With Ukraine under Russian attack, people from all backgrounds are being called to take up arms. An unexpected army in the fight is the country’s many tech workers, battling on the front lines and with keyboards. Here are five prominent technology firms that originated from Ukraine in this week’s Five For Friday.
Mac users might recognize this software company’s very popular CleanMyMac app, but the firm is also on the front lines raising money. Founder and CEO Oleksandr Kosovan recently posted a heartbreaking video from Kyiv pleading for donations to his newly-created MacPaw Development Fund, which he said will help deliver food and medicine locally to those most in need.
With no physical headquarters or offices anywhere in the world, GitLab’s heart is in Ukraine. Co-founder Dmitriy Zaporozhets started the popular open source tool from his house in Kharkiv, the site of a reported killing of a top Russian general. NASA, AT&T and IBM are some of its high profile users.
As the Ukrainian people fight for their lives, this Ukrainian firm is also focused on protecting war-affected pets. Petcube designs and engineers WiFi cameras that enable owners to remotely interact with their pets from an app. Speaking from a bomb-shelter, co-founder and dog-lover Andrey Klen told Newsweek that some employees are taking up arms, while others “are fighting the informational war—the so-called keyboard resistance—while trying to relocate to safer cities in the West.”
If you’ve ever played around with Snapchat’s facial modification and augmented reality features, then you’ve used Looksery technology. Founded in Ukraine in 2013 and purchased two years later by Snap, Inc. for $150 Million, the firm is still home to more than 300 of the world’s most talented coders and engineers.
Crowned one of Inc. Magazine’s 2021 best workplaces, it could now be one of the most dangerous if you’re one of the workers in Kyiv. Founded by three Ukrainians, the software firm is probably best known for its large ad buys dominating streaming spaces. The firm will donate to the Ukrainian people all the money made in Russia since 2014, the year Vladimir Putin decided to invade the Crimean Peninsula.
SIMONE DEL ROSARIO: WITH UKRAINE UNDER ATTACK – PEOPLE FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS ARE BEING CALLED TO FIGHT. AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE – IS THE COUNTRY’S MAJOR TECH TALENT. WITH WORKERS TAKING UP ARMS – AND KEYBOARDS – HERE ARE SOME OF THE BEST TECH FIRMS WITH UKRAINIAN ROOTS – IN THIS WEEK’S FIVE FOR FRIDAY.
COMING IN AT NUMBER FIVE, MACPAW, KNOWN BY MAC USERS AS THE CREATOR OF CLEAN-MY-MAC. THE FOUNDER AND CEO OF THE UKRAINIAN SOFTWARE DEVELOPER – OLEKSANDR KOSOVAN – POSTED THIS HEARTBREAKING VIDEO PLEADING FOR DONATIONS. THE MAKER OF WELL-KNOWN MAC APPS SAID THEY ARE “STAYING STRONG, UNITED, AND READY TO DEFEND UKRAINE.
IN THE FOURTH SPOT IS GITLAB. WITH NO PHYSICAL HEADQUARTERS OR OFFICES ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, GITLAB’S HEART IS IN UKRAINE. CO-FOUNDER DMITRIY ZAPOROZHETS STARTED THE POPULAR OPEN SOURCE TOOL FROM HIS HOUSE IN CAR-KEEV, THE SITE OF A REPORTED KILLING OF A TOP RUSSIAN GENERAL. NASA, AT&T AND IBM ARE SOME OF ITS HIGH PROFILE USERS.
PETCUBE IS NUMBER THREE. AS THE UKRAINIAN *PEOPLE FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES, THIS UKRAINIAN FIRM IS ALSO FOCUSED ON PROTECTING WAR-AFFECTED *PETS FROM THE CARNAGE. PETCUBE DESIGNS AND ENGINEERS WIFI CAMERAS THAT LET OWNERS REMOTELY INTERACT WITH THEIR PETS FROM AN APP. SPEAKING FROM A BOMB-SHELTER, CO-FOUNDER AND DOG-LOVER ANDREY KLEN TOLD NEWSWEEK THAT SOME EMPLOYEES ARE TAKING UP ARMS, WHILE OTHERS “ARE FIGHTING THE INFORMATIONAL WAR—THE SO-CALLED KEYBOARD RESISTANCE—WHILE TRYING TO RELOCATE TO SAFER CITIES IN THE WEST.”
AT NUMBER TWO IS LOOKSERY. IF YOU’VE EVER PLAYED AROUND WITH SNAPCHAT’S FACIAL MODIFICATION AND A-R FEATURES THEN YOU’VE USED THEIR TECH. FOUNDED IN UKRAINE IN 2013 THE COMPANY IS STILL HOME TO MORE THAN 300 TALENTED CODERS AND ENGINEERS. SNAP BOUGHT THE FIRM SEVEN YEARS AGO FOR $150 MILLION, MARKING THE BIGGEST STARTUP ACQUISITION IN UKRAINE’S HISTORY.
IN OUR TOP SPOT IS GRAMMARLY. CROWNED ONE OF INC MAGAZINE’S 2021 BEST WORKPLACES, IT COULD NOW BE ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS – IF YOU’RE WORKING OUT OF THEIR KYIV OFFICE. FOUNDED BY THREE UKRAINIANS, THE SOFTWARE FIRM IS PROBABLY BEST KNOWN FOR ITS HIGH VOLUME YOUTUBE AD BUYS…
TO SHOW SUPPORT, THE PLATFORM WILL DONATE TO THE UKRAINIAN PEOPLE ALL THE MONEY MADE IN RUSSIA SINCE 2014 – THE YEAR VLADIMIR PUTIN DECIDED TO INVADE THE CRIMEAN PENINSULA.
IN THE END -THIS IS JUST A FRACTION OF ALL THE BRAVE AND TALENTED UKRAINIAN TECH WORKERS TRYING TO HELP THEIR BROTHERS, SISTERS AND PETS UNDER ATTACK. FOR JUST BUSINESS, I’M SIMONE DEL ROSARIO. SEE YOU MONDAY.