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YouTeam’s statement: this is our war

Business is never done for its own sake. There is always a higher-level goal. Sometimes it is done for financial security, sometimes it is done for egoistic ambitions. But it can also be done for freedom or a desire to make the world a better place. 

YouTeam started with a higher goal in mind too: contribute to building a world without borders. But nineteen days ago, the world has changed⁠—and this means that all our previous plans, objectives, and agendas have to be revised. 

So now we have a new mission: help our country win this war.

Until this existential goal is achieved⁠—all further, longer-term strategy is put on hold. 

Most of our 35 team members are Ukrainian. On top of that, about a half of software engineers employed through YouTeam are Ukrainian too. This is what makes it personal. For YouTeam, there will be no business as usual until it is safe again in Ukraine. 

Being mission-oriented today means the following things for us:

1. Volunteering becomes an essential part of our work. 

Volunteering is no longer some extra activity on top of our business. It is our business. That is why we treat all volunteer activities of our employees as equal to their core job activities and compensate for 100% of them. This includes fundraising for relevant NGOs, helping refugees, purchase and delivery of supplies, translations of news and communications work, and more. We will also actively encourage our team members to volunteer and work together on company-wide volunteer initiatives. More on this⁠ below.

2. We focus on helping at the individual level.

We have one initiative that we particularly care about: a father of one of our teammates is currently on the front-line, defending Ukraine’s capital Kyiv. We are working to equip his entire platoon with everything they need to ensure their survival in combat: from body armor and helmets to thermal scanners and radio transmitters.

3. Profits will be reinvested with Ukraine in mind.

We are lucky to have built a profitable company. But what are our profits for, if not to achieve the higher goal of your business? That’s why we have already donated over 1,000,000 UAH to support Ukrainian troops, refugees, and civilians. We also pledge to keep donating 50% of the company’s net profit every month for the same causes. 

Why not 100%? Because there is another way for us to be useful. See below.

4. We grow our business to help Ukraine better.

Every month, the Ukrainian economy receives over half a million dollars via its business with YouTeam. This money is vital to providing hundreds of Ukrainian engineers and their families with financial security⁠—which is of vital importance today. We are reinvesting the remaining 50% of our profits to further grow this figure. To make sure this effort first and foremost benefits Ukraine, we decided to completely waive the platform fee on all new contracts that hire Ukrainian developers.

Update: Our decision to waive the platform fee was aimed at giving Ukrainian developers a competitive edge. However, over time, we’ve observed that many global companies opt for Ukrainian talent not merely for the cost advantage, but because they genuinely appreciate their exceptional expertise and are eager to stand in solidarity with Ukraine. Inspired by this profound support, as of September 2023, we’ve reintroduced the platform fee, with every cent being channeled directly into Ukrainian charities. Now, when companies hire Ukrainian developers via YouTeam, they’re not only accessing world-class talent but also making a profound impact on the welfare of the Ukrainian community.

5. Divestment in Russia. 

And, of course, we have terminated every relationship with Russian service providers. We did it before the invasion started. We have also ended relationships with Belarusian service providers after the attack.

I want to say separate thanks to our clients⁠—who have shown tremendous support since the very first days of the war. Despite the apparent risk of work being interrupted by the need for engineers in Ukraine to relocate, volunteer, or serve in the military, not a single YouTeam client asked to replace Ukrainian engineers with those from another country. In fact, we experienced the opposite: some of them offered to pay for several months in advance, while others are raising money for Ukraine on their own. One company CEO moved to Poland to be able to help the families of developers that decided to relocate.

I am humbled by how lucky we are to work with such tremendous people. 

Our clients continuously inspire us and strengthen our confidence that victory for Ukraine is inevitable. 

We go to war for Ukraine not only because the survival of our country is at stake. We go to war for Ukraine because this is a war for the values that we at YouTeam hold dear: freedom, progress, and the right of every person to decide their destiny. This is what inspired us to start this business all the way back. 

Until Ukraine wins this war—this is the mission, vision, and unifying purpose of YouTeam.

Russian warship, go fuck yourself!

Слава Україні! 🇺🇦

Check out the YouTeam founder’s blog to learn why unjustified violence and attempts by the strong to take from the weak not only threaten democracy but also inhibits entrepreneurship, development of new technologies, and progress of all humanity.

Learn more about how tech companies worldwide are helping the government and businesses in Ukraine continue operations—visit our Twitter thread.

If you’re interested in joining the fight to save Ukraine, here are some ways you can do it.

Written by
Yura Riphyak

Yura Riphyak is the CEO at YouTeam.

A serial entrepreneur, Yura has founded 4 companies since 2010, with 1 successful exit. Before starting YouTeam, Yura co-founded - a “Twitter for Voice”.
Yura is also an LSE-graduate in Economics, mentors a number of startups and teaches a crash-course on business modelling in several universities.

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