Ukrainian VC Adventures Lab and other funds to invest $600k in Belarusian startup Salo

Ukrainian VC Adventures Lab and other funds to invest $600k in Belarusian startup Salo

The Belarusian startup Salo raised $600,000 during a pre-seed round with a lead investor - Ukrainian VC firm Adventures Lab

Salo (from Say Hello!) is an app for real-time recording videos of users and their interaction with any content in a smartphone and elsewhere. It is a means to record users and their smartphone screens and share it as a single video via messengers or social media. How it works:

The app is now in open testing and is already available on the App Store for download. Influencers participating in the test have already collected over 1,000,000 video views on Salo.

The round was led by Adventures Lab, with participation from Digital Future, TA Ventures, Yurii Monastyrshyn (Sr. Director of Engineering at Snap), Yuri Mazanik (co-founder at Belka Games), Vital Laptenok (CEO at Flyer One Ventures), and others.
According to Kryvorchuk, he learned about the project from Ilya Lesun, a co-founder of Vochi (it was on the list of potential investments).

“To be honest, I moved into the trash the Salo presentation after I read it because its basic concept (at that moment, it was about an asynchrony video messenger) was doubtful, in my opinion. But then I decided to meet its founders and listen to them live. And they convinced me to start our cooperation. The founders have inspired me with their customer development depth, expertise, and vision. The CEO has in his portfolio several successful and several failed projects that are, in my opinion, a very precious experience. And the CTO worked in the HQ of Rakuten Viber,” told the investor.

The raised funds will be spent on the technical improvement, marketing, and promotion of the app.


Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev), a round’s main investor representative and the founder of venture fund Adventures Lab, explains what the startup does and how it has attracted the funds.

‘Your reaction is more important than the content’

Salo (short for ‘Say Hello!’) is a smartphone app that allows a user to record a video on the front camera in real-time simultaneously with a video on the main camera or recording what is happening on the smartphone screen. The resulting videos can be sent as a single video to any messenger or social network. The idea is that there is too much content accumulated in the modern world and there is simply not enough time to watch everything. Therefore, it is more efficient to get new information with the author’s comments. Or even better, with the comments of a person whose opinion you value. Hence the app’s motto: ‘Your reaction is more important than the content.’

‘Such functionality will be useful for professional reviewers and bloggers, as well as for ordinary users. It allows you to save time on editing or to comment on something when there is no time for video processing,’ notes Tymofieiev.

The app functionality is intuitive and has automated workflows. A user can record a video with one click. Salo can also recognize speech, generate and add subtitles to an already recorded video.

‘Users who have already tried the app mostly commented on other people’s stories on Instagram and Facebook, shared their own experience of using other apps and reviewed online and offline events,’ says Ruslan Tymofieiev.

What will the funding be spent on

Today, there are 16 people working on Salo. Among them, there are developers, product managers, and designers. Geographically, the team is located mainly in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine. Startup executives are planning to spend the lion’s share of the investment on the app’s technical improvement. In addition, a significant amount of funding will be spent on marketing research and promotion.

‘The app is going to conquer the whole world. At the initial stages, they give priority to English-speaking countries: Great Britain, the USA, and Canada. Then, Southeast Asia: Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and others. To promote the app to such a wide audience, they will require a lot of injections into the advertising budget,’ says the investor.

In addition to Adventures Lab, there were also others who invested in Salo at this stage: Digital Future, TA Ventures, Yuri Monastyrshin (Sr. Director of Engineering in Snap), Yuri Mazanik (co-founder of Belka Technologies), Vitaly Laptenok (CEO of Flyer One Ventures), and others.

‘To a different extent, investing in a startup is always a risky business. Even after conducting thorough expertise, one cannot be 100% sure that a project will “take off”. But that’s what venture investments are for. However, this does not apply to Salo—the project has all the chances of gaining recognition on all the continents,’ emphasizes Tymofieiev.

By the end of September 2021, Salo has been undergoing beta testing. It can already be downloaded in the AppStore. The influencers participating in the testing have already got over a million views of their Salo-recorded videos.

Adventures Lab is a venture fund created in 2019 by Ruslan Tymofieiev (Ruslan Timofeev), Andrew Kryvorchuk, Ruslan Drozdov, and other partners. The fund focuses on searching for promising startups in the early stages of development. Adventures Lab primarily invests in IT projects related to marketing, education, and video technology. The fund’s portfolio currently includes 15 projects, in which it has invested more than $15 million. Among them, there is Reface, a world-famous app for switching faces in photos and videos.

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