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Ruslan Tymofieiev lists 10 startups from Ukraine you should know about

Tymofieiev Ruslan. Venture investor, Entrepreneur, Founder & Managing Partner at venture capital fund Adventures Lab, Founder at venture builder CLUST.

Ukraine gained its fair share of recognition for having one of the most potent IT ecosystems globally. Prior to the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, new startups emerged frequently, drawing foreign clientele to outsourcing firms and significantly bolstering the nation’s economy. Yet, this trend persists, with the IT sector contributing 4.9% to Ukraine’s GDP in 2023.

But what do we truly know about Ukraine’s startup landscape? To introduce the startups that have gained the attention of international users, Ukrainian entrepreneur, investor, and founder of the venture builder CLUST, Ruslan Tymofieiev, has compiled a list of 10 relevant Ukrainian startups.

Ajax Systems

#1 Ajax Systems

Europe’s Most Decorated Wireless Security System

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This impressive startup offers an innovative wireless security system. Ruslan Tymofieiev, the founder of the venture builder CLUST, notes that Ajax stands out as one of the most thriving product companies in the industry. According to the entrepreneur, Ajax Systems delivers a genuinely top-notch product in high demand. 

Established by Oleksandr Konotopskyi in 2011, it has witnessed steady growth year after year. In 2021, Ajax Systems emerged as the largest security system manufacturer in Europe, with a presence in 130 countries and 1,250,000 system users. Currently, the company operates two factories in Ukraine and one in Turkey, boasting a portfolio of over 100 developed devices and serving over 2.5 million end-users in 169 countries.

#2 Grammarly

Cloud-Based AI Writing Assistant

Grammarly provides grammar and style check services with an automatic error correction feature. Ruslan Tymofieiev notes that over 30 million users turn to Grammarly to enhance their writing, yet many are unaware that its founders are Ukrainians, Alex Shevchenko, Max Lytvyn, and Dmytro Lider — it was them who kickstarted this venture.

The company was established in Kyiv in 2009 and now operates offices in San Francisco and New York. Grammarly has garnered over $200 million in total funding.

Ruslan Tymofieiev highlights Grammarly’s advantage over competitors in its provision of stylistic analysis and word choice advice, transcending mere spelling and grammar correction to ensure natural-sounding text.

#3 GitLab

Leading Code Repository Management System for Git

GitLab Inc. was founded in Ukraine in 2011 and is now headquartered in San Francisco, with a 2021 IPO valuation reaching $11 billion. GitLab stands as a premier cloud DevOps platform, encompassing software development, delivery, and security throughout the software development lifecycle. 

#4 Reface

App Enabling Face Masks Overlay on Videos or GIFs

Using the Reface app, people can create and share videos with faces replaced by famous individuals and characters through AI technology. Originally founded in Kyiv in 2018, the company’s primary headquarters now reside in the USA. With $37.6 million in investments, Reface’s app boasts over 140 million downloads worldwide.

Ruslan Tymofieiev recalls when Reface approached his venture fund with just one GIF, pitching their project. He notes that initially, it did not align with the fund’s portfolio, yet, for some reason, they believed in this startup and invested. Such faith paid off within just 8 months, as the project skyrocketed shortly.

#5 Preply

Online Language Learning Marketplace

Preply serves as an international education platform connecting online tutors on diverse subjects worldwide. Established in Kyiv in 2013, this startup secured $110 million in investments in 2021. With offices in Kyiv, Barcelona, New York, and other cities, Preply hosts over 35,000 tutors from 150 countries catering to 1.5 million students.

#6 Petcube

Smart Gadgets for Pet Owners

Petcube offers smart gadgets and apps facilitating remote interaction with pets with flagship products, including cameras equipped with microphones and laser pointers, such as Petcube Cam and Petcube Play with treat dispensers. Founded in Kyiv in 2014, the company’s headquarters now reside in San Francisco. With over $16 million in investments, Petcube products are available in 80+ countries globally.

#7 People.ai

The Sole Revenue Intelligence Platform for Go-To-Market Teams

Founded in San Francisco in 2015 by Ukrainians Oleg Rogynskyy and Oleksandr Lyakh, People.ai operates as a cloud platform employing artificial intelligence to automate and optimize customer-centric processes in enterprises, with a primary focus on CRM systems. People.ai has garnered $182 million in investments, counting Zoom, Slack, Okta, Autodesk, Dell, and other prominent names among its clientele.

#8 Esper Bionics

Hardware Startup Pioneering IoT Devices in the Field of Prosthetics

Esper Bionics specializes in developing bionic prosthetics equipped with intuitive control technology. The idea behind this startup dates back to 2017, with founders Igor Ilchenko, Dmytro Hazda, Hanna Belevantseva, and Boris Lobanov dedicating the initial six months to market research and elaborating their business model. Ruslan Tymofieiev mentions that the Esper Bionics team unveiled the prototype in 2019, which was a robotic arm featuring intuitive control technology.

#9 SkyLab UA

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones)

Focusing on developing drones and other high-tech ground devices to bolster the nation’s defense capabilities and support the Armed Forces of Ukraine, SkyLab UA operates within the defense tech sector. According to Ruslan Tymofieiev, today, defense technologies are among the most promising fields, and the entrepreneur expresses confidence in witnessing the emergence of more startups in this domain shortly.

#10 Delfast

Electric Bicycles

This Ukrainian startup stands out as specializing in the manufacture of electric bicycles. Its bicycles find utility in delivery services and police patrols alike. Established in 2014 by Danylo Tonkopiy and Serhii Denysenko as an eco-delivery service, the company achieved a Guinness World Record with its electric bicycle, covering 370 km on a single charge without the need for pedaling, as highlighted by Ruslan Tymofieiev.

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