MigRun: Pioneering Immigration Solutions for a New Era with AI
MigRun, founded by Vlad Shipilov and Sergey Kotlov, aims to simplify the immigration process for individuals moving to new countries.
The platform offers personalized assistance based on shared experiences from other immigrants, combining technology and analysis.
MigRun’s unique approach focuses on providing predictability and security at a fraction of the cost of traditional immigration services.
It stands out due to its comprehensive resources and significant investment in automation, including a sophisticated AI assistant.
The platform places a strong emphasis on data security and user anonymity, reassuring users about their privacy.
MigRun has achieved remarkable success, with thousands of customers and a bootstrapped business model.
The company’s future plans involve expanding support to more countries and increasing revenue through AI-driven efficiency.
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In the realm of international immigration, MigRun has set forth a mission to streamline the intricate process of relocating to a foreign land. A mere two years ago, Vlad Shipilov, a Russian immigrant who ventured to Portugal, encountered a disheartening roadblock when his business visa application was summarily denied due to his attorney’s unfamiliarity with specific prerequisites for Russian applicants. An arduous journey ensued, involving an expenditure of $16,000, active participation in immigration-focused Telegram and Facebook communities, and the invaluable assistance of a Portuguese confidant, ultimately culminating in Shipilov’s victorious acquisition of his visa and residency.
However, Shipilov’s ordeal illuminated a pervasive issue that extended beyond his personal experience. He remarked, “I found that there were many ‘handlers’ and scammers in this market,” stressing that Portuguese passive-income visa consulting agencies demand staggering sums ranging from $3,000 to $8,000, while legal professionals charge fees in the ballpark of $800 to $1,000, all without offering any concrete assurances. Shipilov believes that the process of immigration should be a source of inspiration, not a wellspring of stress and financial burden.
To counteract these challenges, Shipilov, in collaboration with his compatriot Sergey Kotlov, initiated a proactive approach. They commenced by creating informative guides, delivering chat-based support, and sourcing lawyers who could offer cost-effective or even complimentary consultations to prospective immigrants. This grassroots effort subsequently evolved into a thriving enterprise known as MigRun, designed to expand its support to an array of countries and diverse immigrant groups.
MigRun, a contender in the esteemed Startup Battlefield 200 competition at TechCrunch Disrupt 2023, specializes in providing tailored assistance to individuals embarking on the immigration journey, drawing upon the shared experiences of fellow immigrants. MigRun’s foundation rests upon the collection of immigration cases, layered with technology and meticulous analysis, complemented by a treasure trove of free guides, step-by-step instructions, crucial deadline reminders, and timely alerts.
Shipilov articulates the core mission succinctly: “We help people feel the same level of predictability and security when moving from their country as with an expensive handler, but with a money-back guarantee, up to seven times cheaper and fully digital. We aim to convince people from developing countries that they can handle immigration on their own and don’t need to pay a lot of cash for basic advice based on one person’s experience just to feel safe.”
While MigRun isn’t the sole platform facilitating access to immigration experts and visa application processes, its distinctive features and commitment to automation set it apart. The platform extends its resources not only to immigrants from specific countries but also to groups migrating from one nation to another, fostering connections between individuals who have undergone similar transitions. Users have the option to engage in live chats with individuals who have navigated comparable journeys or interact with a conversational assistant trained on analogous cases and publicly documented visa prerequisites.
Shipilov elucidates the grand vision, “Our main goal is to create a network of immigration assistants who exclusively work through our platform. We have detailed information for thousands of immigration cases, and we expect to handle tens of thousands more in the future.”
The bedrock of MigRun’s innovation lies in its Virtual Assistance, a conversational AI designed to offer tailored guidance. Shipilov asserts that this AI is well-equipped to accommodate the idiosyncrasies and potential biases inherent in immigration decision-making, bridging the gap between an applicant’s profile and an immigration officer’s interpretation of the law.
He underscores the practicality of this approach, saying, “Thanks to our extensive data set, our assistant can provide very specific advice, like how to apply for a Portuguese Digital Nomad visa in Istanbul, for example. In most cases, it’s easier to adapt your application to match the preferences of the specific officer or immigration office you’re dealing with, rather than arguing with them to prove you’re right. This can save a lot of time and money.”
In the context of handling such sensitive data, particularly for immigrants residing in countries with questionable human rights records, MigRun’s commitment to security is unwavering. Shipilov assures that the platform safeguards users’ anonymity and refrains from transmitting personal data to third-party entities without explicit justification. While MigRun does retain data for a period, ranging from 90 days to a year, it pledges not to monetize personal information.
Notably, MigRun has embarked on this ambitious journey without external funding, relying solely on bootstrapping. Shipilov proudly reveals that the startup boasts over 3,900 customers and sustains 16,000 monthly active users.
Looking ahead, MigRun’s near-term strategy is anchored in growth. Over the next year, this seven-employee powerhouse intends to expand its support to encompass more countries, funnel resources into refining its AI assistant and streamline paperwork automation, all while elevating its annual revenue to $3 million. Shipilov confidently states, “More than 100 million people from developing countries immigrate annually. Therefore, even if we capture only 3% to 5% of the total market, which is worth $12 billion, it’d mean that we can assist millions of professionals, entrepreneurs, digital nomads, talented individuals, passive income holders, and families to find better places, dramatically change their lives and save them billions of dollars.”
MigRun’s disruptive approach to immigration assistance not only addresses the pain points experienced by immigrants but also opens up new possibilities in the market. By offering cost-effective, tech-driven solutions, MigRun is poised to make immigration more accessible and affordable for millions worldwide. This signifies a significant shift in the immigration market towards a more user-centric and technologically advanced landscape.