The material is based on the interview of AIN.ua with Vasyl Khmelnytsky, Founder of the UFuture Investment Company. Among his key areas of investments are renewable energy, innovations, manufacturing and education.
The article is dedicated to one of the UFuture investment projects – UNIT.City, the first Innovation Park in Ukraine, which brings together high technology, innovative and creative businesses and provides them with infrastructure and all-inclusive ecosystem. The project includes offices, institute, school, kindergartens, residence, restaurants etc.
Projects that are always on demand
Today UNIT.City has two buildings almost completed. Around 75% of the office space has been already leased. As an example, the building of 12.000 sqm area, which is currently still under construction, has been fully leased at the stage of the third floor construction. For the local market it is a magnificent result, as usually it takes at least two years to lease all office units.
Creating blue ocean through experiments
The infrastructure of the UNIT.City will include also residential projects to sell to the people related to the innovation industry only. It is a new idea and a sort of experiment. Vasyl Khmelnytsky believes that while walking around, the residents will potentially discuss their common interests, which are innovations in different sectors. As a result, together they might come up with certain ideas and, furthermore, give birth to innovative and breakthrough projects.
“It is a blue ocean: the environment, where one success story can join the other success story and result in something bigger. Based on the previous experience, companies, which lease offices in UNIT.City has made 20 joint projects. They have grown, on an average, by 50%. Imagine, there will be 500 such companies and thousands of people around” – Vasyl Khmelnytsky says.
Growing clients through education
UNIT Factory is an education initiative within UNIT.City. The management’s key aim is to grow the number of students up to 2500 people. Hence, the company keeps strengthening the education platform and is going to attract the most qualitative study centers and education institutions both local and international. It is a long-term vision to educate the future customers and the motive force of the project as a result.
“Those who are motivated to study will work for the businesses leasing spaces in the UNIT.City, will create their own projects and live here as well. Thus, the business model is the following: costs do not make me feel afraid, as I understand future profit from the whole system. It is a long game” – Vasyl Khmelnytsky says.
On preparation for the international partners and further investments
Provided that UNIT.City is a very long project, at the first stage the company invests its own money expecting ROI to start only in a few years. Though, according to Mr Khmelnytsky the project will definitely require international partners for its further development. As a result, the project is currently developed in accordance with the international standards starting from the construction to finances and accounting – it is audited by international companies. Once, it is ready to be showed to the international investors – expectedly in autumn – the company will start appealing the foreign partners.
In Ukraine local investors are attracted only for specific projects. For instance, one of the building is constructed 50/50 together with the largest property development company in Ukraine.
The calculated amount of additional investments required for the project is $700-800 millions. Though, provided that in the future the financing will come from the rental revenue and residence selling, the required funding might not go beyond $200 million.
Moreover, Mr Khmelnytsky will not hesitate to sell the project in case of lucrative offer. “I think the right price will be EBITDA with 5-6 multiplier. The political situation of the country will have a huge impact though. In the meantime, right now we stake on this” – he adds.
Translated by Invest in Projects