Aiko restaurant project attracts $6M from Leader-Innovations

Aiko restaurant project attracts $6M from Leader-InnovationsLeader-Innovations fund (with the participation of Russian Venture Company) has invested in Aiko company specializing in the development of innovative managerial systems for hospitality enterprises. Roman Avramov, the CEO of Aiko, says that the total investment is $10M, but he doesn’t disclose the share received by the Fund.

According to Konstantin Nadenenko, the Director of Leader Management Company for venture capital investments, the fund bought an additional issue of Aiko shares. Vedomosti newspaper adds that the deal is to be held in two stages: firstly, the Leader-Innovations invests $6M in Aiko, and in a year it has the right to invest additional $4M - if the business operates properly. The Fund has estimated the whole company at $16M and received more than 25% of shares, having diluted the share of Troika Ventures fund previously invested in Aiko.

Aiko system project was launched in August 2005 by David Yang, the founder of one of the largest Russian IT-companies – ABBYY, and his partner Maksim Nalsky. In early 2008, the Troika Dialog company invested about $4M in the project development. Understanding the needs of restaurants and restaurant chains owners, as well as extensive experience in developing successful IT-solutions enabled Aiko’s team to create a new generation ERP system for restaurants. We are very content with this investment as the company's capitalization has significantly increased and will continue to grow, - Oleg Kurchin, Troika Ventures fund’s partner, said. Even during the crisis Aiko’s soft was bought up well, he adds.

Initially Aiko focused only on ERP systems for restaurants, but then it turned out that the system controlling 3000 cash registers can be used to create other services. Eventually, Aiko has created customers loyalty system, and now it also implements the delivery system.

Aiko needs the funding of Leader-Innovations to develop software for foreign markets - particularly in Central and Eastern Europe and in Asia, Aiko’s CEO Roman Avramov says. In addition, the company plans to launch new products and test new business models in Russia - for example, SaaS (soft as a service) for restaurants. Aiko’s revenue, according to Mr. Avramov, is growing by 65-70% a year, while the growth of this market in Russia – by about 10%. Each year up to 5000 Russian restaurants install the software for business automation, the average cost of automating one being 0.3-0.4 M RUR, he says. The share of Aiko in this market is estimated at about 30%, the share of its main competitor, UCS, - 50-55%.