Employees of one of the Ukrainian startups in the field of 3D printing called Kwambio, as well those of the A.D.A.M Project, report that their salaries have been delayed for almost a year. Besides, since September 2020 their employers refuse to pay any money at all. This information was found in a popular Ukrainian online magazine dedicated to IT business, startups, technologies, and entrepreneurship called AIN.UA.
During the six years of its existence, Kwambio, while working in Ukraine and the USA, received about $1.69 million in funding from investors and accelerators, but the management was unable to establish production of printers and ceramic products, as well as accumulated huge salary debts to its employees and refuses to repay them. The new management of Kwambio told reporters that starting from March 2020, investors no longer wanted to invest in this startup.
Starting from 2019, the former head of the Kwambio, as well as its owner and manager Vladimir Usov appears in criminal proceedings for the theft of public funds in Ukraine. The new management of the company stated that the money that should be paid to Kwambio employees in Ukraine was stolen, so the company’s work was stopped.
According to AIN.UA, the former financial director of Kwambio Andrey Rozov, informed them that Kwambio never received money from the investors directly to its accounts. Instead of that, they were using shell companies to cash out funds, thus avoiding taxes and deceiving investors and government agencies. Several employees have sued Kwambio over unpaid wages. Printing products was unprofitable, and the company was not able to establish the production of 3D printers from Chinese components.
Vladimir Usov and his business partners Denys Gurak and Pavel Barbul registered the Adam Corp LLC in Ukraine that was used to operate the A.D.A.M Project. Besides, they created the fictitious WeFund Ventures investment fund (previously called WEECAN CONSULTING OU) in Estonia, with an authorized capital of 2.5 thousand euros. Denys Gurak and Pavel Barbul are partners of this Fund, which has not made any investments in 1.5 years, except those for the A.D.A.M Project.
According to Ukrainian journalists, the WeFund Ventures Fund, which was registered in violation of the legislation in Estonia, does not conduct any business activities in recent years. All these companies of Denys Gurak and Pavel Barbul are registered on behalf of stand-ins in Ukraine and the USA.
Pavel Barbul, who was the head of a large state-owned SPETSTECHNOEXPORT enterprise in 2015-2018, is now under investigation. In 2019, detectives of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine arrested Pavel Barbul and opened criminal proceedings on the fact of stealing $2.25 million from a state enterprise. Ukrainian journalists leave open the possibility that a share of this money could have been invested in the A.D.A.M Project, which Pavel Barbul, along with Denys Gurak, Vladimir Usov, and other people, founded in December 2018.