Ukrainian company Boosteroid launches in the US during the war
Before the full-scale war, Boosteroid, a Ukrainian company developing a cloud gaming platform, was planning to enter the United States and Latin America markets. When the war started, it had to evacuate its staff, and its two offices in Kyiv and Kharkiv were destroyed in Russian missile attacks. Despite this setback, the company grew to four million users in a year, entered the US market, and made a deal with Microsoft.
Boosteroid has been operating since 2017, with its R&D center and development activities concentrated mainly in Kyiv and Kharkiv. It provides a cloud gaming service that moves a load of game processing from the user’s device to remote servers. Streaming works through a browser and applications for Windows, Linux, Android, Android TV, and macOS. Also, starting in 2023, it is available for Chromebooks, Android set-top boxes, and LG TVs.
Its servers are available in Italy, France, Britain, Slovakia, Sweden, Spain, and other countries. The company had planned to launch in the US in late 2021 or early 2022. But with the start of the full-scale invasion, it decided to launch servers in the US remotely.
The launch on the US market
The company had plans to enter the United States even before the outbreak of the full-scale war: in the United States at the end of 2021 and in Latin America in the first quarter of 2022. However, due to logistical issues, the equipment could be delivered to the US only in early 2022.
“Before the outbreak of the full-scale war, Boosteroid network engineers used to fly to the country where they needed to deploy and configure equipment. But the war changed everything. We realized that we would not be able to launch servers in Latin America in the first quarter of 2022, so we decided to use all available resources to launch in the United States,” says Artem Skoryi, Senior Business Development Manager at Boosteroid.
When the war started, the company also switched to more urgent priorities: evacuating its staff. The employees relocated to the western regions of Ukraine. A small part of the staff also went to Poland and Romania. Not everyone was able to leave — part of the team remained in the Kharkiv region. Some of them joined the Armed Forces and defended Kyiv, Kharkiv, and other cities at the time, and now serve in the frontline regions.
In the spring of 2022, the developers began deploy Boosteroid servers in the United States remotely. The representatives of the company recall that starting March the engineers performed the work mostly from bomb shelters, basements, or subways in their cities.
“Under such conditions, it was even more challenging to launch in a new market and work in general. On the first day of the full-scale invasion, a team of designers was making a draft of a message about possible service interruptions in the car on the way from Kyiv,” Skoryi recalls.
Entering the US market provided the company with new opportunities: in January 2023, Boosteroid also signed a contract with Google Chromebooks, making the service available on all ChromeOS devices, and with LG, launching the application on LG TVs. In March 2023, Boosteroid also concluded an agreement with Microsoft to make Xbox Game Studios PC games available on its service. All of these deals were made possible by the launch in the US.
With the start of the full-scale invasion, the company also closed access to the service to Russians. There were no Boosteroid servers in Russia until February 2022, but users could still access the site and connect to servers in Ukraine or Europe.
At the beginning of 2023, Boosteroid’s service reached more than four million users. The company estimates that it is among the top 3 cloud gaming providers available in the world. This year, the company wants to upgrade the specification of its hardware to stream 120+ FPS and 4K for users.
After that, the company is going to launch in several more regions, including Latin America, as it had previously planned. For example, Brazil is one of the fastest growing markets for such services, but Brazilian users are currently playing through American servers with over 20ms ping. If the company launches servers in Brazil, the gaming experience of users there will improve.