1991 Ventures plans major investment in Ukrainian startups

"Ukrainian Startups Investment"

1991 Ventures, a UK-based firm initiated by Ukrainian siblings Denis and Viktor Gursky, is gearing up to primarily invest in Ukrainian startups. Backed by distinguished UK-based partners renowned for their prior investments in monumental startup ventures such as Seedcamp and Entrepreneur First, the Gurskys are set to offer financial aid mainly to Ukrainian startups.

The Gursky brothers have had a significant impact on the Ukrainian startup scene, notably through their involvement with local incubation and acceleration initiatives. Their new venture, 1991 Ventures, has an initial fund of £15 million ($18.8 million) earmarked for investing in promising Ukrainian and Central Eastern European (CEE) startups, with an emphasis on fintech, edtech, healthtech, and SaaS.

Despite political turmoil caused by Russia’s aggressive attack on Ukraine, Ukrainian startups have exhibited resilience. From 2016 to 2024, the Gurskys supported over 200 startups via their incubator, Social Boost. Beneficiaries of this fund include AXDRAFT, a legal tech firm, eTolls, a European toll payment app, and Osavul, a cybersecurity company.

1991 Ventures’ strategic funding for Ukrainian startups

The success of these startups underscore the tenacity of Ukrainian entrepreneurs and signal potential for the country’s startup scene to thrive under challenging circumstances.

Denis Gursky, founding partner of The 1991 Ventures, expresses his belief in the ample untapped potential of Ukraine and the CEE region. He seeks to source high-quality business deals for these areas. Interestingly, this optimism is shared by the fund’s investors who are excited about prospects within Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine’s tech sector.

However, 1991 Ventures will contend with stiff competition from other Ukrainian VC funds, such as those supporting Reface AI and Deel, as well as major international funds invested in the Ukrainian startup scene like Goldman Sachs and Google Ventures. Despite these challenges, forecasts are optimistic for a surge in dual-use or defense technology companies, hinting at a promising future for Ukraine’s technological advancement.

With escalating investment and government support, Ukraine holds potential as a burgeoning hub for technological innovation. The latest trends suggest that the number of tech companies, especially those dealing with dual-use or defense technology, will continue to grow exponentially, potentially revamping Ukraine’s status on the international stage.