CMS Group, a Ukrainian group of advertising agencies, has launched its own investment fund CMS Ventures. The company intends to invest $1 million into Ukrainian marketing startups having a potential for growth in such Russian-language countries as Russia and Kazakhstan.
Formerly known as Tabasco Group, CMS Group was founded in 2006 by Alexander Gorlov. It gathers nine independent agencies with 200 employees providing services in Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, the UK and Baltic countries.
“We will invest money and resources in projects directly related to our business — be it CRM solutions, trade marketing or digital marketing,” explained Alexander Gorlov.
Most projects will be digital, expects Gorlov, as the whole industry is switching to digital solutions. However, CMS Ventures may also consider investing in traditional businesses. Startup entrepreneurs with an experience in marketing and communications will be given priority.
Gorlov expects to select four or five projects in 2016, each of them receiving $150,000 in exchange to an “up to 50% stake.”
In addition to funding, the startups will benefit from an office with the necessary equipment. They will also receive support in the fields of IT, HR, PR, law and financial management. CMS Group will allow them to access its client base.
Also planned are educational programs for entrepreneurs, startup weekends and meetings with startup ecosystem representatives, experts in marketing, advertising and commercial innovation.