Think Silicon Valley is the center of the universe for tech startups? Think again. Though it’s true that the majority of non-Western tech startups are equivalents or clones of their U.S./European counterparts, a myriad of innovative companies are starting to blaze their own paths in their respective markets.
This does not come as a surprise, especially when it comes to Russian tech startups—if a product has already shown good results in one market, then it is likely to show a similar result in another. But there are also purely Russian projects that are unique and do not have any equivalents in the world. The following are the 15 innovative Russian tech startups to watch out for in 2016.
Reportkey brings together the data from various statistical collecting systems and advertising offices into a single report and saves the information along with a report template in a personal dashboard. The service is primarily targeted at online marketers wishing to automate customer accounting and reporting. Furthermore, it can combine data from multiple sources, accept guest links, and can be downloaded in .doc or .pdf file format. You get a nice, quality report generated in just a couple of minutes.
CashPump is an application that helps other applications acquire new installs. App promotion is a common pain point faced by the creators of new apps, as consumers are leary of new products on the market. CashPump successfully solves this problem and is gaining popularity.
Mubert is an online electronic music composer startup with no direct equivalents in the world. The app continuously generates electronic music online. Make no mistake: this is not a radio, nor does the service translate other people’s music—it creates a unique composition in real time. This service is for people who love electronic music and are open to musical experimentation. For those having trouble finding new tracks and genres, Mubert can provide an entirely new environment for enjoying music.
LookPrice is a startup that helps women search offers from beauty salons and private beauty consultants. Users simply login, choose the right category of services (e.g., manicure, hairdressing, makeup, massage, cosmetology, tattoo, and more), and make a service request. Several standout features make this offering unique; for example, users can describe the service desired and attach a photo of a manicure for reference. Beauty salons and individual consultants then respond based on the description and image with a cost estimate.
Tech startup MoyGrafik (Russian for “My Schedule”) offers a solution for managing employee work schedules. Notable features include filtering by departments/positions/areas and sharing between other managers. MoyGrafik has some compelling features coming down the pipe for 2016 like automation of scheduling based on staffing plans and patterns, coordination of changes in schedule, reporting and analytics, accounting of attendance, and mobile applications for scheduling.
This service uses application data, data from handheld devices, artificial intelligence, and expert advice to help you monitor and manage your health. The developer—combining his interest in health with past experience in game development—has created a useful assistant for encouraging healthy lifestyles.
Noosferus is a service for checking the reliability of sellers on Russian classifieds boards like Avito and Iz-Ruk-V-Ruki. The solution checks the risk of the transaction, forms a verdict based on the seller’s reliability, and makes recommendations for the transaction. The application is the first of its kind, totally unique.
Truthly is a social network with anonymous feedback about people and companies. The developers decided to make a network platform of feedback not only for companies but for individuals as well. Companies and individuals ask for opinions about their services and products and the people registered in this social network write reviews and get bonuses.
The experts at DSSL—a Russian video technology developer—realized that the Russian CCTV camera market had quite a limited range of products, most sharing approximately the same color, shape, and size. After market research and data analysis, the company decided to launch a customized product that would solve this problem and help businesses get video cameras matching their branding and design specifications.
When the experts of the Bolshaya Bukva (Russian for “The Big Letter”) were looking for various specialists they saw that there was no single place for all Russian freelance linguists. So they decided to create such a platform themselves. Their efforts resulted in 2Polyglot: a marketplace for linguistic services that features simplicity and transparency of orders and transactions.
In January 2016, a company called BASH!Today secured 2.5 million rubles of venture funding for their project. BASH!Today is a loft and studio booking service for large events. The service enables you to find a loft for events of any size—faster than you can find a hotel room.
Kwork is a freelance services shop featuring “everything for 500 rubles”. It was launched in November 2015 and gained meteoric success and popularity in a span of three months. The idea for this startup was born out of dissatisfaction with the way the freelance marketplace in the Russian-based internet economy works. The founders of this service have set a goal to get rid of unproductive discussions, unnecessary tenders, price coordination, and other unsavory attributes of freelancing. Subsequently, Kwork has done away with tenders and negotiations; in this sense, the service is something like a supermarket of services. Choose, pay, wait for the result to be delivered. Similar to the Fiverr where everything is for $5, Kwork has some additional unique characteristics that are worth checking out.
Investors have been hedging their bets on The Beauty Discount Center—most recently, the startup closed a funding round in January 2016, adding 1.5 million rubles to the 10.7 million rubles raised from private investors in 2015. The service is the first online cosmetics and fragrance “cash & carry” type-store, offering professional and branded facial/body/hair products, makeup, perfume, and professional equipment at volume discounts.
ScratchDuino is a startup dedicated to creating educational robotics. The company’s marketing strategy is quite unusual: its customers are mostly state educational institutions, so marketing and sales are directed to work within state parameters. The robotics systems are expensive to produce; they are not toys that parents can buy for their children. Subsequently, only schools and colleges that can afford them.
Pay-Me is essentially the Russian equivalent of Square. The solution revolves around a payment terminal in the form of a card reader that connects to your smartphone or tablet via audio connector/Bluetooth and a mobile application called Pay-Me Bluetooth.
In short, venture capitalists are increasingly looking beyond their borders for the next tech unicorn. These 15 Russian tech startups serve to illustrate that innovative digital offerings can be found all across the globe—not just in traditional startup environments like Silicon Valley or London’s Tech City.