Interview with Founder

What is Astron Venture Capital?

Astron VC is a seed and early stage venture capital fund. Our mission is to support the brightest ideas and teams capable of disrupting traditional markets in Uzbekistan by leveraging our capital and experienced hands-on mentorship and leadership. We invest in projects that combine high potential returns with the ability to make a positive impact on the country’s economy and population.

How do you select start-ups?

We look for projects that are in the seed stage and early growth stage. The business must already be tested in real market conditions, must be scalable and have a real unique proposition value. Geographically, we invest in projects targeting the Uzbek market, however, this doesn’t mean the project must be limited only to Uzbekistan. In fact, we will be very glad if our portfolio companies expand to other geographical markets in the future. Founders are crucial as they will be the main driving force behind the company’s growth, which is why they must be fully committed to the project and the idea behind it.

Why invest in Uzbekistan-based start-ups?               

The start-up market is at a very early stage in Uzbekistan, but we already see a lot of teams and ideas worth looking into. The market is becoming more open and business conditions are improving, however, start-ups have very limited resources in terms of financing and mentorship. We wish to fill this niche and help realize the potential of promising projects. We are confident that in the coming years, Uzbekistan-based start-ups will be gaining international attention and successfully competing in foreign markets. 

What is Astron VC’s ticket size?

For each project that we find interesting, we determine how much funding it will require before it can break even and start earning profit. Based on how much funding is required, we also decide what stake we need to have in the project to make it financially attractive to us. Some projects have the potential to break even in a short period of time while others are long-term, but can be extremely profitable in the future, so we are flexible in terms of the payback period. However, it is important that the project has enough scalability to reach the million dollar mark, at least. We’re not interested in small-impact projects, we want to truly disrupt the old way of doing business – a project is capable of doing this only if it can scale large enough.

Why Astron VC?

Astron Venture Capital is one of its kind in Uzbekistan. Our team consists of professionals with experience in private equity investments and start-ups in Russia, the UK and the US. We don’t just finance companies, we aim to utilize our experience to really support founders and achieve success together.

What else do you look for in a project?

We also care about the social impact the project can have on Uzbekistan. If you look at our focus areas, you can see we want to make a difference by transforming the health, education and food industries, among others. Successful projects abroad have shown that technology and innovation can improve the quality of healthcare and education and make it available to a wider population while new technologies in the agricultural sector and innovative foodtech business models have the potential to improve people’s lives. Whenever we see a project capable of making significant social impact, we are definitely interested.