Fintech Xsolla continues to operate in Russia, with access to data of Epic Games, Roblox, Valve clients. We spoke with its HRs and employees
Originating from Russia, Xsolla is the US-based FinTech company, working with top clients in the gamedev industry. In June 2022, the company announced in the mass media the liquidation of its Russian subsidiary, Perm-based Xsolla Russia Holding LLC. But, as the editorial office of AIN.Capital has learned, the company did not cease doing business in Russia. Xsolla’s office in Perm continues its operations, employs more than 200 people, and is still hiring. More so, according to information provided by two anonymous sources within the company to AIN.Capital, the company has obtained the status of “an enterprise of special importance” in the Russian Federation.
Moreover, Xsolla continues to provide its payment processing services to its international partners including Valve, Twitch, Roblox, Smite, Ubisoft, team17, Epic Games, Playstudios, Playrix, and their users. By all appearances, this means that the Russia-based employees have access to the huge amount of data of the European and American gamers, who are using the products mentioned above.
AIN.Capital’s editor applied for some Xsolla job openings in Perm and talked to the company’s HR specialist and employees in the role as a potential candidate. Here is what we found out about Xsolla’s activities in Russia.
How it started: Xsolla announced that it was leaving Russia
- Xsolla was founded by Perm native Alexander Agapitov in 2005. On June 9, 2022, the company announced in the mass media the liquidation of its Russian subsidiary, Perm-based Xsolla Russia Holding LLC. The decision to liquidate the office was made on June 2, and director Valentina Chemodanova had been appointed chairman of the liquidation commission. However, at the time, the company hadn’t made any comments regarding the information.
- Before that, on March 17, 2022, Xsolla even donated some funds to the International Red Cross, because the team was “devastated by the conflict in Ukraine”, using the war to promote its recently launched customer support initiative titled “Babka”.
How is it going: Xsolla hasn’t left Russia, it continues to hire there
- However, even in July 2023, Xsolla continued to hire new employees in Russia. At the time, there were 12 vacancies that the company promoted on its LinkedIn, HeadHunter, and social media pages. The jobs weren’t even remote, Xsolla was hiring directly for the Perm office.
- Judging by the job descriptions, Russian employees are involved in the processing of information of Xsolla’s international clients, such as Valve, Twitch, Roblox, Ubisoft, Epic Games, Playrix, and their users.
- Additionally, the position of Junior Tax Accountant posted in July 2023 means that Xsolla continued to pay taxes for the 200+ employees based in Russia. Most likely, the company also pays taxes based on income from international clients, as the Russia IT companies must pay taxes on income regardless of the place where it is generated.
- At the end of August 2023, AIN.Capital talked about Xsolla’s operations in Russia with several people inside the company and those well-informed about it, including some sources in Ukraine. After that, at the beginning of September, the company removed the job positions in Russia from LinkedIn, but we saved screenshots.
- However, according to its LinkedIn page dated September 15, 2023, Xsolla had nearly 240 employees in Perm and other cities in Russia — evidently, the company pays taxes for them that are later used to fund the Russian war.
- In regards to Xsolla’s operations in Ukraine, it’s publicly known that Xsolla invested in DMarket, a Ukrainian company, in 2018 and exited the company at the start of 2023. There is also a legal entity with an identical name in Ukraine — Limited Liability Company Xsolla Ukraine (Xsolla Ukraine Ltd). We can assume that the company also operated and had an office in Ukraine, at least before the war.
- Furthermore, according to information provided by two anonymous sources within the company to AIN.Capital, Xsolla has even been granted the status of an enterprise of special importance by the Russian Federation. This status allows companies to exempt their Russian-based employees from military service. It is important to note that the Russian corrupt state machine makes it impossible to obtain this status without having the “right acquaintances”. Therefore, if our sources are correct, Xsolla’s managing to attain the status of “an enterprise of special importance” suggests close ties with the Kremlin and certain state apparatuses.
AIN.Capital urged Xsolla’s CEO Aleksandr Agapitov to provide commentaries regarding the Perm office and the special status, however, as of now, we haven’t received any feedback.
AIN.Capital’s editor spoke with Xsolla’s HR specialists and employees
In order to make sure whether Xsolla continues hiring people for its office in Russia, AIN.Capital’s editor wrote to the company’s HR specialists and a few employees, trying to find out more to get a job. As it turned out, Xsolla indeed offers the Junior Tax Accountant place in the Perm office.
Good day Elizaveta! Thanks for the quick answer, Ivan wrote to me yesterday that you are not ready to invite me for an interview. I will try to better my experience and skills 🙂 Also, I have a colleague that I can surely recommend to this position, so I wanted to clarify whether the accountant vacancy is exclusively remote or is there an office in Perm?Conversation with Elizaveta Skipina, HR officer at Russian Xsolla.
There is a possibility to work from the office in Perm. Your colleague can apply on our website. We will surely look at the application and provide feedback. Good day to you! Good luck finding a job!
My name is Ivan, and I am the HR manager at Xsolla.
We have received your response regarding the position of Junior Tax Accountant. Unfortunately, at this time, we are not able to invite you for a job interview.
We appreciate every candidate and keep each CV on file. Therefore, we will contact you when new opportunities become available. All our job openings are also posted on our Career Page.Conversation with Ivan Vetrov, HR manager at Russian Xsolla.
Good day Semyon. My name is Roman, and I am a go developer. I noticed that you work at Xsolla. Perhaps you can tell me if the company’s offices in Perm are currently operational and whether it’s possible to work from Russia. I really want to join your team))
Hi Roman! The office in Perm is operational, and the company is currently hiring in Russia, although it’s not a large-scale hiring process. There are also job openings for developers.Conversation with Semyon Dyagelets, Web Developer at Russian Xsolla.
Greetings Anton. My name is Roman, and I am a go developer. I noticed that you work at Xsolla and live in Perm. Could you please tell me if the company’s offices are currently open, and whether it’s possible to work remotely from Russia? I am considering the option to relocate, but if remote work is possible, that would be perfect. I would greatly appreciate your help.
Good day, the office is Perm is open. Here is a list of open job positions with the location specified: https://xsolla.com/careers/vacancies. If you have any questions, it’s better to email the address mentioned on that page.Conversation with Anton Bortnikov, Web Software Developer at Russian Xsolla.
Why it matters?
Due to the full-scale war unleashed by Russia in Ukraine, thousands of international companies left the Russian market. This especially applies to IT companies that try to distance themselves from the terrorist country. However, Xsolla decided to sit on two chairs.
Xsolla continues to position itself as a Western company, apparently it does so to appeal to its clients Valve, Twitch, Ubisoft, Epic Games — and their users. And at the same time, Xsolla continues to work in Perm, Russia, where it processes personal financial data of its customers’ users, hires new employees, and pays taxes. For its 240 employees alone, Xsolla annually pays more than $2.1 million in taxes. Not to mention the income taxes of their world-famous clients. Moreover, the status of the “enterprise of special importance” in Russia is not simply gifted as is.