The researh:
Startup and Venture Ecosystem of Almaty
The first research on the startup and venture ecosystem of Almaty was presented at the Central Eurasian Venture Forum 2023. Pavel Koktyshev, Managing Partner of MOST Ventures, shared the main conclusions drawn from the study.
As a leading venture company in the Central Asian region, our objective is to enhance the understanding of the IT and innovation ecosystem in the regions where we operate. We hold a special appreciation for our native city, Almaty, which houses our main office. Our goal is to highlight the significance of Almaty's IT and innovation ecosystem and demonstrate its immense potential, as well as its impact on the country and the region as a whole.
Pavel Koktyshev Managing partner of MOST Ventures
Our research aimed to thoroughly examine the dynamics and trends in Almaty's IT market and provide relevant information for all interested parties. We believe that the results of our research will contribute to a better understanding and more effective engagement with the startup community. Additionally, they will serve as a foundation for the development of city services that support innovative entrepreneurs.
The research, conducted in collaboration with consulting agency RISE and IDC, and with the support of the Department of Digitalization of Almaty, relied on interviews with experts, startups, and investors, as well as a survey of 80 Almaty-based startups and IT companies.
Bayan Konirbayev
Head of the Department of Digitalization of the City of Almaty
The ICT market in Kazakhstan, specifically in the city of Almaty, is witnessing notable growth in its economic indicators
The IT industry is progressing at a rapid pace, with different market segments playing a crucial role. While we may be trailing behind some countries in hardware solutions, there are successful companies in the software sphere, specializing in software development, financial sector solutions, e-commerce, and more.
Nurtay Abilgaliyev CEO of BTS Digital
The city exhibits significant potential and actively fosters the development of the ICT sector. More than 30% of registered enterprises in Kazakhstan operating in this industry are concentrated in Almaty. The city boasts a well-established infrastructure, access to highly skilled professionals, a progressive business community, and favorable conditions for business growth. In Almaty, an impressive 96% of government services are delivered in a digital format, while 92% of the population possesses digital literacy.
Almaty holds a prominent position in the ICT industry within Kazakhstan
and its substantial segment of the internet audience creates an environment conducive to the growth of IT projects and startups.

Almaty attracts over one-third (34%) of all ICT specialists in Kazakhstan
Almaty, being the cultural and financial hub of Kazakhstan, presents significant opportunities for the advancement of the IT industry. The city's diverse cultural landscape and vibrant ideas foster a climate of creative thinking and innovation. It is noteworthy that Almaty boasts a skilled pool of IT professionals and a robust educational infrastructure. The presence of leading technical universities further contributes to the development of exceptional specialists and the promotion of an innovative environment. The aim of this research is to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the current state of Almaty's IT and innovation ecosystem, offering valuable insights to guide the formulation of strategies for effective utilization of the opportunities presented by this rapidly evolving market.
Pavel Koktyshev Managing partner of MOST Ventures
Main Research Findings:
Over the past years, there has been a notable increase in the number of startups, accelerators, investments, corporate innovations, and government support.
The startup and venture ecosystem in Almaty is experiencing significant growth
Startups, on average, rated the ecosystem at 3 out of 5, particularly appreciating the tax incentives provided
The average age of startup founders in Almaty is 32 years. Women founders represent 20% of the total. Furthermore, 42% of startup founders possess entrepreneurial experience.
Profile of startup founders in Almaty
The prominent sectors for startup development in Almaty are EdTech, E-commerce, and FinTech
Notable remarks include the presence of promising startups in finance, e-commerce, and B2B solutions. However, a significant number of startups remain in the early stages with a localized focus, lacking ambitions for international expansion. It is desirable to witness more advancements in biotechnology, AI, cybersecurity, and robotics. The B2B market holds considerable potential for IoT and agrotechnologies.
Alexey Sharavar
Director of Change and IT at Beeline Kazakhstan
Approximately 48% of startups primarily target the local market in Kazakhstan
To foster the growth of impactful technological endeavors, startups in Kazakhstan should transcend the confines of the local market and embrace export opportunities, as exemplified by Israel, Estonia, and Belarus.
Vitaliy Volianyuk
Director and Co-founder of the Kazakhstani portal
Although the venture financing market has demonstrated positive growth in recent years, experts note a shortage of investments at the seed and early stages. Investors, aiming to mitigate risks, prioritize companies with proven product demand and established agreements or contracts with consumers. Some startups recognize the risks associated with early-stage financing and plan to seek external investments only during the expansion phase.
The primary obstacle faced by startups in Almaty is the difficulty in attracting financing
The main obstacle is the lack of accessible banking credit and financing. There is insufficient involvement of SMEs in digital transformation, and there is a significant concentration of services based on banking platforms.
Aziza Shuzheeva
President of the NGO "TechnoWomen"
Reasons cited include the unattractiveness of working in startups, high salary expectations from candidates, and a scarcity of professionals possessing the required knowledge and skills.
80% of respondents encountered challenges related to the talent shortage
Назгуль Байтемирова
Особенности структурирования сделок на ранних стадиях
Within the next 2-3 years, 63% of startups plan to enter the export market and require support
I believe it is important to focus on reducing barriers and supporting startups with strong export potential, including utilizing the political and diplomatic resources of our country, considering the current geopolitical situation.
Binur Zhalenov
Chairman of the Board of National Payment Corporation JSC of the National Bank of Kazakhstan
Investments and networking are identified as the most sought-after forms of support
The research findings confirm that Almaty is actively nurturing its startup and venture ecosystem, becoming an increasingly appealing destination for innovative entrepreneurs. However, startups continue to face challenges such as limited financing, difficulties in establishing partnerships with large corporations, talent shortages, and barriers to entering foreign markets.
Ainur Zhanturina
the author of the research
The research can be downloaded by following this link: