June 18, 2019
Science and Technology Angels Network Makes its First Investment in Armenian Startup Apaga
The Science and Technology Angels Network (STAN), initiated by the Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST), has signed their first investment contract with an Armenian startup Apaga, a platform that allows customers and retailers to monetize recycling.
Apaga co-founders Mikhail Zamskoy and Cedric Solms commented that they had notable support from FAST when the startup went through the foundation’s incubation cycle in September 2018.
“We are happy to be the first startup to raise funds from STAN investors. The angels want to join our initiative and support us financially, invest their time and experience in Apaga. We are very excited,” noted Cedric Solms.
The invested funds will help Apaga add a mobile platform and new functions to their capacities to build a stronger green community. A part of the investment will be allocated to marketing: the startup plans to develop a culture of recycling in Armenia and educate people about the topic.
According to co-chair of the STAN network, Ruben Harutyunyan, the angels assess how compliant and feasible the startup’s ideas are with members of the FAST team.
“We also take into account the experience and enthusiasm of the team and look at how interesting their initiative is. The process takes several stages to complete. First, we study the general idea and capacities of the startups, and then we make a detailed examination. Apaga developed in the FAST incubator and went through the entire process to get investment. That takes time,” stressed Harutyunyan.
FAST co-founder Artur Alaverdyan believes that Apaga has an innovative general idea and a unique business model.
“It also solves a serious social issue. Apaga’s model can be monetized and if it’s successful, it can be applied anywhere,” he said.
FAST Vice President of Innovation David Bequette mentioned that the preliminary work with Apaga, which preceded the investment, lasted for around 3 months. Bequette hopes that the process will be cut down to one month for the next investments.
“We want to instill in Armenian companies a trend of investment in startups registered and operating in Armenia. We want companies that can solve global challenges, but are proud to call Armenia their home base.”
STAN gathers 22 individual investors ready to invest in seed stage science- and technology-backed Armenian startups. Through its entrepreneurial projects and acceleration programs FAST has affected more than 200 startups and budding entrepreneurs to boost the creation of science- and technology-backed startups in Armenia.