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Qiwi invests $700,000 in 12 startups

0 15 July 2014

Russian payment services giant Qiwi's investment arm has injected $700,000 in 12 startups selected for the Qiwi Universe acceleration program, hosted by Moscow State University's business incubator

According to the companies press release, it received over 500 applications out of which 8 pre-seed stage and 4 more mature projects were chosen. Among the finalists are projects in e-commerce, telecom and financial sectors as well as Big Data and CRM. Some projects are complimentary to QIWI`s main business while others represent technological solutions that can help enhance and develop IT infrastructure in the future.

In the next four months teams will participate in Qiwi Universe, a special intensive course that combines best theoretical programs of Silicon Valley and Russian business practice. Top-managers and shareholders of QIWI, as well as leading entrepreneurs and IT market experts will be among the teachers and mentors of the program. The final step of the program will be a special DemoDay event where graduates will present their projects to Russian and foreign investors.

The 8 pre-seed stage startups have received $20,000 from QIWI, while the remaining $540,000 has been split between the four more mature companies. 

Alexey Barinsky, QIWI Group's chief investment officer, commented that

"During these two months we've met many of the teams and founders in person. Through hackathons we got directly involved in all stages of the project development from building the team to prototype development and business model. We hope that each participant of QIWI Universe program will be able to repeat QIWI`s success and work their way up from a small startup to an international company. Our main goal is to provide these projects with infrastructure and resources necessary for efficient and balanced development."

The names of the four more mature startups have not been disclosed. The 8 pre-seed projects are

1) PrimeContext- a cloud-based multitool service for internet marketologists. 

2) Your Audio-Guide (Ваш Аудиогид) – a mobile app offering audio tours of major world cities. 

3) e-Surguch – a universal system that verifies electronic legal documents.

4) Easy Wallet – A mobile app that allows users to manage accounts on a number of bank cards, as well as additional helpful banking services.

5) – a system for short-term renting

6) SmartInterface – a developer of contactless interfaces. 

7) CheckIt - a service that uses bar codes to allow users to quickly find information about price and availability of products.

8) Artofad – an interactive advertising service. 

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