13 April, 2024

Draper Associates’ Tim Draper Invests in Kazakhstan’s Citix, Championing Smart City Innovations

Draper Associates, led by the visionary Tim Draper known for his early investments in companies like Tesla, has recently placed a significant investment in Citix, a Kazakhstan-based innovator in Smart City and Advertising Technology. The investment was finalized at a notable valuation of 98 million USD, with a contribution of 1 million USD. There’s also potential for Draper Associates to further expand its stake in Citix.

Regarding this strategic investment, Tim Draper remarked, “Citix can transform cities, bringing people together for events, alerting citizens about goings on, and even provide security, Wi-fi, and additional services call from a small footprint. Citix is for smart government.”

Citix is carving a niche in the urban tech landscape, with a clear vision of transforming public spaces. The firm has adeptly integrated smart city functionalities with advertising technology, culminating in the creation of the smartboard – a premier urban gadget. This innovative device is engineered to collect and process external data, subsequently delivering tailored content that encompasses navigational, social, entertainment, and advertising aspects.

The ecosystem developed by Citix includes a range of smartboards: ‘Tom’ for transportation, ‘Jerry’ for pedestrian use, and ‘Shark’ for mobile applications. These gadgets rely on Citix’s proprietary software and hardware solutions, incorporating blockchain technology for optimal performance. The smartboards are interconnected through Citix Panel, a centralized platform designed for the seamless management of content.

Citix envisions its smartboards as a revolutionary mode of communication among urban settings, their residents, and the commercial sector.

Citix has successfully deployed a network of these gadgets across Kazakhstan, securing its position as a leader in the Digital Out-of-Home sector within the local market. The company has extended its reach to Turkey and the MENA regions and is presently advancing into the US market.

This marks Tim Draper’s inaugural investment in Citix, spotlighting his adeptness at identifying and nurturing high-potential tech ventures. Draper’s introduction to Citix came about during his involvement with the Draper University Hero Training accelerator program, which later aligned with Astana Hub to spotlight Central Asian IT startups in Silicon Valley. This collaboration represented a historic moment for Kazakhstan’s IT industry, marking its first foray into attracting US investment.

Citix’s co-founder & CBDO, Bakhtiyar Kubessov, expressed his enthusiasm for the collaboration with Draper: “We couldn’t be more inspired by our partnership with Tim Draper, such an experienced investor. His presence not only adds extra motivation to our team but also reaffirms the significance of our mission – redefining public space. With confidence and ambition, backed by Tim, we aim to enhance public spaces for all.”

To promote Central Asia as a cohesive entity within the US, the Silkroad Innovation Hub was inaugurated in San Francisco. This initiative seeks to bridge Central Asia with Silicon Valley, nurturing talent from Kazakhstan and other Turkic nations. As a prominent entity within the Hub, and a distinguished alumnus of Google for Startups and Draper University, Citix made an impactful appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, earning the “Best Speaker” accolade.

Yana Shoibekova, the founder & CEO of Citix, highlighted the regional potential: “Central Asia has something to offer to the Silicon Valley investors and the international technology market. We are sure that interest in Citix will result in investment in other promising IT projects of this region.”


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