Affected but not sunk, Ukrainian startups confide
Despite the immense difficulties generated by the conflict in Ukraine, most Ukrainian startups survived the war.
Before At the start of the war last February, Ukraine had around 500 startups in fields as diverse as software, health, education, and the environment. The conflict has not spared them, but they are showing real resilience.
Startups work at night following power cuts
Lack of funding, insecurity, departure of the workforce, the difficulties are clearly not lacking according to Yuri Kozik, CEO and co-founder of Evolve , an independent NGO that helps Ukrainian technology companies.
Quoted by our colleagues from World of Computers, who interviewed him at the Slush 2022 fair in Helsinki , he explains thus: “When startups were created with the return of war, it had a negative impact on their business prospects. At the same time, what is important is that – as recent studies indicate – the majority of Ukrainian startups have not closed and continue their activities. So they continue to operate, despite the challenges they face.”
A few months ago, the Ukrainian Startup Fund estimated that 85% of Ukrainian start-ups were still in business. But funding is still tending to dry up, according to Les Échos. In the first quarter of 2022, 14 venture capital transactions were completed for $15.5 million. But since then, investors have been waiting.
To face this difficult period, Ukrainian companies can count on the support of American Tech giants. This is particularly the case at the cloud level through Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services. Similarly, Google is giving some very welcome aid to some startups.
As Russia steps up its strikes on Ukraine's energy grid, power outages are commonplace. Companies are trying somehow to adapt to this new situation, working at night, or going to places that still have electricity, such as shopping centers. Inevitably, some delays are to be expected in the delivery of orders.
It is worth remembering that Ukraine has some well-known names in the world of Tech. These include Grammarly, the writing assistance solution now headquartered in California, which is valued at $13 billion. For its part, the open source platform Gitlab has also emerged on site.
The Russian Tech world is also suffering from the war
Finally, it should be noted that the opposing camp is not obviously not spared by this war. The sanctions thus deprive Russian technology companies of certain resources to design their products.
There has also been a talent drain since February. Last May, the Russian Electronic Communications Association noted that 50,000 to 70,000 new technology workers had fled the country since the start of the conflict. A total that probably increased following the announcement of the partial mobilization decided by Vladimir Putin last September.