Russian banking firm Sberbank announced on Thursday it is set to invest RUB 27 million in six start-ups, created by employees through its in-house accelerator program, Sber#Up. According to Sberbank, Sber#Up in-house accelerator is a program that offers all the banking group’s employees support to create their own IT businesses. The bank also revealed it received 575 applications to participate in the first stage and in the second stage, participants took part in training, talked with successful entrepreneurs, and analyzed the market.
“Seminars and sessions with industry experts took place outside of working hours so that the start-up participants could continue to focus on their regular jobs. The strongest teams, who were able to prove that there is demand for their products, made it through to the third stage. They were given two months to create prototypes of their projects and find their first customers.”
The six startups to receive funding are the following:
- The SportMe project: A platform for booking workouts, sports halls and competitions for employees of corporations. It lets you create corporate sports programmes and offer additional services for healthy living (food, medicine, private medical insurance). The SportMe Project will receive RUB 6 million.
- Personal BigData: A service that attracts clients to microbusiness retail points using fine-tuned audience selection. Personal BigData will receive RUB 2 million.
- StilusBot: An online platform for managing fashion style. StilusBot will receive RUB 4.5 Million.
- PayZakat: A platform for collecting and distributing compulsory and voluntary contributions. PayZakat will secure RUB 5 Million.
- GetMeBack: A platform for constructing digital loyalty programs. GetMeBack will receive RUB 4 million.
- Startup@Check-Up: An online service for calculating the profitability of businesses using Sberbank’s big data (data about location, activity, type of business, financing method, etc.). Startup@Check-Up will secure RUB 5.6 million.
Speaking about the investments, Lev Khasis, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank, stated:
“Every year around 180 venture deals are concluded in Russia. Today we helped improve that statistic because six deals between Sberbank and start-ups amount to 3% of the entire Russian venture market.”
Mikhail Erman, Director of the HSE Business Incubator, added:
“Sberbank’s experience of launching a corporate accelerator is a success because from the very start a clear goal was set – find entrepreneurs within the bank who are ready to create their own projects that complement its ecosystem.”