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Western funds again show interest in Ukraine, says Nykyta Izmaylov, Parimatch shareholder

Western funds again show interest in Ukraine, says Nykyta Izmaylov, Parimatch shareholder

As an example of high benefits of investing in Ukrainian startups, Izmaylov cited the actions of his own specialized investment fin-tech Fund N1

Photo: Nick Izmaylov / Facebook
Despite the war, Western venture capital funds are beginning to show interest in Ukraine, and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's personal address to the participants of key investment forums greatly facilitate this process and give grounds for powerful innovative companies like BlackRock to emerge in Ukraine. This is the statement by Nykyta Izmaylov, an investor of the Ukrainian neobank sportbank , a shareholder and former managing partner of the betting company Parimatch following the two leading conferences on financial technology – Finovate and the SALT conference – held on September 12–14 in New York.

He described his impressions of the conferences on Facebook, and also spoke about them in a comment to Novyny Live.

"It is objectively hard for investors to swallow the risk of war, it is too much for them. However, there are some funds that are starting to get involved little by little. It is difficult for venture capitalists to accept risks in such investments, but the rewards are potentially very high," said Izmaylov.

As an example of high benefits of investment in Ukrainian startups at the moment, Nykyta Izmaylov cited the activity of his own specialized fin-tech investment Fund N1, which in June invested $500 thousand in the financial technology startup runsenix. "Before the war started, the same startup probably would have been worth five times as much," remarked the Parimatch shareholder.

Nykyta Izmaylov also noted that the speech of Zelenskyy and Deputy Minister of Digital Transformation Oleksandr Bornyakov at the SALT conference made a strong inspiring impression on the participants.

"Within the SALT framework, Volodymyr Zelenskyy appealed to the top global investors and asked them to invest in Ukraine. In perfect English, Oleksandr Bornyakov explained why Ukraine is attractive for investment, the advantages of Diia City, and most importantly, why we are defeating the enemy on the battlefield. I felt so proud of Ukraine! I fully support the President's call and motivate myself and the team to work even harder to make the N1 Investment Fund at least the Ukrainian BlackRock in the future", he highlighted.

According to Nykyta Izmaylov, the main areas of discussion at Finovate were open banking, digital banking and crypto-banking.

"Finovate is exclusively a fin-tech conference of a rather unusual format. 50% of the time is devoted to demos of products and startups from the scene, 25% – panels, and another 25% – presentations. There have been no Ukrainian fin-techs this year. Most of the solutions presented target the U.S. market. A lot of talks and presentations were about open banking, crypto-banking and digital banks. Besides, at this year's conference they presented the first humanized artificial intelligence called Kaitlin, which is capable of listening and talking like a human and in the future will be able to replace call-center operators," he informed.

According to him, the subject matter of the SALT conference was broader and covered a significant number of strategic investment areas.

"SALT is a conference for big investors. Its focuses were cryptocurrency and crypto-banks, Web 3.0, bio- and food technology, longevity, business portfolio approaches and discussion of macro-forecasts. However, for hedge funds SALT has become a platform for discussing low investment returns. Many well-known investors who had been attending the conference over the years did not come this time. In general, the SALT’s focus has shifted from hedge funds to crypto-investments," said the Parimatch shareholder.