Resilience Samples: Ukrainian Tech Companies Two Years into the War

  • Russia’s war against Ukraine has put great challenges before Ukrainian tech companies
  • Four exemplary companies are highlighted, who managed not only to withstand the challenge but to thrive
  • They all stress on HR nuances, i.e. taking care of the employees, as the key ingredient for withstanding the horrors of these times

This February, Ukraine and the whole world commemorate the sad second anniversary of Russia’s unprovoked full-on aggression against its neighbor. The aggression hit the Ukrainian people not only directly, but it incurred great damage to all spheres of life in the country, on all levels. On all levels, Ukraine suffers greatly but remains standing, and this includes the Ukrainian tech ecosystem. Today, we are showcasing four randomly picked tech companies who stood and managed to grow in and out of Ukraine in these hard times.

It is impossible to be fully prepared for a full-on military aggression from an overwhelming opponent. However, Ukrainian tech companies did have one undeniable advantage: almost all of them had been set to work globally from the get-go and had strong international ties, and the country itself was (and remains) a prominent tech hub and a vital R&D center for numerous Fortune 500 companies and tech startups alike.

Growing Against All Odds

Boosta is an international tech company with Ukrainian co-founders and a team of 600+ specialists who build and develop digital businesses: IT products and performance marketing projects. During the full-scale war, the company actively supports its professionals, continuing recruitment and implementing salary raises. Boosta also provides free access to courses through its educational project, Boosta Academy. Over 20,000 Ukrainians have joined the platform to acquire digital professions. 

Since its founding, Boosta has focused on operating in international markets and continues developing in this direction, exploring new locations and launching new types of businesses. In particular, Boosta launched its own investment fund Burner in 2022 and invested in seven projects founded by Ukrainians over the course of two years. However, after the start of the full-scale invasion, the company limited its geography by excluding Russia and Belarus.

Likewise, cyber security startup UnderDefense, a cybersecurity startup, has persevered and thrived — doubling in yearly revenue and growing the team by 2X to 120 people across the globe.

‘Being in the cybersecurity business, international growth was our strategy from day one. The war, however, has increased the number of advanced malicious threat actors in cyberspace, which facilitated further the demand for better cybersecurity services internationally. This was one of the reasons we managed to grow our customer base, but the geography of our clients remains unchanged — we secure businesses globally – except the aggressors, of course – with the majority of our clients being from the US and EU,’ UnderDefense’s CEO Nazar Tymoshyk comments.

The company has also launched a brand new Security Compliance, Automation, and MDR platform, UnderDefense MAXI, which secured 700+ companies within months after launch. The AI-enhanced platform as well as UnderDefense’s MDR services have garnered numerous awards from the likes of Splunk and Clutch.

Software house Digicode turned its strategic gaze to the European Union last year. Its head of delivery Viktor Tymchenko admits that navigating the EU landscape has presented its own unique intricacies and a well-established pipeline.

Viktor Tymchenko, Head of Delivery at Digicode

We have 10% of our company in the Bratislava branch in Slovakia, and that number is growing. In essence, we’ve transcended the honeymoon phase and are now cultivating deeper connections with clients through our vendor product consultants, project managers, analysts, and data scientists,’ Mr Tymchenko shares.

Further bolstering our market presence, we’ve extended our footprint within Microsoft, particularly in the realms of low-code integration on the Power Platform and enterprise solutions via Microsoft Dynamics. This strategic expansion has seamlessly complemented our CRM and ERP offerings, fortifying our diverse portfolio,’ he continues.

NewHomesMate (ex-Propertymate), a marketplace of new construction homes, was originally designed for the US market. Since the full-scale invasion, the company managed to raise over USD 5.5M of investment and grow its team over x4. The company expanded operations to 12 new markets in the US and increased revenue over x30.

What It Means to Be a Ukrainian Company

‘We have been working closely with major US homebuilders, such as Lennar, DR Horton, Century Communities, and others. We have also established a number of relationships that have helped us provide a stronger product and grow our brand. The invasion may have actually helped us as it opened doors from those that were sympathetic to the Ukrainian people,’ NewHomesMates’ co-founder and COO Sofia Vyshnevska tells ITKeyMedia.

