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Slush winner's Russian links under scrutiny

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

Tech industry event Slush was staged at Helsinki's Exhibition and Convention Center this week. Image: Markku Rantala / Yle

London-based Immigram won this year's Slush 100 pitching competition, drawing a one million-euro investment.

Since winning, the company, which hosts an immigration platform for IT specialists and tech entrepreneurs, has come under criticism for its Russian ties. 

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

Ukrainian tech and investment publication AIN.Capital suggests (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that Immigram's platform helps Russian tech workers avoid the impacts of western sanctions by helping them leave the country.

The organisers behind the Slush startup conference, staged in Helsinki earlier this week, said they will look into Immigram. 

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 that awarded the prize will "thoroughly review the background of the winner."

The prize, a one million-euro investment, comes from five venture capital funds—Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed, NEA and Northzone.

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