020" you can learn more about:
The full version of the report can be downloaded from the Bulba Ventures website.