The winner of this year’s contest has secured investment from a collective of five top VC firms.
Day two of Slush 2022 finished with the announcement that Immigram had won the Slush 100 pitching competition, a new program for early-stage founders.
This year, the contest awarded €1m to the winning start-up, with the SAFE investment coming from Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed, NEA and Northzone.
UK-based Immigram, an immigration platform for IT specialists and tech entrepreneurs, beat Sociability and Zeely to the prize. The award was accepted on Friday (18 November) by Immigram’s co-founder Anastasia Mirolyubova.
“Slush 100 is an exceptional display of openness and allyship in favour of the start-up ecosystem. Never before has a group of VCs of this calibre committed capital to a European start-up program – not to mention one that benefits the earliest stages of the ecosystem,” said Eerika Savolainen, CEO of Slush.
“Each of the five participating funds has backed some of the most iconic tech success stories of our time – Meta, Stripe, Airbnb, Snap, Spotify, Slack, Instacart, Hubspot, Uber, ByteDance, Salesforce, Klarna – the list goes on,” Savolainen added.
The competition organisers noted that these VCs don’t traditionally invest in early-stage start-ups together. This is the first time all five have collaborated on this kind of project.
Mirolyubova and her co-founder Mikhail Sharonov are originally from Russia. Their start-up Immigram focuses in on the UK global talent visa, and is designed for both tech professionals and employers who wish to guide prospective talent through the complex immigration system.
Immigram has already raised some €500,000 in funding. This year’s Slush 100 award of €1m is sure to allow for greater expansion beyond the UK.
The competition, seen as the crown jewel of the annual start-up-focused event in Helsinki, has seen a number of winners go on to see a valuation of more than €100m.
Last year’s winner, Yousician, is one of them. It offers an interactive way to learn how to play musical instruments such as the guitar, piano or ukulele.
Yousician now has more than 25m users worldwide and a raised Series B worth $28m last year.