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GoCardless backer fuels investments in Ukrainian founders’ Polish startup digitising certificates and beyond

Certifier founders
Picture credits: Certifier

Certifier, a Polish startup specialising in digital credential software, has successfully raised over $700K in seed funding. The funding round saw participation from Movens Capital, FundingBox Deep Tech Fund, DEPO Ventures, and Black Pearls VC, known for backing companies like Tapline, Autenti, and the unicorn GoCardless.

The digital credentials software market, covering diplomas, certificates, and badges, is currently valued at an estimated $1.6 billion globally, with projections indicating a substantial growth to over $6 billion by 2033 and Poland-based Certifier aims to position itself as the market leader in digital credential management software within the next five years.

Hence, as part of the deal, these funds have the option to double their capital commitment in the coming months. Also, Certifier plans to invest in product development and build an API-first platform.

Digital credential infrastructure platform

Founded by Ukrainian founders Sergey Butko and Vlad Turak in 2021, it has acquired over 400 business customers. Among these are Avon Canada, University of Illinois, and Oxford School District brands.

The Krakow-based company offers a SaaS-based digital credential infrastructure platform based on APIs for issuing certificates, diplomas, and digital badges. The system helps companies handle all stages of the certification process, such as creating documents, managing the process, distribution, analysis, and hosting the created documents. 

Prior to launching Certifier, Ukrainian founders Vlad Turak and Sergey Butko had already made strides in the entrepreneurial world. Vlad Turak, creator of one of Ukraine’s top educational portals for schoolchildren, drew in a remarkable monthly audience of over 1 million visitors. Meanwhile, Sergey Butko co-founded CallPage, a successful startup where he served as the CMO. Notably, CallPage raised $4.5 million in funding and was later acquired by a prominent US tech company in 2021.

“Digitisation doesn’t mean that the desire for recognition will disappear. Recognition remains a fundamental aspect of global culture. People have always cherished being acknowledged for their hard work. In the past, this acknowledgment often came in the form of medals for wartime contributions. Today, it also includes certificates for skills or achievements, even in online games. This domain is experiencing a significant transformation as we transition from physical to digital documents, and Certifier aims to be at the forefront of this change,” said Sergey Butko, co-founder and CEO of Certifier. 

“Now over 400 companies are our customers, but we are still a very young company. That’s why we plan to invest most of our resources in product development over the next two years. Moreover, we aim to build a company with a global brand that operates from Europe and leverages the advantages of our region,“ added Vlad Turak, co-founder and CTO of Certifier. 

“Certifier perfectly aligns with our vision of the future of education, where credible, fast, and digital verification of specific competencies will become increasingly important. This requires a platform that automates this process for companies and employees and, through APIs, allows easy data exchange with external systems. The demand for such a solution, as well as the team’s competence in building a company in a Product-Led-Growth model, is confirmed by Certifier’s rapidly growing revenues, with over 80% coming from the UK, US, and Canada,” said Artur Banach, Partner, Movens Capital.

“As the first VC to invest in Sergey and Vlad’s company, we are pleased to welcome new investors on board. Due to the dynamic growth of the business, we decided to make a follow-on, which is part of our investment strategy. Since our initial investment, the company has increased its revenue more than twenty times. Thanks to the development of the product and addressing the needs of successive groups of customers, Certifier has a chance to grow even faster in the coming years,” added Wojciech Drewczynski, Principal, Black Pearls VC.

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