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In today’s article, we are going to talk about SaaS-market development in Ukraine and a little bit about its prospects. Indeed, under the current circumstances of the forced transition of all the processes in online due to the pandemic, such products get special attention.
We talk to startups and investors, you get the value.
SaaS (Software as a Service) is a term that has already found its place in the vocabulary of not only hard-boiled geeks but also among the masses. Obviously, there always will remain programs that we use locally on our private computers but all the other services (not websites) that we use in browsers are SaaS-solutions. Historically, one of the first SaaS-solutions was emailing service Gmail that is now predominant on the market. Gmail is not the first post service that was available on the market, although perhaps, with its appearance and all the technological solutions that allowed a person to use the service without constant page reloading (oh, hey, Ajax!), the Saas solution market began its rapid growth on a global scale.
Today it is difficult to imagine an IT-solution that will not be packed in the form of SaaS, although it is impossible to completely get rid of software on computers. Even ChromeOS development by Google where all the software basically consisted only of Chrome Browser, required to be launched locally (here it is important not to mistake it with “thin clients” that don’t launch the software locally, however use it from the server virtually — those are completely different solutions applied in different fields).
Ukraine did not become an exception in Saas development, the first servers here were “mailers” that tried to fill their niche (ukr.net, i.ua and still support their own email systems).
For a long time, the world was dealing with accounting in the old-fashioned way, and in Ukraine, it is worth remembering an online service of “home accounting” with the “direct” name — Homemoney that, although in a semi-abandoned state, but is still existing even though it was launched back in 2008.
If we started talking about money, we can’t forget to mention payment systems, some of which are also examples of Saas solutions (so are the vast majority of all the fintech companies that we mentioned in our previous articles). In Ukraine, the oldest one is Portmone, founded in 2002 (yeah, young Padawans, the Internet already existed at that time).
The review of SaaS-market, which was published in 2019, counted more than a hundred of “cloud” companies in Ukraine. The largest (including the number of attracted investments and many other metrics) are Grammarly (it seems to me that they appear in every our article but “heavy lies the Unicorn’s crown”), and GitLab. Both companies are working on B2B market, as well as the majority of SaaS-companies in Ukraine (according to the research on SaaS-market, almost 70% of companies provide services to other companies).
In Ukraine, SaaS started to grow fast at the beginning of 2010, when besides Grammarly, on the market appeared such companies as MacPaw, DepositPhotos and dozens of other companies. Talking about older ones, in 2012, appeared such companies as eSputnik, TopTechPhoto, Riversoft and Eventssion. Each arose in their own segment: eSputnik deals with mailout, TopTechPhoto team created pics.io projects, which allows collecting all digital photos at one place (for instance, one of the use-cases on their web-site offers brand assets management). Riversoft is a Ukrainian product company, which has created Eventssion — a service for organising events (offline, there were such a couple of months ago) and posters for these events, as well as ntile.wiki — the Ukrainian alternative to Notion.
The further, the better — there were appearing and closing(!) dozens of companies on the market. Some of those that you could hear and use — Ringostat for end-to-end call analytics in call-centres, it’s Google’s official technology partner, Corezoid — it was behind Privat24’s “magic”, and now it’s serving Viber, Glovo, Synevo and dozens of other companies; Poster — a service for automation and accounting in HoReCa, SetApp, which is developed by MacPaw, — it is a cool alternative to the AppStore and offers a subscription model for using paid applications, AxDraft — which we mentioned in our article about the Legaltech market in Ukraine.
Regarding new companies, there are a few which can’t go unmentioned, among them, there are Apiway — a free analogue of Zapier, it allows connecting different services without a programmer, and they are making money on vendors. TalentScan Pro — an AI-solution for IT-recruiters for candidate sourcing. NLSQL allows working without an analyst, it creates database requests and you can receive the information via chat-bot, which trans shapes phrases into requests (for example, “How many Toyota Prius cars were sold in the USA in the previous quarter?”). With this, among partners of the startup, there are SAP, Microsoft and the list of databases, which is in access, is truly amazing: MySQL, MariaDB, Redis, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL, Oracle.
The majority of SaaS-companies are located in Kyiv (more than 56%), which is not surprising as the capital is the main centre of Ukraine, with this being said, Odessa is on the second place (10%), Dnipro is on the third (9%), Kharkiv and Lviv are on the fourth and fifth places with 7% and 6% accordingly.
It is gratifying that these five, although it covers the vast majority of companies, aren’t done at it — the offices of Ukrainian SaaS-companies are located in Chernihiv, Kremenchuk, Mykolaiv, Uzhgorod, Zaporizhzhia, Ternopil and Cherkasy, presenting almost a complete map of Ukraine.
Without any doubt, it would be great to have more food companies to replace auto source giants on the Ukrainian market that is rightly famous for its developers. However, with all that, the rapid growth can’t be expected since every SaaS solution is first of all business, and only then a technology that stands behind it. Unfortunately, serial entrepreneurs that would create their products in Ukraine can be counted on fingers. We do hope that the new generation (post-coronavirus?) will be more “hungry and crazy” to make their products in Ukraine.