After months of military build-up on its borders, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is being felt across the country's tech ecosystem-- the birthplace for some of the world's biggest technology brands. Ukraine has quietly emerged as a hub for technology apps that today occupy a remarkable space globally.
Users worldwide are familiar with apps like PayPal, Grammarly, WhatsApp, using them daily, not knowing that the products originated in Ukraine and were produced by Ukrainian founders. Companies like Gitlab, MacPaw, and Ajax Systems also have Ukrainian roots. Even the first NFT fashion coin founder of Proof-of-Love Fashion Metaverse is Kyiv-based designer Anna Karenina.
"This war is not about Ukraine. It's about all of you," tweeted Mike Sapiton, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Ukraine, highlighting the noteworthy products and technologies with Ukrainian roots.
Whatsapp was founded by Ukrainian emigrant Jan Koum. He was born in 1976 to a Jewish family in Fastiv, where now Russia has started its military operation. He co-founded WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired in 2014 for $19.3 billion.
Maksymilian Rafailovych "Max" Levchin, a Ukrainian-American software engineer, co-founded the company that eventually became PayPal. The global payment service was one of the earliest ways to make digital payments. Levchin was also an investor in Yelp and produced the film Thank You for Smoking.
CleanMyMac, the all-in-one Mac cleaner that removes gigabytes of unnecessary junk and malware, was developed by Kyiv based company MacPaw. Following the country's invasion, McPaw said, "For our users and all our products will work without fail. We've been preparing for these circumstances and ensured no disruptions in the support and development of our products".
The masking technology used in Snapchat was created by Looksery, a company from Odessa in Ukraine. Yurii Monastyrshin spearheaded it, and the company has offices in both the United States and Ukraine. Snap also has a huge office in Kyiv and Zaporizha.
Grammarly, is valued at $13 billion, and it was founded by three Ukrainians-- Max Lytvyn, Alex Shevchenko, and Dmytro Lider. It is a service dedicated to assisting people with writing grammatically correct and error-free content. Its largest office continues to be in Kyiv.
Solana, a public blockchain platform with smart contract functionality, was founded by Alex Yakovenko. Another blockchain platform, NEARProtocol was founded by Illia Polosukhin, based in Ukraine. They are attempting to build advanced and efficient decentralized products.
Dmitriy Zaporozhets, who lives in Ukraine, co-founded GitLab from his house in Ukraine in 2011 to build open-source tools to help teams of developers collaborate more efficiently. Organizations such as NASA, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, AT&T and IBM are its users. Since its launch, GitLab has grown to more than 140 employees and has raised $25.6 million.
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