Sergey Tokarev: Success of Grammarly changes Ukrainian investors’ perception about startups and IT

Sergey Tokarev: Success of Grammarly changes Ukrainian investors’ perception about startups and IT

The world has witnessed a full-fledged startup panic since the word ‘startup’ appeared at all. Back then, ordinary housewives woke up as millionaires while billionaires woke up as millionaires. Sergey Tokarev, the Roosh founder and a prominent IT investor, said that the Ukrainian IT sector has developed its startup ecosystem without these ups and downs. In 2000, ‘startup’ was an alien world in Ukraine and investors were not serious about investing in this sector, but after the mid-2000s, the technological development started in this country.

The first step taken by Ukraine related to IT development was to supply IT specialists to the world. These specialists worked in various European and US IT firms. They got huge recognition as IT developers and programmers there. The country has millions of business-minded people with revolutionary ideas in their minds. The world has realized the potential of Ukrainian developers and programmers in the field of IT. 

Grammarly, a renowned software company, has overcome various big companies in terms of market capitalization. The market cap of Grammarly is currently mounting around $13 billion. Sergey Tokarev said, “But we should not forget that Lytvyn and Shevchenko launched their project back in 2009. Why have we raised only one tech giant in 12 years?” It is an important question asked by the IT investor to highlight the challenges faced by Ukraine in terms of IT development. One of the main reasons behind no other Ukrainian tech giants in 12 years is the lack of investors’ interest in startups and technology. 

However, the success of Grammarly project changed the mindset of investors in Ukraine as they have now started to take this sector seriously. They have now started thinking of creating and implementing selling ideas in Ukraine apart from importing them. Sergey Tokarev added, “We have full-fledged venture funds, and investors are in constant search of their unicorns. This motivates creative minds to do what they were created for—generating ideas, products, and technologies. This is very encouraging.” The speed and rate of development of the Ukrainian IT sector support this statement. However, a lot more work is needed to be done to ensure developmental stability and growth. 

The further development of the Ukrainian IT sector is dependent on two important factors including the role of investors and modern technological education opportunities for youth. In terms of investors’ role, they have to create an IT community to share ideas and resources. Sergey Tokarev appreciates some of the efforts made in this regard, “Recently, the founder of Concord Capital and my good friend Igor Mazepa has announced the creation of the Mazepa Awards prize for investors. The award is extremely valuable for shaping a full-fledged technological culture in Ukraine.”

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