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Review of the Kazakh ecosystem

Kazakhstan stands at the heart of Central Asia, and is positioned to flourish along with the region. Strategically, Kazakhstan links the fast growing markets of China and South Asia with Russia and Europe - making it a centerpiece in any recreation of the silk road trading routes.

This report details the tech startup ecosystem in Kazakhstan and benefits four separate groups: founders can gain insights about their local startup community; government officials can learn about their country's startup ecosystem; investors will gain a perspective to inform viability decisions; and internationals will discover the inner market dynamics to inform investment, development and journalism decisions.

To gain these insights, TUZ Ventures, an early-stage tech VC fund focused on Central Asia, the Caucasus and Mongolia, conducted an in-depth study by partnering with, mainly, AIFC Fintech Hub, as well as Zerde NIH, Astana Hub, MOST, and Tech Garden. The study included responses from 108 entrepreneurs between September and December 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Deep insights were gained into four areas: the market, founders & tech talent, startup support, and capital.

Startup founders in Kazakhstan are young and hungry for success. They are concentrated in two regions: Nur-Sultan and Almaty. Entrepreneurs need access to more capital to achieve their growth goals, and currently rely on friends and family for financing. Recent growth has been buoyed by government measures to ease doing business, but founders desire more direct governmental support.

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