Ukraine attracts more and more attention as an IT destination. It is considered a #1 outsourcing destination by Global Sourcing Association and has more than 200 thousand high-skilled IT professionals.
The rapidly growing IT sector is one of the most interesting and attractive industries in Ukraine with over 4000 tech companies. It is also diverse – from nanotechnologies and blockchain to AI and game development. 18 Ukrainian companies are listed among 100 TOP Outsourcing companies by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals. More than 100 of Fortune 500 clients and a number of other large companies have chosen Ukrainian IT services, including Nasdaq, Amazon, Adobe, SAP, Hotels.com, Vodafone, ING, Microsoft, Allianz, Bosch, KIA, Playbuzz, SAS, Volvo, Viaplay, etc.
For example, Ukrainian IT companies Sigma Software Group and ELEKS help the world aerospace industry with sales automation and save hundreds of millions of dollars for airliners by developing sophisticated accounting systems or introducing technical inspections of aircraft with drones. They even develop software for outer space video shootings. Such large-scale cases of complex solutions, done for worldwide leaders of various sectors can be found in a portfolio of almost every big software development company from Ukraine.
Ukrainian startups are also becoming more and more known abroad.
In February 2018, Amazon paid $1 billion to acquire Ring, a connected-camera doorbell company. Since then, Ring has been integrated with other Amazon services, allowing live feeds from its devices on Amazon Echo Shows.
In 2019 GitLab, a complete DevOps platform, delivered as a single application, raised $268 million and became the first Ukrainian unicorn. An open-source project for improving team collaboration has now become a platform used by over 100,000 organizations with 30 mln users and a powerful community of over 3,000 individual contributors.
Same year Grammarly raised another $90 million to become the second Ukrainian unicorn. Founded in 2009 for supporting students’ grammar and spelling, it has developed into an AI-powered writing assistant, familiar with the complex aspects of language and communication. Today Grammarly offers an intuitive, real-time interface available through browser extensions, a web-based editor, a Microsoft Office add-in, a desktop interface, and mobile keyboards.
BitFury is another unicorn that has received US $80 million investment from Korelya Capital in 2018 and it made a spin-off worth $2 billion recently. It is a development company using cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, bitcoin, and high-performance computing.
The most recent unicorn is People.ai, who recently raised $100 million of investment in a new round and received a valuation of $1.1 billion. It is the Revenue Operations and Intelligence platform with an AI component behind that harnesses business activity to unlock growth.
Another recent loud success is Reface that allows users to create face-swap videos, GIFs, and memes. It became the fastest-growing startup in 2020. Over 100 million downloads since its launch in January 2020. It got in ‘top 5’ leading apps in around 100 countries (including ranking #1 in the US), became a product of the Week award at Product Hunt (January 2020), Google Play best fun app in 2020 with over 8 million monthly downloads in App Store and Google Play.
And there are many prominent startups to mention.
Global companies also entrust Ukraine with their operations. For example, such companies as Snapchat, Ericsson, Siemens, Samsung, Oracle, Huawei, Boeing, Upwork, Magento already have R&D centres in Ukraine. In 2020, global giants officially registered their R&D legal entities in Ukraine. Among them are Google and Apple, Viber and Reddit.
Such success is due to several reasons:
– Solid scientific background, starting as early, as 1951 when one of the first computers was created in Kyiv, Ukraine;
– Rich talent pool, with over 23K tech graduates annually feeding the labour market;
– Great experience in best practices of international IT thanks to IT outsourcing, which created the base of the current boom.
You can find more information about the ecosystem, communities and associations covering various parts of Tech, news, events, legal and HR partners, and the bright success cases of Ukrainian companies on the TechUkraine website, and if you have an inspiration to go beyond just tech, explore Ukraine’s investment opportunities on UkraineInvest website.
Ukraine has a lot to offer: software development services of top quality, fresh ideas of startups to invest in, a lot of talent to open here, research and development centres, and all this — in a stunning European country just 2 hours flight from most European cities. Apart from that, Ukrainian cities are just amazing places to be!
Nataly Veremeeva, director of TechUkraine