Ukrainian tech companies are struggling through the Russian invasion of their country, with some relocated employees, others looking for shelter in what they can provide in beleaguered cities, and most still trying to keep lights on and work running. Huh.
“Today, Kiev has been attacked all day,” says Oleksandr Kosovan, founder and CEO of Mac software utilities maker MacPaw. “War is here, and it is real. Right now, we answer these questions under the sound of sirens telling people to hide in the nearest bomb shelters.”
The company’s services and code are hosted in the cloud on Amazon Web Services so its products are not being disrupted, the company said in an update on its website.
Most did not believe that the situation would get so bad.
Most still can’t believe it.
“We didn’t believe the war would start,” says Ivana Pohrabniak, CEO of AB Games, a 100-employee mobile game developer. “We have taken specific measures, prepared a contingency plan with our security team, and supported all staff. But we still cannot believe that this war crime is actually happening in our country.
Some have moved employees where possible, with companies moving workers west to safer areas of Ukraine, where there have been some fighting so far.
Vadim Rogovsky, co-founder and CEO of virtual try-on company 3DLOOK, says he has moved to be a “major part of our Ukrainian team” and “spirits are high”. His Internet connection, he said, has remained stable so far, and the company has not yet been subject to cyber attacks that have shut down Ukraine’s government and bank websites.
The company is also covering all expenses for relocating employees and – hopefully – bringing them back to their homes “when possible.”
Many tech companies and startups in Ukraine have international connections: either investors or parent companies or subsidiaries. California-headquartered Delfast Bikes, a California-headquartered e-bike maker, has 40 employees in the capital city of Kiev, which has been under heavy attack by the Russian military, including rocket attacks on civilian buildings.
“We do our best to make them safe,” says CEO Daniel Tonkopi. “We now donate 5% of all our proceeds to Ukrainian organizations to help stop the invasion.”
In addition, Tonkopi is calling for an international community rally in support of Ukraine.
Some are literally operating out of bomb shelters.
Veroslava Novosilnaya, founder and CEO of Slova Tech, says, “The main concern for us today is the safety of the agency team, who are stationed in Ukraine, in Kiev and other large cities that are permanently attacked by the Russian military. is done.” PR “No bomb is located in the shelters.”
Other startups have been completely shattered, scattered workers wherever they can, and major projects such as the founding round have had to be delayed. Customers, however, are understanding, with all being “very helpful,” according to Evanna Wendell, CEO of e-commerce app suite LabyOffice.
It helps that many have been working remotely and in home offices since many years of the global pandemic, both globally as well as in Ukraine.
But being in the middle of a war, especially one in which many personnel may be reservists, or heeding the call of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to do so may help protect the country, its effect. Should be.
Sometimes all they can do is to divert attention from danger.
“Obviously everyone is scared, but trying to stay focused and calm,” says Igor Izrailevich, CEO of S-Pro, a software development consultancy and outsourcing agency. “Even now, we are writing this comment sitting in the basement of our house near Kiev because of the sirens of the threat of an airstrike. We continue to work because it is distracting us from bad thoughts. We have created an informal chat for teammates to keep in touch and support each other. It is very relaxing. Also, whenever we feel insecure, we donate to the army.”
However, doing business is becoming increasingly difficult.
Access to electricity, internet and banking are among the challenges. The latter makes paying employees a problem in some cases.
“Yesterday and today we had interruptions with banks,” says Alexandra Boguslavskaya, CEO and founder of Data Science UA. “We don’t have a chance to buy currency, [banks] limit the amount for withdrawal, [there is] Ban on cross-border transfers. We hope that this kind of financial situation will stabilize soon and we will receive payment from our partners and customers, and we will do our responsibility… to pay salary on time for our team.
Most of the people around the world are praying with him that this war will end soon.
And that peace will prevail.
“Ukraine is proud of its people and we strongly believe that we will return to normal life as soon as possible, and we are extremely grateful to the media and technology communities who helped us spread the word and make our voices heard. ” Rogowski, CEO of 3DLook.
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