List of Daedalus: 25 CTOs of Ukrainian IT
What do Adam Messinger, Sri Shivananda, and Werner Vogels have in common? Most likely, you have never heard their names. But you’ve definitely heard of Dorsey, Schulman, and Bezos. In fact, the first three worked on the same products as the second, only in the role of CTOs. But TechCrunch or Bloomberg doesn’t write about them (with super rare exceptions). Most of us only learned Parag Agrawal’s name when he was promoted from CTO to CEO of Twitter shortly before the deal with Musk. Their place is in conferences and podcasts for developers. And these are Tier 1 companies. What could we say about the rest?
You don’t have to look far to see that CEOs of hundreds of product IT companies are celebrities, and CTOs seem generally unknown in Ukraine. AIN.Capital has made a list of powerful Ukrainian CTOs, naming it in honor of the legendary engineer and architect Daedalus.
Important. This list is not the rankings. Evaluating CTOs by the number of employees or revenue per developer needs to be revised and conclusive, and existing methods of measuring productivity for creative and engineering professions, even internal ones, still wish to be better.
The first version of the list includes specialists working for companies operating in Ukraine and focused on global markets and those who have become part of large international technology groups after M&A and have kept their connection with Ukraine.
Dmitry Melkov, СІО at Megogo
Megogo is an OTT/VOD service founded in 2011. In 2021, it had $40 million in revenue, despite losing half of its paid subscribers due to the Russian invasion in 2022, and plans an IPO in 2-3 years.
Maksym Puhach, CTO at monobank
monobank is the largest neobank, established in 2017, had 4.4 million customers and $3.7 million in net profit per month in 2021 —7.5 million clients as of 2023.
Vitalii Kharytonskyi, CTO at Prom.ua
Prom.ua is the largest marketplace, part of the EVO group along with other e-commerce products Bigl.ua, Kabanchik.ua, Shafa.ua, IZI.ua. In 2021, Kaspi.kz was going to buy Prom with the online store Rozetka for over $1 billion. Due to the war, no deal was made, and Prom cut 30% of its staff. However, at the end of 2022, the company recovered and increased its turnover by 50%.
Dmytro Liatambur, CTO at Liki24
Liki24 is a drug reservation and delivery service. The company has raised $6 million in investments and has over one million users.
Eugene Genov, CTO at Kyivstar.Tech
Kyivstar.Tech is an IT department of the largest Ukrainian telecom operator, Kyivstar, was separated into a standalone company in 2022. The company is known to be developing My Kyivstar self-service, Hoverla digital catalog, IVR service for JET contact centers, and the ADWISOR advertising ecosystem.
Oleksii Panasiuk, CTO at Zakaz.ua
Zakaz.ua is a grocery delivery service founded in 2010. In 2021, Glovo planned to buy the company, with an estimated value of $80 million, but the war changed the plans.
Sergiy Medvedyev, CTO at TemaBit
IT solutions developer for one of the largest Ukrainian retailers, Fozzy Group, which includes Silpo, Fora, Ringoo, and Thrash!.
Vira Tkachenko, CTO at MacPaw
MacPaw is a developer of utilities, mainly for the Apple ecosystem, the most famous of which is CleanMyMac, which had over 20 million downloads in 2020. Other products include Gemini, ClearVPN, and Setapp. The estimated company’s revenue in 2020 was $80 million.
Dmytro Bielievtsov, CTO at Respeecher
Respeecher is an AI-startup enabling one person to speak in the voice of another particular person. Used in Hollywood, including the Star Wars franchise for Darth Vader’s and Luke Skywalker’s voices for The Mandalorian. The company has attracted $1.5 million in investments so far.
Andrew Surzhynskyi, CTO at Restream
Founded in 2014, the company has grown from a platform for gamers into a streaming service that allows simultaneously streaming videos to 30+ platforms. The company has raised about $55 million in investments and has 600 million monthly viewers.
Konstantin Vaganov, CTO at RevenueGrid, formerly InvisibleCRM
RevenueGrid is an automation and AI support platform for sales teams’ full-cycle decision-making. Raised $21.5 million in investments.
Nazim Suleimanov, CTO at Jooble
Jooble is a job aggregator founded in 2006 in Kyiv. In 2019, annual revenue amounted to about $18 million. In 2021, they worked in 67 countries and were the second largest after Indeed.
Volodymyr Mikhalko, CTO at Influ2
The developer of a SalesTech solution allows showing ads to specific people. The project was launched in the summer of 2017 and attracted $11.4 million in investments by 2023.
