Tim Draper has invested in the Kazakhstani company Citix – an investor in Tesla and SpaceX
This marks the first technological startup in the jurisdiction of Kazakhstan to attract American investments.
Citix is a Kazakhstani innovative company in the fields of Smart City and AdTech, being the first in the world to combine smart city technologies and innovations in digital outdoor advertising in its products. The company has built a network of street gadgets in Kazakhstan, quickly becoming a local leader in the Digital Out-of-Home market, expanding to the markets of Turkey and MENA (Middle East and North Africa), and now creating a global ecosystem of technologies and services for modern megacities.
Tim Draper is a prominent international investor, a third-generation venture capitalist, and the founder of venture companies such as Draper Associates, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Draper Venture Network. Supporting talented entrepreneurs worldwide, he established Draper University – a school in Silicon Valley that has graduated over 3,300 students from 84 countries. Draper University graduates have founded more than 700 successful companies, including 8 unicorns.
In 2023, the opportunity to participate in Draper's school became available to promising Kazakhstani projects. Astana Hub Technopark and Draper University launched the Hero Training acceleration program with the support of MCRAP. In the first program cohort, 15 top IT companies from Central Asia, including the Citix team, were sent to Silicon Valley.
Acceleration program participants had the unique opportunity to attract investments, scale their projects, and enter the American market while working under the guidance of experienced Draper University experts. Citix proved to be the most successful in seizing this chance: Draper personally evaluated the Kazakhstani product, participated in brainstorming to improve the project, recognized Citix's comprehensive approach and prospects, and ultimately invested in the company.
Tim Draper is known for his "investment instinct" for breakthrough projects in various industries, especially in technological "unicorns" and "decacorns." He initially invested in projects such as Baidu, Tesla, Skype, SpaceX, Twitch, Hotmail, Focus Media, and Robinhood. Draper's investment in Citix is a recognition of the global potential of the Kazakhstani project and a significant event for the technology market in Central Asia.
"All of this became possible thanks to the active work of our team, the great support of current shareholders and investors, MCRAP, Astana Hub, and Draper University," comments Citix CEO Yana Shoibekova. "Tim's investments are a vote of confidence in our project and a sign of confidence in our success. His support enhances Citix's investment attractiveness and will help us attract new strong partners. This is also an important precedent for the entire region. Investments in Citix will be followed by interest in other IT projects in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, the development and export of technologies, and, with them, economic growth."
Citix's achievement was acknowledged early on by the Minister of Digital Development, Innovations, and Aerospace Industry of Kazakhstan, Bagdat Musin, on Instagram: "At the recent Digital Bridge, Tim Draper personally visited Astana and held a series of sessions and meetings with the IT community, giving entrepreneurs like Yana Shoibekova the opportunity to sell their ideas. Now, Draper has invested in Yana's project, which is undoubtedly a recognition. Congratulations to Yana and the entire Citix team on such a staggering success!"
Tim Draper invested over $1 million in Citix with a valuation of $98 million and signed an agreement for the possibility to increase his stake in the company.
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