Ukrainian startup offers financial cloud and business advice

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Start-up companies in Ukraine continue to forge ahead, pursuing the country’s digital goals and making minute-to-minute adjustments in a rapidly changing environment.

An example is fuel. This 2.5-year-old company offers a cloud finance department for other startups, including e-commerce businesses. The Ukrainian startup serves as a virtual CFO, a role that falls into CIO territory as companies continue their digital transformation and explore new business models.

Fuel provides accounting, financial reporting and market analysis services, among other services. The goal is to help businesses make smart decisions, said Jane Davydiuk, Fuel’s chief operating officer.

The company differs from its competitors in that it does not let its start-up customers think about financials, she noted. Fuel distills numbers into text and graphics, providing insight for decision-making.

Fuel’s cloud-based offerings aim to help online sellers forecast inventory and plan for seasonal buying spikes. But since Russian invasion in February, Fuel’s Ukrainian customers focused more on resolving financial issues, Davydiuk said. Earlier this month, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development predicted that Ukraine’s GDP would fall by 30% in 2022.

“We still have Ukrainian customers who continue to use our product during the war,” Davydiuk said. The company’s Anti-Crisis Plans for Startups product is seeing strong demand, in addition to Fuel’s financial model and financial system core products, she said. Fuel also helps Ukrainian startups calculate the value of entering new markets as founders seek alternative revenue streams.

Fuel, itself, seeks to extend its reach. The war accelerated Fuel’s pursuit of US and European markets, Davydiuk said.

Startups like Fuel are part of a larger Ukrainian tech sector that industry executives see as opening up as a second front, an economic battle, in the war with Russia. Tech companies have adapted to wartime, relocating employees to safer areas and relying on cloud and remote collaboration tools to maintain operations.

A handful of start-ups could gain exposure for Ukrainian digital culture. Fourteen Ukrainian startups will participate in VivaTech, a European startup event, which will take place from June 15 to 18 in Paris. The Ukrainian delegation includes ClinCaseQuest, a simulation training platform for medical education, and Fruittorg, a B2B product marketplace, according to Ukrainian Ministry of Digital Transformation.

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