Ukrainian startup Influ2 raises $8 million

The Ukrainian B2B marketing platform Influ2, co-founded by Vladimir Mikhalko and Dmitri Lisitski, has raised $8 million in Series A round, Lisitski announced on his Facebook page.

  • ​​Rally Ventures, a leading US-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage businesses, led this round.
  • In 2017, the startup secured $190,000 exclusively from angel investors. And in 2020, One Way Ventures and VentureFriends funds, Kazakh investor Murat Abdrakhmanov, and former GlobalLogic CEO Peter Harrison participated in a $3.4 million round.
  • In 2020, Influ2 grew in revenue from $1 million to $5 million and reached profitability. According to Lisitski, from then on, things changed, and the company became of interest to all Valley’s investment firms.

About Influ2

The company’s website says, “We were tired of seeing an ad for a refrigerator we had already bought. We were disappointed we did not see an ad for a task-tracking app we really needed.”

Everyone knows the situation when a gym sends text messages to existing customers twice a week offering to sell a membership, whereas it should be sending upsells of something the customer might actually want. This is exactly the problem that the startup Influ2 deals with, making it possible to target ads to particular people instead of “carpet bombing” offers with low relevance to people unknown to the advertiser.

“I chose the product by two criteria — it will be easy to sell and difficult to copy,” Dmitri Lisitski told AIN.UA in an interview.

Previously, the startup had several pivots concerning the monetization model and the legal aspect — showing ads to particular people without their consent seemed to require measures to comply with GDPR and other regulations on the protection of personal data.