Ukrainian SMRK VC Fund exits from Preply

Ukrainian SMRK VC Fund has made another exit from a Ukrainian startup. This time it is Preply. The editor of AIN.UA shares the details.

  • According to Andriy Dovzhenko, SMRK Managing Partner, for the first time, the firm invested in Preply in 2015.
  • In 2017, the Ukrainian startup Preply sold its stake for $4 million. The lead investor was Point Nine Capital, a Berlin-based venture capital firm. Among the others was the Ukrainian SMRK VC Fund.
  • In 2020, Preply closed a $10 million round, the total amount of funds raised amounted to $15 million. The founders did not disclose the valuation of the startup at the time, but according to Andriy Dovzhenko, SMRK’s exit was based on that valuation.
  • Polish INOVO acquired SMRK’s stake. Moreover, it also invested directly in Preply. The amount of the deal was not disclosed.
  • According to Dovzhenko, the exit multiple is 3.2x, and he said it is “a good result.”

“Preply is doing well now, and we’ve decided to make the profit. SMRK VC Fund continues to invest actively in startups at an early stage, and we need funds, so we managed to get them through the good exits,” Dovzhenko explained the reason for leaving Preply.

Andriy Dovzhenko, SMRK

In 2019, SMRK had already made a partial exit. In 2019, SMRK had already made a partial exit. In March 2019, Horizon Capital invested $10 million in Ajax Systems by partially acquiring SMRK’s stake. The firm invested $1 million in the Ukrainian manufacturer of security systems back in 2015 and remained the only investor until Horizon Capital came. Then Dovzhenko said that “the firm has a very successful exit from the partial sale of previously bought shares, and the long-term goal is to bring Ajax Systems to the IPO.”