Ukrainian crypto startup Kolibrio raises $2M to build web3 service
The Ukrainian startup Kolibrio has raised $2 million from Jump Crypto with participation from Delta Blockchain Fund, Everstake Capital, and angel investors, as the startup co-founders, Alex Starikov and Anatolii Padenko, reported to AIN.Capital.
The startup, which builds an automated on-chain auction system (i.e., blockchain-based auctions), has raised $2 million in a seed round. The terms and capitalization of the project have not been disclosed. Jump Crypto was the lead investor. Delta Blockchain Fund, Everstake Capital, and UK investors also participated in the round.
The startup team began searching for an investor at the beginning of 2022 and closed the round in December of the same year. As project co-founder Anatolii Padenko says, the team had dozens of rounds with investors but wanted to find relevant investment companies that were knowledgeable in this field and could help with expertise.
“We had never raised money. We were inexperienced at it. But we communicated a lot, took the issue seriously, and got prepared. Also, many advisers helped us — one investment company recommended another, and so with the help of word of mouth, we reached our existing investors,” says Anatolii.
The startup’s team currently consists of eight people, and most of the developers are based in Kyiv, so Kolibrio could not avoid the war risk issue during the negotiations with the investment companies. But, according to the co-founders, even though investors paid attention to this risk, it did not become the basis for a decision: they looked more at the team, its expertise, and technology. The existing investors did not take this factor into account at all.
About the startup
The startup’s co-founders, Alex Starikov and Anatolii Padenko, worked together at Peanut Trade, a Ukrainian crypto startup that builds blockchain trading solutions for B2B. Anatolii was in charge of technical issues there as CTO, while Alex was in business development and sales. So, they met there and came up with an idea for their business.
The first version of the working product Kolibrio appeared in May 2022, the second — in September of the same year. The company was registered in December.
The company aims to solve the Maximal Extractable Value (MEV) problem by offering an on-chain order flow auction system (OFA), which can be used by order flow originators like wallets, node providers, and dapps to benefit the end user. The co-founders compare it to the Payment-for-order-flow (PFOF) mechanism from traditional financial markets, where a broker gives an order to a market maker to fulfill a customer’s request.
Anatolii Padenko explained the idea of the service to AIN.Capital as follows:
“Let’s consider, for example, the process of selling or buying cryptocurrency on a decentralized exchange. If a trader, a user, places orders on a protocol like Uniswap, certain types of transactions can create opportunities for additional trading — arbitrage, liquidation, cross-domain cases.
If there is such an opportunity to make money during a transaction, our service passes the transaction to searchers, who use algorithmic strategies for trading and thus execute the user’s request while receiving a profit margin.”
Due to increased competition between searchers, the team plans to achieve the return of most of the trading profits to transaction providers and their users. In some strategies, this share may reach 90%.
The startup plans to monetize on a subscription basis or on a commission per transaction basis: at this stage, the monetization model is still under discussion.
The team plans to spend the funds raised on development, technology, and brand awareness.
“We have a very technical product, so we will not use classical marketing methods yet. Our main focus is to make cool technology and build a B2B brand,” says Starikov.
Launched in Q2 2022, Kolibrio runs OFAs on Ethereum, Avalanche, and Aurora— more blockchains are planned to be deployed throughout 2023.