Check out the pitch deck that Ukraine startup Fuelfinance, which aims to help finance teams replace Excel with better tools, used to raise $1 million from a war zone

Alyona Mysko, the founder and CEO of Fuelfinance, poses for a photo against a blue sky.
  • Fuelfinance is a Ukrainian company that makes financial planning tools for startups.
  • In January, it raised $1 million in seed funding from angels at Google, Meta, and Salesforce.
  • Alyona Mysko, a cofounder and CEO, said she pitched investors while working from bomb shelters.

Fundraising is a grind even for the most skilled founders. Doing so from a war zone is another story.

That’s the situation Alyona Mysko found herself in as the chief executive and cofounder of Fuelfinance, a tiny accounting startup based in Ukraine. She tells Insider she joined calls with potential investors from bomb shelters and the hallway of her apartment building, where the sound of air-raid sirens and explosions was muffled.

Fifteen months into the war, Mysko explained, the phone alerts and even the rumble of missile strikes start to become as routine as “a bad weather forecast.” “You are getting used to such situations and try to focus on business goals to feel related to something meaningful,” she said.

Her efforts have paid off. In January, Fuelfinance raised $1 million in a seed round of funding from angel investors at companies including Google, Meta, Salesforce, and Uber.

Fuelfinance is taking on giants like Microsoft Excel and Pilot with its cloud-based approach to financial planning. The startup compiles tools for tracking expenses, preparing financial statements, and calculating cash runway in a single app, built on top of Google Spreadsheets.

It sells to small and medium-sized businesses where employing a financial back office might not make sense. Fuelfinance had been bootstrapped and profitable for the last two years, according to the company, and counts a few dozen clients including Reface, a face-swap video app, and Petcube, a startup making gadgets for pet owners. It charges a subscription fee that starts at $999 a month.

With Fuelfinance, business owners get access to a dashboard that takes in data from other vendors like Salesforce, Amazon Web Services, Gusto, Stripe, and Shopify, and offers financial insights and analysis.

It boasts a net promoter score of 87, which caught the attention of Fuelfinance investor John S. Kim, a cofounder and CEO of the messaging app developer Sendbird.

“This team, the market, and their approach to the product make me believe the future of financial management will be much brighter for the early stage companies than it used to be for me,” Kim said in a statement.

Here’s the pitch deck that Fuelfinance used to convince employees of Google, Meta, and Salesforce to invest $1 million.