‘We’re proud of our Ukrainian roots and it has definitely opened a separate set of doors for us. We have definitely struck up partnerships with big names like Splunk, however this has more to do with our expertise and our general growth trajectory as a business,’ Mr Tymoshyk argues.

Foothold at Home

Polina Kuchkovska, COO of Boosta

That said, Ukrainian companies set it as their ground principle to retain a strong presence in their home country. As of now, 70% of Boosta’s staff are based in Ukraine. The company’s COO Polina Kuchkovska considers it every Ukrainian company’s duty to create new job opportunities and support the country’s economy, and Boosta continues hiring.

For NewHomesMate, the number is about 30%, the rest being spread across other countries, including the US where quite a few employees facilitate local sales processes.

‘HR policies have evolved significantly both due to cultural variations and legal requirements from each of the nations and states where our employees are located. It is a major challenge for us to ensure compliance with all of the local laws,’ Ms Vyshnevska points out.

New HR Challenges and Solutions

Mr Tymoshyk praises UnderDefense’s HR team for thoroughly taking care of all and any needs of the employees. Particularly, with the team being scattered across the globe, a lot of systems and procedures needed to be put in place for smooth operations across time zones and ‘ensuring everyone feels like they are part of the family.’

‘People management is an ongoing journey but our team is doing what they can to stick together and support each other,’ Mr Tymoshyk adds.

To support its team, Boosta is actively working to create comfortable and safe working conditions. During the full-scale war, The company reports:

  • Launching a support program for specialists in case of forced relocation.
  • Introducing an internal support line called ‘Care’.
  • Implementing a financial support program for colleagues facing difficult life situations.
  • Starting legal consultations for its employees on matters related to the war and relocation under the Legal Assistance Day program.
  • Expanding the Mental Health support program by covering the cost of five personal counseling sessions with psychologists and regularly conducting webinars on well-being topics.
  • Introducing the Ukrainian Victory Support program, allocating funds monthly for volunteer initiatives by our specialists and their families.

Digicode deems it more important than ever to pay special attention to the employees’ personal and professional growth. Thus, the company’s internal Leadership program emerged as a cornerstone initiative.

‘We selected individuals in leadership roles or with leadership potential, defining our vision collaboratively. This ensured alignment with company values and guaranteed voluntary participation. Over the past two years, we’ve witnessed firsthand the transformative impact of effective leadership at every organizational tier, especially amidst the challenges posed by remote work environments,’ Mr Tymchenko states.

Ukrainian Tech People in the Army

Same as legions of other Ukrainians, many Ukrainian tech specialists answered the call and joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine to fight off the aggressor. The companies, in turn, cannot but fully support such a decision not only in word but also in deed. All companies to which ITKeyMedia got to talk about such a decision unanimously agree that it’s necessary to retain these employees in their positions while they are on the front lines and, of course, as soon as they return and are ready to resume their work.

Sofia Vyshnevska, Co-Founder and COO at NewHomesMate

3% of our team is serving in the Ukrainian Armed Forces. We maintain constant communication with them, and our pride in each of them is a topic worthy of its own article. Each of our soldiers remains a part of the Digicode family and will continue to receive monthly payments in accordance with their contract,’ Mr Tymchenko assures.

Ms Vyshnevska boasts about NewHomesMate’s data quality engineer Julia Vyshnevska having joined the frontline as a volunteer.  The company is looking forward to welcoming Julia and others back whenever they are ready.

Boosta and UnderDefense also keep their employees in the front lines on their positions with full reward, and are ready to welcome them back the sooner the better.

Despite the brutal war, Ukraine, its economy, and its people have all demonstrated astoundingly impressive resilience, retaining its innovative spirit amidst challenging times. After all, the tech ecosystem is always about answering challenges and confronting them, isn’t it.


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