Ukrainian VR startup Aspichi secures $500k from the SMRK fund

Aspichi, a Ukrainian startup developing virtual reality solutions, has secured $500,000 in a round from the Ukrainian venture fund SMRK. The co-founder Viktor Samoilenko tells the details of the deal, as well as the history of the startup to AIN.Capital.

Image: Aspichi

Details of the deal

The startup managed to secure $500,000, although the team does not disclose the valuation after the round. In general, raising funds during the war is difficult, but not impossible, as the co-founders emphasize.

“We have a common history with SMRK and, most importantly, shared values. The level of ambition of the project and the scale of application were important in the negotiations. We also continue to communicate with global VCs who are interested but uncertain about the high risks regarding Ukraine,”

Samoilenko says.

The team is planning to spend the raised funds on:

  • increasing the technological level of the platform, attracting talented engineers;
  • expanding the circle of early adopters client base.

What is the startup about

According to Samoilenko, the idea for Aspichi came up while working on another startup, Apostera (Mixed Reality for Automotive Navigation). We told its story earlier, and at the beginning of 2022, it was acquired by the international company HARMAN International (part of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd). The idea of a VR startup began with an answer to the question: “Is it possible to travel and get new experiences without spending money on cars and plane tickets?”.

“Later we planned everything up and waited for the devices for recording 360 video (cameras) and playback (VR helmets), as well data transmission infrastructure to reach the required tech level. Then followed the exit from Apostera, the start of work, preliminary negotiations with investors and partners, registration of the company at the end of 2021 in the USA,”

Samoilenko recalls.

The startup is incorporated in Delaware, but its R&D is in Kyiv. Its founders are CEO Viktor Samoilenko and CTO Max Honcharuk, both have more than 15 years of experience working in international companies around the world.

Aspichi secures $500k
Max Honcharuk (left) and Viktor Samoilenko (right)

What product are they working on?

The team is working on a VR platform for the interactive streaming of 360-degree spatial video with audio in a VR helmet. This allows to reproduce the images in the helmet in real time and to enable users to communicate. In particular, the product is aimed at teaching complex skills, such as surgical skills or prosthetics. The main clients of the startup are the corporate segment, hospitals, and other medical institutions, construction, manufacturing, as well as other industries.

Now the product is at the stage of advanced MVP, ready for pilot application. The Aspichi technology is already being tested by several medical and educational institutions.