The Digital Bridge forum held in Astana on October 12-13 illuminated innovations from fast-growing business ventures, highlighting artificial intelligence features from over 300 startups. In exclusive interviews with The Astana Times, Kazakh entrepreneurs shared their aspirations for global expansion in the food delivery system, educational training, and blockchain gaming.
Kwaaka: Revolutionizing Restaurant Delivery Management
Kwaaka, an IT startup founded by Maksat Kadyrov and Nabi Muratbek, has set out to simplify and automate the restaurant delivery management process. The company provides a cloud-based solution that seamlessly integrates all delivery services into the restaurant’s point-of-sale (POS) system. Kwaaka serves as a unified platform for managing online orders from aggregators like Wolt, Glovo, Bolt Food, Yandex.Eda, Uber Eats, Talabat, Zomato, and Deliveroo, funneling all orders directly to the cashier.
Maksat Kadyrov, Co-Founder, and Chief Technology Officer of Kwaaka, explained, “We facilitate the work of restaurants and delivery services, offering them a simple onboarding process. With the use of AI, the key idea is to help restaurants and delivery companies to increase their revenue.”
Kwaaka has witnessed rapid growth this year, expanding by over fivefold and collaborating with more than 1,000 restaurants across five countries: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. By 2024, the startup plans to extend its reach to 3,000 restaurants worldwide. Kwaaka is actively exploring opportunities to enter the Georgian and United Arab Emirates markets and establish partnerships with restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
Meiram Zhardayev, Co-Founder, and Chief Operating Officer at SmarTestPrep, emphasized the role of acceleration programs in supporting their initiative, particularly in the United States. SmarTestPrep assists students in achieving their university admission goals, securing suitable scholarships, and preparing for international standardized tests like SAT, IELTS, and TOEFL. Their AI-powered tools also evaluate and enhance motivation and recommendation letters.
“In our platform, we use machine learning algorithms to suggest the list of universities and colleges to our students. We have a mechanism that optimizes their personalized study plan,” Zhardayev stated. The startup’s database encompasses over 500 universities and 10,000 programs.
iDos Games: Transforming Mobile Blockchain Gaming
Alexey Shegay, Co-Founder and CEO of iDos Games, leads a software development company with a user base of over 250,000 players from 170 countries. iDos Games offers an ecosystem platform for mobile blockchain products, emphasizing not only gaming but also tokenization and rewards.
“We allow developers to integrate a blockchain-based play-and-earn system into their game. Users can create their non-fungible token (NFT) tokens and sell them on the NFT marketplace,” Shegay explained. The platform introduces innovative business and gaming models, making blockchain accessible and empowering players to participate in their favorite games.
iDos Games is currently focused on expanding into the markets of Western Europe, the United States, and Canada.
The Digital Bridge forum provided a valuable platform for networking and enhancing the digital market presence of businesses and startups. With over 20,000 participants, 300 IT companies, and 100 investors and business angels, the two-day event showcased the growing influence of Kazakh startups in the global tech landscape.