Russian links of Slush winner under scrutiny

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The Helsinki-based startup conference said it does not partner with Russian companies or funds.

Tech industry event Slush took place at the Helsinki Exhibition and Congress Center this week. Image: Markku Rantala / Yle

London-based Immigram won this year’s Slush 100 pitching competition, representing an investment of one million euros.

Since the win, the company, which hosts an immigration platform for IT specialists and tech entrepreneurs, has been criticized for its Russian ties.

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The founders of the company, Anastasia Mirolyubova and Mikhail Sharonov, are both Russian. Founded in 2020, the company helps IT workers navigate the UK immigration process.

suggests Ukrainian technology and investment publication AIN.Capital (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that Immigram’s platform is helping Russian tech workers avoid the fallout from Western sanctions by helping them leave the country.

The organizers behind the Slush startup conference, held in Helsinki earlier this week, said they will investigate Immigram.

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On Saturday Slush tweeted (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that it “does not partner with Russian companies or funds or accept startup or investor applications from companies based in Russia”. It also said that the jury awarding the prize will “thoroughly assess the winner’s background”.

The prize, an investment of one million euros, comes from five venture capital funds: Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed, NEA and Northzone.

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