The Belarus capital of Minsk is gathering momentum in deep-tech fields such as AI and machine learning. Here are the ones to watch.
A city that has been at the crossroads of history, bearing witness to some of the most turbulent events of the last few centuries, Minsk is now a tech powerhouse.
Having visited the city a number of times, I have found Minsk to be the cultural and scientific centre of Belarus. Its architecture is a splendid mix of 19th-century stately buildings such as theatres and museums; Stalin-era buildings such as the former KGB headquarters; and modern buildings such as the National Library of Belarus.
Minsk is also home to the Belarus Hi-Tech Park, which hosts more than 200 IT companies.
Minsk, and indeed Belarus itself, is noted for its talented software engineers. The city is the birthplace of globally respected tech companies such as Viber and World of Tanks creator Wargaming. It is also home to the headquarters of Facebook-owned Masquerade and ride-sharing app Juno.
With this pedigree of start-ups, here are the ones to watch in the year ahead.
Assistent.by is a team of accounting and legal professionals who banded together to make relevant cloud systems for businesses. Founded in 2010 by Aliaksei Kurets, Assistent.by raised $750,000 in a seed round led by Softline Venture Partners.
BookYourStudy is a service for choosing and booking education abroad and in Belarus. Users can book classes and join courses or get free consultation on education. Founded in 2016 by Siarhei Sulimau, BookYourStudy has raised $300,000 in seed funding.
Dinan is a town in Brittany, northwest France. It’s known for its medieval ramparts, cobblestone streets, and half-timbered houses. Dinan Castle has a 14th-century keep and the Tour du Coëtquen, a 15th-century artillery tower.
205 km by Car from Brest
163 km by Car from Nantes pic.twitter.com/WtVikHKs77
— Eightydays.me Travel App (@eightydaysme) August 30, 2018
Eightydays.me is a smart and effortless way to design travel itineraries, with an all-in-one trip plan search that covers flights, trains, buses and rentals through Airbnb and Booking.com. Its AI-powered back-end saves time and energy by comparing travel opportunities at the cheapest price. Founded in Minsk in 2017 by Mikhail Larchanka, Aliaksey Kruchenok, Aleh Tsikhanau and Artem Gorny, Eightydays.me has an office in San Francisco and has raised $450,000 in funding so far.
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— Everhour (@everhour) June 19, 2018
Everhour is the creator of an easy-to-use time-tracking app for teams and project managers. It also keeps track of project budgets and employee workloads. Everhour was founded in 2015 by Mike Kulakov and Yury Tolochko.
We’re proud and honored to be among the top 15 European startups as the finalists of Elevator Lab powered by Raiffeisen Bank International. Next step: Finalist Days on 2/3 October in Vienna. #AI #startup pic.twitter.com/67IPjDRK0g
— GiniMachine (@GiniMachineAI) September 27, 2018
GiniMachine solves traditional credit scoring challenges using the latest AI algorithms. In this way, it enables financial firms to combine machine learning with their loan portfolio history to accurately assess risk. GiniMachine was founded in 2016 by Dmitry Dolgorukov, Ivan Kovalenko and Yury Zelensky.
Healthy Networks has developed Lung Passport, a digital stethoscope that, when paired with a mobile app, tells if you have lung problems. It also tells you what the cause is and tracks the condition over time. The assessment is done by a neural network that correlates recorded lung sounds with specific abnormal sounds. Founded in 2017 by Helena Binetskaya, Alexey Karankevich, Maksim Zyabko and Yuliya Narushevich, Healthy Networks has raised $100,000 in seed funding so far.
iDiscount is the creator of electronic discount cards that allow brands to issue loyalty cards without plastic or equipment, only a smartphone app, and engage in effective communication with customers. The company was founded in 2015 and is led by CEO Alexandr Ageichik.
— OneSoil (@onesoilplatform) October 9, 2018
OneSoil has developed a global AI-based precision farming platform that helps medium and large farms optimise their work. It monitors sown areas and helps farm owners to predict and plan ahead. Founded in 2017 by Vsevolod Genin and Slava Mazai, it raised $500,000 in a seed round involving Haxus and Bulba Ventures.
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Scorum is a blockchain-powered sports media platform that provides cryptocurrency rewards for both content creators and curators. Community members get paid for publishing posts, voting, commenting and uploading photos. For sports writers, it has developed custom solutions including sports analytics, interactive graphics and other tools. Scorum raised $5.6m in an initial coin offering in January.
Wannaby is an augmented reality (AR) start-up that creates new shopping experiences. Its platform combines computer vision and rendering technologies to create a new generation of try-on, fitting, sizing, styling and personalisation services in AR, including the first AR-based nails for trying on. The company raised $2m in funding in its first round from investors that include Haxus and Bulba Ventures.
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