Alexander Timoshenko, CTO at Tonti Laguna
A venture studio that serially launches and promotes business projects in Western markets. Currently, the company’s portfolio includes 5 businesses and 200 content projects, which are visited by more than 20 million users every month.
Oleksandr Shyshkovtsov, CTO at 4a Games
Founded in 2005, 4a Games is one of the two AAA game developers in Ukraine, the most famous of which are the Metro 2033 series, Metro: Last Light, Metro Redux, and Metro Exodus. In 2020, the company raised more than $10 million from Tencent.
Ivan Zaparovanyi, CTO at DressX
The platform allows users to dress in digital garments in photos, videos, and AR. Raised $19.2 million in 2023.
Alex Bredikhin, CTO at SOC Prime
SOC Prime is a platform for collective cyber defense, with 8,000 customers, 42% of which are from the Fortune 100 and 21% from the Forbes Global 2000 list. It has $11 million in investments as of 2023.
Eugene Naydenov, CTO at Competera
Competera is a developer of e-commerce pricing automation technology. Raised $4.3 million in investments.
Olexander Neskin, CTO at Petcube
Petcupe is a company developing hardware gadgets for pet owners. Since its founding, the company has raised investments of $14 million.
Dmytro Voloshyn, CTO at Preply
Preply is a tutor search platform that connects tutors and students from 190 countries. The company has raised almost $100 million in investments in ten years.
Taras Berezovskyi, CTO at Allset
This marketplace allows booking tables, ordering food in restaurants, paying bills, etc. Since its founding in 2015, it has raised $16.6 million. The company cooperates with over 8,000 restaurants in Ukraine and the US.
Vlad Pranskevičius, CTO at Let’s Enhance
Let’s Enhance is developing Claid, an end-to-end AI-powered image processing platform that helps marketplaces automatically edit, optimize, and deliver user-generated content. The platform has five million users and has raised $3.1 million in investments in 2023.
Viktor Sdobnikov, CTO at Apostera
The company has created a mixed reality technology for automotive that projects navigation onto the windshield, e.g., in the Audi e-tron Q4. In 2022, the company was bought by HARMAN, part of the Samsung group, for an amount that could reach $50 million.
Igor Osipiants, CTO at Depositphotos
Depositphotos is a photo content marketplace. In 2021, the company was sold to VistaPrint for $85 million.
Dmitriy Schedov, СТО DMarket
DMarket is a blockchain marketplace for selling virtual assets. According to the AIN.Capital estimates, DMarket’s annual revenue was between $3.2 million and $3.7 million in 2022. Since its founding, it has raised $26 million in investments and was sold to Mythical Games in 2023 for an amount ranging from $80 to $100 million.
Although CTOs have significantly longer tenure than their subordinates, many companies have had some changes in the team over the past year and a half. LinkedIn said Andrian Budantsov, CTO at Readdle, left the company after 15 years. Alexander Solovyov, CTO at ModnaKasta, left after seven years. Valentin Abalmasov, CTO at Plarium, has resigned after 12 years. On the eve of the invasion, Yuri Gaidoba, CTO at Solid, left the company after six years. Igor Drozd, CTO at Epicentr M resigned after two years. CTOs left during this period for new positions as developers (not even TeamLeads) or co-founders of startups.
However, there are different scenarios. So, YouScan CTO Leonid Lytvynenko, one of its first developers, got promoted to CEO. And Autodoc CTO Dmitry Zadorozhny has become a co-CEO after 12 years. Co-founder and CTO of Uklon, Vitalii Diatlenko, stepped down from the operational management of the IT department and is now looking for a new CTO. However, this is the third attempt in the last four years.
Uklon is one of many companies hiring. As the founder of the VPTeam Vika Prydatko notes, the demand for the last six months has been up to 10 vacancies of CTO per month. Also, according to Prydatko, on average, a third of these vacancies are not published anywhere. As of September 1, 2023, there are eleven CTO job openings in Ukraine on DOU, Djinni, Recruitika, and other job sites. Various recruiting agency estimates show up to two dozen more looking for a job privately. In addition, there are up to ten opportunities for Head of Engineering, Director of Development, and CIO; the latter’s functionality varies greatly in descriptions—from a classic CTO to the director of an IT department in a land-based business or a Chief Analyst for a product. So you can count about three dozen vacancies for CTO at the same time. However, it is still a common practice in a company with no drama to choose a CTO from its IT department.
The text was prepared by Kateryna Kovtun and Ilya Boshnyakov