On Tuesday, January 25, the demo day of the 29th class of the Alchemist Accelerator took place. The current batch completes the third dozen sets, and also becomes the latest in the series to be entirely virtual (this fact is especially pleasing – we are looking forward to live pitches from the founders). We propose to analyze in more details what projects we are entering 2022 with, what the highest rates are being placed on in the B2B sector.
What was particularly impressive about the last set? The number of startups with Russian-speaking founders – this time there were 7 out of 20 companies, which is 35% of projects. In our team we call such Russian driving founders, and, as you can see, the number of “this drive” is significant within the overall composition.
A year ago Denis Efremov reviewed 26 class of Alchemist, where he also noted projects with Russian roots – then there were 8 of them. In the next two butches (27 and 28), there were significantly fewer such projects – only within 15%, so the return to the figures of the beginning of 2021 and the fact that Russian-speaking founders are going global is inspiring.
Our team has been personally familiar with one of these startups since 2019. During this time, the Qummy team has made an appreciable progress: together with the B2B direction, the guys also launched B2C at the request of customers, increased the amount of revenue tenfold, raised the round, entered foreign markets, got into all sorts of ratings and became a really noticeable brand. The food prepared with Qummy microwave ovens was tasted personally together with Evgenyi Zotov (we definitely ate carbonara, as well as pancakes with ham and cheese), so we can say with confidence that a) really tasty b) fast c) simple.
Last year, at the mention of food or food technology, most people associate with delivery – the number of startups and investments in fast transportation of orders to the end consumer broke all records. At the same time, the demand for Qummy and similar projects indicates that not only logistics is relevant for food, but also robotics. People want to eat not only quickly and cheaply, but also qualitatively. Quality means different things, however, the main request is that the food looks not only healthy, but also beautiful and attractive, as if it had just been cooked.
Speaking about the other finalist projects, most of the solutions, due to the specifics of Alchemist, are aimed at closing the pains of companies in different areas: new solutions for analytics (eCommerceInsights AI, Wilab, Revire), optimization of internal processes (Covision Quality, Asynos, Booke AI, Werbot) were presented.
The project that our team remembered most of all is Seabird Apps, a no-code solution for creating a mobile application for your community, which can be formed both at the level of residential areas and schools, volunteer and other organizations. The pitches of most startups began with short video reviews of their clients – these guys had the most contrasting sample of clients: from a church pastor to a college communications director. These guys reached $21k ARR by investing only $1k in experiments with cold mailings. Retention of 30 days exceeds retention of facebook groups by an average of 3.5 times and keeps at the level of 70-80%, depending on the community.
On the topic of community, there was another project among the finalists, Portals – a platform for creators with a subscription and sponsorship elements for monetization, but it is more about management than about creating from nothing.
Everything that concerns communities, their creation and further monetization (community management) seems to us to be quite an interesting and promising niche. Already today, there are many examples of successful monetization of your network thanks to the creation of a community. And it’s not even so much about creating a new facebook or telegram, as about a convenient platform that can solve all the tasks facing it. Top accelerators are about accelerating growth along with expertise, and especially about networking and the opportunity to become part of a cool community.