Top 5 Russian startups with global ambitions

Smart logistics, vertical farming, intelligent retail – these Russian startups all have something to offer to the global markets.

For this list, we have selected Russian startups with the best investment/prospects of success ratio on the market. Each one of them is relatively new (the oldest one was founded in 2015) and has global ambitions. Let’s take a closer look.

1. Intelligence Retail – that’s how retail 2.0 works

While the trade industry is slowly recovering from the coronavirus crisis, the solutions to overcome it might come from the trade tech which many retailers are pinning their hopes on. Startups like Intelligence Retail are ready to answer the demand.

The startup offers its customers an IT-driven digital merchandising model, which includes solutions based on computer vision, AI and IoT. As the company stresses, its product reduces retail audit costs, drives sales, boosts profitability and even increases customer loyalty.

The system gathers data on how products perform in the market and helps merchandisers to get online information on shelf share, distribution, promos and more.

These solutions are already being used in Russia, CIS countries, the EU, the Middle East and Latin America. In 2020, Intelligence Retailraised $1.5 million for further development and expansion.

2. Fura

Fura focuses on logistics and heavy-duty trucks. It is a tech platform which offers control and optimization through a network of users.

The company offers two main products: Fura Navigator and Fura Trace. The first is a navigator app which is already used by 140 thousand truck drivers – according to the company. Users can find routes, learn more about the surrounding truck-oriented infrastructure, share voice messages, etc. The other, Trace, is a b2b product which helps to control shipping, track drivers’ position and optimize processing.

The company claims the platform makes logistics 60% faster and saves customers’ money. Brands like AB InBev, Coca-Cola, Miratorg and Danone are among their clients.

The company was founded in 2017 by two students, Philip Gazmanov and Artur Zhazhoyan. According to Rusbase, they have already received $1 million in investments and are considering entering the U.S. market.

3. Sizolution – No-stress code

If you like shopping but hate fitting rooms, you will enjoy Sizolution, an AI-driven size prediction engine developed by three Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology graduates.

The tech will analyze your body measurements to come up with the right clothes sizes for you. You can opt to fill out a questionnaire or simply snap a “full body selfie” and go shopping without any hassle. The company claims that this way, their customers will never get a wrong size and, therefore, have a better shopping experience.

Sizolution is also an engine which can easily be integrated into websites and apps. KupiVIP, Bask, Decathlon and Ostin are among early adopters of the technology. In 2019, the total investment in the company was estimated at $500 thousand. In 2020, Sizolution was among the 20 Russian startups selected by Microsoft to join the Global Pilots program aimed at helping innovative projects enter the global market.

4. iFarm – vegetable reality

iFarm was founded in Novosibirsk in 2017, when the term vertical farming was not as well-known as it is today. The simple idea – putting plants on shelves and letting them grow – turned out to be a big commercial success.

In 2019, iFarm raised $1 Million. The startup is growing fast and plans to open new facilities in Finland, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Also, the company has recently added iFarm Cropper to its products, a mini-farm for restaurants and cafes.

In the coming years, iFarm plans to grow more than 200 species of plants in vertical farms in the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. The company’s development strategy also entails opening new sales offices and modernization of current facilities. According to their strategy, in 2025, iFarm will have more than 1 million square meters of vertical farms.

5. Wasteout – smart trash can ecosystem

When IT meets the waste management market it leads to both economic and ecological benefits. Wasteout, one of the most innovative startups in the field, deals with optimization and control of the waste market.

It offers its customers a system of smart trash cans and an online platform to control it. Operators can see temperature, angle and other parameters of any trash via even the slow 2G/GPRS connection and receive notifications when the can is full.

An online-platform is also connected to garbage trucks, offering the most efficient route. This approach is cost-effective and more eco-friendly, due to optimization and resource management.

Wasteout is supported by local Russian investors and raised 2,5 million rubles (approx. $30,000) in 2018. It now also has plans to enter foreign markets.

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