As the war in Ukraine continues, the list of companies cutting ties with Russia grows. It now includes Apple, Nike, Microsoft, Volkswagen, Meta and Boeing.
Max Lytvyn and Alex Shevchenko, the Ukrainian founders of Grammarly, an app that flags clerical errors in emails and other documents, say the company has also suspended services in Russia and Belarus, where the military Putin established a base of his offensives.
But Grammarly goes further in its support. It will “donate all net income generated by Russia and Belarus from the start of the war in 2014 through 2022 to causes supporting Ukraine,” creating a $5 million fund, its founders said. in a press release. Over the past week, Grammarly has already donated $1 million to Ukrainian humanitarian groups.
Lytvyn and Shevchenko wrote that they are “devastated by the war against our home country” and inspired by the resilience and bravery they see, but they also “fear for the safety of the Ukrainian people – including members of our team – who are directly affected by this invasion.
Grammarly was first launched in Kyiv
Lytvyn, Shevchenko and Dmytro Lider founded Grammarly in Kyiv in 2009. The company’s headquarters are now in San Francisco, although it still has offices in Kyiv, as well as New York and Vancouver. only a month ago, Bloomberg Covered the company’s rise in Silicon Valley: After a recent funding round, Grammarly is now worth $13 billion.
Grammarly is also leveraging its AI-based software to support Ukraine. In addition to one Web page listing the ways users can donate, he created an in-product feature that is activated whenever a customer writes about Ukraine. Grammarly’s bot will offer links to resources “for people to learn about the facts of the war and how they can #StandWithUkraine,” the founders said.
Grammarly has given away its premium product for free to trusted media outlets in Ukraine that report on the war in English. “Some Ukrainian media outlets have been quick to set up sites in English to help spread truthful information,” the founders said, “and Grammarly supports their efforts.”
The scramble for employee safety in Ukraine
Grammarly’s top priority during the war was getting its employees and their families to safety, the founders said. He also “shifted critical business responsibilities to team members outside of Ukraine” so Ukraine-based staff could focus on themselves and their families.
One such team member, technical lead Anna Glukhova, recently posted a message on LinkedIn describing life as “hell” in the beleaguered country. Glukhova was already “far away”, she writes, but she heard about attacks on civilians in his native Kharkiv.
“Every morning, after the sleepless night, I start my day by consulting the list of my loved ones to see if they are alive. I do this every half hour, ”she wrote. The minutes during which she waiting for a response “are awful,” she added. “I don’t wish anyone to go through this.”