1991 Ventures launches £15m fund backed by UK LPs to invest in mission-driven startups across Ukraine and CEE


Venrex and Samos Investments – early LPs of Seedcamp and Entrepreneur First – back first fund of Ukrainian brothers behind accelerator of more than 200 startups

FieldHouse Associates

London, 25th March 2024 – 1991 Ventures, has launched a £15 million fund to invest in untapped Ukrainian and Central Eastern European (CEE) startup talent with global potential to solve real-world problems. The fund is backed by prominent UK-based limited partners (LPs) Venrex and Samos Investments, early institutional investors in highly successful startup programmes Seedcamp and Entrepreneur First.

An industry-agnostic early-stage fund founded by Ukrainian brothers Denis and Viktor Gursky, 1991 Ventures builds on their experience launching Kyiv-based tech organisation SocialBoost and 1991 Accelerator, which has produced more than 200 startups between 2016 and 2024, continuing despite the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In 2019, the Gurskys created 1991 Mariupol. The first technology startup centre of its kind – launched with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky present – served as an outpost of East Ukrainian innovation, giving the frontline port city hope. Mariupol was largely destroyed in the first months of the invasion with the centre seized by the Russian military after 1991 Mariupol’s team managed to relocate to safety.

1991 Ventures aims to invest in over 40 companies across the lifecycle of the fund and will build on the incubation and accelerator programmes the Gurskys have been running from Kyiv and now London, which have seen a third successfully secure funding. The accelerator’s wins include document automation software AXDRAFT, which has offices in the US and Germany; European toll payment app eTolls; and cybersecurity company Osavul, which uses AI to counter disinformation.

Denis Gursky, Founding Partner of 1991 Ventures said, “There is a wealth of untapped talent in Ukraine and Central and Eastern Europe, and 1991 Ventures plans to bring these innovative startups to the forefront of the global stage. My brother, Viktor, and I are all too aware of the innovation coming out of this area of the world and want to create a pipeline of high quality dealflow through which these impactful startups ultimately get the later stage funding they require so that they can prosper. When this region does well, so does the world, which can then benefit from the creativity emanating from Ukraine and CEE.”

Viktor Gursky, Founding Partner of 1991 Ventures said, “We back mission-driven companies to help move the market forward with the best ideas and founders. 1991 Ventures has first-hand access to talent in a region currently under distress. We’re looking to provide these innovative founders with healthy capital from the UK and enable them to see the UK as a global springboard for the momentum they’ll need to achieve further success.”