Ukrainian Women in Tech

Today is International Women’s Day. Over the long history of mankind, the attitude towards women has been changed many times, and in the 21st century, they are not only mothers and homemakers. Women have firmly established themselves in modern society. They are doctors, scientists, politicians, economists, entrepreneurs, workers, teachers, and soldiers.

The way Ukrainian women valiantly struggle with difficulties today leads to admiration and pride. But not only in this difficult time Ukrainian women demonstrate brilliant success and achievements. We would like to tell in this article about outstanding women from Ukraine who have significantly contributed to the IT industry.

Katerina Kostereva. CEO & Founder of the Creatio group of companies.

In 2002, Katerina with her partner Alexander Popov founded a CRM system development startup. Alexander was engaged in development, and Katerina in sales and software adaptation. 20 years ago, the market for CRM systems was rather poorly developed so the sturtup became a pioneer in the direction with the focus on low-code products. About 10 years ago, the company began developing the BPM online platform for Business Process Management and gradually made the transition from traditional CRM towards Business Process Management.

In 2013, they entered the global market and Katerina hit the road to conquer the United States. In 2019, the product’s name was changed to Creatio. And in February 2021, the company closed a round of investments for $68 million.

Today, Creatio is a group of companies, with about 700 employees worldwide. There are the company’s offices in Kyiv, Boston, London, Melbourne, and Cyprus. The company’s products are used in more than 110 countries around the world. The company has been included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center many times.

Katerina has been repeatedly included in the lists of successful women of Ukraine and is in the top 100 richest people in Ukraine. In 2020, Katerina was on the list of Top 50 female leaders in the SaaS industry for the 3rd time according to The Software Report. Katerina is also an official member of the Forbes Technology Council.

Daria Leshchenko. CEO & Founder of the SupportYourApp group of companies.

Daria has come a long and difficult way to success and built a highly salable company. Daria began to earn her first money while her 2nd year at the university trying to do network marketing. Then, she got a job in a call center, but after a few months, her entire department was fired with no salary paid. However, Daria got some useful contacts and soon got a job in a company that dealt with IP telephony. Daria worked in tech support and in some time promoted to a night shift manager with 15 in charge.

After 2 years, she left for America under the Work & Travel program. She worked at 3 jobs at the same time, but nevertheless, according to Daria, that summer was the best in her life. When she came back from the USA, Daria tripled in technical support of an IT company. Daria worked hard and soon became the head of a small department, she had to make a difficult decision to fire everyone, since no one could take the young girl seriously, and hire a new team. Later the department grew into an independent company SupportYourApp.

Daria Leshchenko became CEO of the company at the age of 24. Quite impressive.

SupportYourApp — positions itself as Support as a Service and provides services in the field of outsourcing premium customer support. The service is popular among startups that need to build a good support team quickly, for example, a meditation app Calm. SupportYourApp works with over 120 customers in 20 countries. The company employs about 700 people, providing support services in 31 languages. The company has received several awards: Great Employers, Sales & Customer Service.

But Daria did not stop there and in 2020 launched a new project, Label Your Data, which provides data annotation services. Label Your Data helps clients with structured datasets for use in AI-powered applications, making these clients grow faster.

Anna Polishchuk. CPO & Co-Founder of Allset.

Anna, while studying at the university, along with her groupmate Stas Matvienko (CEO Allset), tried her hand in running a business. Stas had already had success in developing referral marketing for business and managed to get investments from Happy Farm incubator when Anna joined him. Together they were growing and learning about startups and venture business.

As a result, they decided to change the business concept and replaced the referral program with a loyalty program. The service became successful, working in 5 countries. But the young entrepreneurs set the goal of launching a global business in America. Anna and Stas were well versed in the restaurant business and therefore decided to take that direction.

So, in 2015, the food-tech startup Allset was launched, which allows users to quickly book a table and order food in takeaway restaurants. The app also offers personalized healthy diet recommendations.

In September 2016, the company managed to attract investments of $2.35 million. Later, the company received several more rounds of investments, the total amount of which is already $16.6 million. Allset has been invested in by Metamorphic Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz, Greycroft, SMRK VC Fund, and Inovo Venture Partners, as well as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

The startup operates in more than 40 US cities and cooperates with more than 4,000 restaurants. Stas and Anna entered Forbes 30 under 30 Europe in 2020.

Victoria Repa. CEO & Founder of BetterMe.

Victoria is from a small village in the Donetsk region, graduated from Kyiv School of Economics. After working at Procter & Gamble as a financial manager for about 1.5 years, Victoria decided to change direction and joined the IT sector. The Genesis media company became a new place of work and soon, in 2016, together with her colleague Vitaly Laptenok, she launched the BetterMe fitness application.

The startup quickly grew and developed and after 3 years managed to release 10 applications, which were downloaded more than 50 million times. Despite the high competition, the application was well received by American users and now BetterMe products are the leaders of the global AppStore in their category. The applications help to follow a healthy lifestyle: exercise; yoga and meditation; walking and running; menstruation calendar; healthy diet.

As of February 2022, SensorTower reported total mobile app revenue of $900,000. The company has 10 apps, 5 for iOS and 5 for Android. The flagship app BetterMe: Health Coaching is the most profitable and BetterMe: Mental Health is the most downloaded.

In 2019, Victoria took part in the Apple Entrepreneur Camp, she was the only Ukrainian who was able to qualify. Thousands of applications apply for the camp, but only 20 go further. And in 2020, the girl entered the Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list, being also an official member of the Forbes Technology Council.

This is only a small list of the Ukrainian women who achieved success in the global IT sphere. Viktoriya Tigipko (Founder and Managing Partner at TA Ventures), Olesya Lynnyk (Owner & Founder at Linkos Group), Nadine Omelchenko (Vice President at IT-Integrator) — all these talented women have proven and established themselves in the tech industry.

We hope that soon Ukraine will be able to breathe freely and continue to create IT products for the whole world.

Peace. Love. Code.

Denis Kupa, Marketing Manager at Kernelics.

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