Ukrainian startup offers financial cloud, business advice

Fuel offers early-stage companies a mix of cloud-based financial products, working with domestic clients and diversifying into European and U.S. markets.

Early-stage companies in Ukraine continue to push on, pursuing the nation's digital goals -- and making minute-to-minute adjustments in a rapidly changing environment.

Fuel is one example. This two-and-a-half-year-old company offers a financial department in the cloud for other startups, e-commerce ventures in particular. The company serves as a virtual CFO, a function that edges into CIO territory as companies pursue digital transformation and explore new business models.

Fuel provides accounting, financial reporting and market analysis, among other services. The goal is to help businesses make sound decisions, said Jane Davydiuk, Fuel's COO.

The company differs from its competitors in that it doesn't leave its startup clients pondering financial data, she noted. Fuel distills the numbers into text and graphics, providing insights for decision-making.

Fuel's cloud-based offerings aim to help online sellers forecast inventory and plan for seasonality. But since Russia's invasion in February, Fuel's Ukrainian customers have focused more on solving financial problems, Davydiuk said. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development earlier this month forecast Ukraine's GDP to drop 30% in 2022.

"We still have Ukrainian clients which continue using our product during the war," Davydiuk said. The company's Anti-Crisis Plans for Startups product sees high demand, in addition to Fuel's core Financial Model and Financial System products, she said. Fuel also helps Ukrainian startups calculate the value of entering new markets as founders seek alternative income sources.

We still have Ukrainian clients which continue using our product during the war.
Jane DavydiukCOO, Fuel

Fuel, itself, looks to extend its reach. The war has accelerated Fuel's pursuit of American and European markets, Davydiuk said.

Startups like Fuel are part of a broader Ukrainian technology sector that industry executives view as opening a second front -- an economic battle -- in the war with Russia. Tech companies have adapted to wartime, relocating employees to safer areas and relying on cloud and remote collaboration tools to maintain operations.

A handful of early-stage companies could gain more visibility for Ukraine's digital culture. Fourteen Ukrainian startups will participate in VivaTech, a European startup event, which will run June 15-18 in Paris. The Ukrainian delegation includes ClinCaseQuest, a simulation training platform for medical education, and Fruittorg, a B2B produce marketplace, according to a post from Ukraine's Ministry of Digital Transformation.

The tenets of startup culture.
Adaptability might be the hallmark of Ukraine's current startup environment.

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