In the midst of heightened geopolitical tension and associated investment risk in the Ukraine, a group of Ukrainian private equity and venture capital firms launched the country’s first industry trade association in hopes of dispelling investor concerns.
The Ukrainian Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (UVCA) aims to promote investment opportunities (particularly in the information technology sector), lobby for the interests of private equity investors to policymakers and improve the investment and business climate in the country.
The 32 members include fund managers, investors, banks and advisory groups, such as AVentures Capital, Horizon Capital, TA Venture, Ernst & Young and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
“Attention should be brought to Ukraine not only in regards to war, but also to its huge investment potential. This is the message we’re sending today,” stated UVCA co-founder Jaanika Merilo at the association’s first meeting, according to Ukraine Digital News. Merilo currently serves as managing director of the Center for Ukrainian European Integration and Development.
According to presentation materials from UVCA’s meeting, the trade association has plans to join the European Private Equity and Venture Association and to submit amendments to local business legislation to the Ukrainian parliament by January, although UVCA does not specify what this proposal will entail.
UVCA’s formation coincides with a slowdown of Western investments in the region, as the US and the EU strengthened their sanctions against state-backed Russian companies earlier this month. Notably, private equity giant The Blackstone Group reportedly decided to pull out of Russia entirely this past month.