Exclusive for BFN: Nykyta Izmailov’s fintech N1 Fund changes strategy to actively support Ukrainian startups

Nykyta Izmaylov’s N1 Fund, one of the main assets of which is sportbank, will alter its domestic startups support strategy. In particular, it will deal in blockchain and cryptocurrency-related projects.

Nykyta Izmaylov, the founder of the N1 Investment Fund and sportbank shareholder, talked about it in his blog at Vocal.media site (https://vocal.media/motivation/be-flexible-and-use-new-strategies-how-to-survive-and-develop-during-the-war).

The owner of the fintech fund continues: the fund activity analysis revealed that it’s necessary to implement strategic changes in order to solve certain issues.

“Fintech N1 Fund used to simultaneously invest in startups and help them develop. A situation has arisen with one employee concurrently analyzing investment attractiveness and developing existing projects. We have separated these issues. Venture capital investments remain the main focus of the fund. And at the same time, we will act as a venture builder to help the project evolve from the idea stage onward,” explains the fund owner. 

According to him, vast experience of the fund’s employees in fintech and expertise allows them to introduce a fintech component to startups, which gives an additional impetus to their development.

“We started considering investments in markets that currently do not have a fintech component. Not because it is not needed there. But because not all marketplace owners know how to implement this component. Our fund will help develop this area, as we have extensive experience and expertise,” the sportbank shareholder continues.

Nykyta Izmaylov believes that the cryptocurrency market is also financially promising for the investment fund. For the fintech fund, this is a new line of business that employees will look into in foreseeable future. 

“For the past several years, I’ve been analyzing the cryptocurrency market. And lately, the major funds’ owners (BlackRock and Morgan Stanley) who I’ve met in person, convinced me that the time to invest in the projects of this kind has come. I can see for myself that the crypto component is necessary for today’s fintech. If this aspect is left unattended, the fund will lag behind the competition. The entrepreneurs who start employing the blockchain technology will be, as they say, riding high and will be able to attract more funds to their projects,” says the fund owner.

The businessman noted that the fund is looking for cryptocurrency market startups at the moment. The fund’s employees are accumulating experience and leveling up their expertise game.

“In Ukraine, the cryptocurrency market is growing more transparent, civilized, and it will be eventually legalized with the legislative measures. Therefore, the way I see it, the investments in cryptocurrency will generate profit sooner than expected,” believes Nykyta Izmaylov.

Also, the fund owner dwelled on one of the major assets, the sportbank neobank. Neobank has celebrated its third anniversary in October. Even under constraints of pandemic and war, the bank keeps on evolving: sportbank successfully increased the clientele to 500 thousand customers, with this number expected to reach 650 thousand customers by the end of the year. Moreover, the shareholders’ plans include a 700 million UAH loan portfolio and 300 million UAH in deposits.

Nykyta Izmaylov is very optimistic about the development of fintech in the future.“Even though a lot of international investors left Ukraine, the odds of getting them back when the war is over are good. Ukraine is a world-known brand at the moment. No one thinks it’s “part of Russia” or “post-Soviet state” anymore. Our top priority is to capitalize on the victories of this SEO-optimization of our country, which can eventually become a global investment hub. Hence, we shall keep on working, keep on expanding, keep on supporting the Armed Forces of Ukraine and bringing our victory closer!”, summarized Nykyta Izmaylov.