Ukraine is in the midst of a war. But, pre-invasion, the country was a breeding ground for tech startups and has given birth to many notable global tech companies.
The Ukrainian IT industry consists of over 4,000 local IT service companies, and more than 110 leading global companies have established subsidiaries in the country. Samsung, Microsoft, Ring, Snap, Magento, Plarium, Boeing, Siemens, Ericsson – are among the few tech companies that have established their R&D sector in Ukraine.
Ukraine has been one of Europe’s leading countries in terms of engineering graduates, producing twice as many annually as nations such as Britain and Poland. The country produces over 130,000 engineering graduates and 16,000 IT graduates annually.
Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, is the largest IT hub in the country and is home to over 1,000 startups and product companies. Other Ukrainian cities such as Kharkiv, Odesa, Dnipro, Lviv, and Vinnytsia are also developing major centres of IT activity. The country has been the birthplace of major tech companies that have created a global impact with their products and solutions.
Let’s look at a few prominent tech companies that originated from Ukraine.
Grammarly, a grammar solution platform headquartered both in Ukraine and America, was founded by three Ukrainian entrepreneurs, Max Lytvyn, Alex Shevchenko and Dmytro Lider. The company is currently valued at USD 13 billion. Millions of users rely on the input from the app to ensure their writing is of top-notch quality and free from any grammatical errors.
Gitlab, a popular DevOps collaboration platform based out of Ukraine, was founded by Dmitriy Zaporozhets and Sid Sijbrandij in 2014. The company helps teams improve cycle time from weeks to minutes, reduce development costs, and boost developer productivity.
Traces.AI, a computer vision company based out of Ukraine, has built an AI-based technology to analyse over 2,000 physical traits of a person using security cameras. The company was founded by two Ukrainian techies, Veronica Yurchuk and Kostyantyn Shysh, in 2014. The company recently had developed a tool to track people who have been impacted by COVID-19 and can be potential carriers of the coronavirus.
People.AI, an artificial intelligence startup based out of Ukraine, helps sales teams work efficiently with their clients. In addition, the company assists enterprise growth by harnessing the power of AI. People.AI’s tool helps customer-facing teams such as marketing, sales, and customer success from manual data entry. The company was founded in 2016 by Oleg Rogynskyy and has recently raised USD 100 million in a Series D funding round.
PetCube was established in 2012 in Kyiv, Ukraine, by Alex Neskin, Yaroslav Azhnyuk and Andrey Klen and is currently headquartered in San Francisco. The company has built WiFi cameras that enable pet owners to interact with their pets remotely using a mobile application while they are away from home. The company has raised USD 14 million in a Series A funding round.
MacPaw, the company behind the famous CleanMyMac app, was founded by Oleksandr Kosovan in 2008 and is headquartered in Kyiv, Ukraine. The company is one of the biggest software developers on the Mac market and has more than 4 million users.
Netpeak, the biggest digital marketing company in Europe, was founded by three Ukrainian entrepreneurs, Dmitrii Piskarev, Andrey Chumachenko and Artyom Borodatyuk, in Odesa, Ukraine, in 2006. The company provides SEO, PPS, SMM, email marketing and mobile app promotion services to improve web traffic for organisations and attract new customers.
Ajax Systems, a manufacturer of security systems with smart home capabilities based out of Kyiv, Ukraine, was founded by Aleksander Konotopsky in 2011. The company offers wireless window and door opening sensors and movement sensors. Ajax Systems has raised USD 11 million in over two funding rounds.
RefaceAI, a face-swapping AI-based Ukrainian company, builds solutions for the entertainment industry, game development and human interactions. The company was founded by Dmytro Shvets, Ivan Altsybieiev, Roman Mogylnyi, Oles Petriv and Yaroslav Boiko. The system built by RefaceAI can swap faces on statues, paintings and video game characters, keeping the emotions of the main face intact, even after swapping it.
The low cost of living in Ukraine and easy availability of skilled talent has made Ukraine one of the favourite destinations for startups and big tech companies alike. The country is home to more than 20,000 tech and Ukrainian venture-backed startups saw a USD 33.8 million in investment in 2021, as per a report from Crunchbase.
Amid the ongoing Ukraine-Russia conflict, the tech community in Ukraine stands strong and united.