Four years ago I was thinking of moving to the US, because it is the biggest IT market. However, I travelled a lot and realised that my home is in Ukraine, because my people live here
I am confident that in the next few decades a very potent cultural renaissance awaits Ukraine
Going through this path in a company, you start to understand that there are no limits for growth. All of the limitations are in your head. That's why we always ask ourselves and each other: "What else can we do? Why haven't we done it yet?"
Reface proved that in Ukraine, you could create cool products that will be famous around the world. We proved that not only in the center of all entertainment Los Angeles, or in technological San Francisco, but also in Ukraine there are people who can do astonishing things in deep tech (classification of organisations, usually startups, with a clear goal to create technological solutions). We show that when technology combines with creativity–magic happens.
Reface is not only about business and money: we support projects such as STEM is Fem (educational project dedicated to the promotion of STEM specialities like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics among girls) about women, protecting animal rights with UAnimals (Ukrainian humanist animal rights movement). Our 'live' murals (with the new Swap Animation feature, a number of Kyiv murals were brought to life; they performed different songs, such as 'Noise' Go-A, 'Kyiv Waltz'). This project primarily aimed to deliver ideas in a new, creative way. At least once a quarter, we are trying to do these kinds of projects not for financial benefits, but with the purpose of providing social value.
I have lived by myself since I was 18. My parents supported me in this decision. A circle of like-minded people at university played a crucial part in the shaping of my personality. As a person, who works in finance, consulting, and venture investments in startups, I've been greatly influenced by creative people and the cultural environment. Today on the one hand my job consists of calculating risks and analysing market changes, and on the other, of the creative people with the lion's share of adventurism. This combination works for the Reface team, attracting new team members and partners.
The desire has led Reface to success is not to obey rules, but to find patterns in which there's always room for creativity. A startup is not easy money. And if we wanted to follow the usual path of "find a problem and create a solution", perhaps, we would not have succeeded. But we had visionary thinkers who believed in the idea that had no analogs on the market.
Now, we are at the most fascinating stage of development. Reface is the only Ukrainian project that has grown so much within one year in the industry that didn't exist before. A year ago, our team consisted of around twenty people, and now we are two hundred.
People are the best teachers, your connection with the future and the present. For me, the main rule of business and life is to believe in people and love them
A startup is always about endless faith and love for people. It is vitally important to have your own circle of like-minded people who would support you in any unexpected situation
Ukraine has significant intellectual and social capital. Foreign partners of Reface always notice how many smart and educated people there are in Ukraine. Most of them were able to leave the country, but they chose to stay and work here even at the most turbulent times.
At first, some people didn't understand why and for whom we created Reface. We answered that it is a new level of personalisation, a different level of content perception, something people didn't have access to before we appeared on the market. This screenshot is proof of the worldwide recognition: on the 31st of August in 2020, Reface became a number one application at the US AppStore, it outran TikTok and Instagram, Netflix, and Amazon. And this happened during the pandemic. Even a year before, nobody could imagine this happening. This image is a symbol of change. It proves that everything is possible. Nowadays, we understand that there are no limitations in Ukraine and in the whole world. For me and my team, it is a symbol of faith in what we do, and that we need to keep going.
I am a patriot of the place where I live. The most valuable thing here is communities and people, because they are the ones who motivate us to achieve goals and to fight. Yes, we still have some problems with communication in the country, but it is the communities that teach and show how to consolidate around common goals and interests. Just remember the uplift and unity that people felt when Ukraine reached the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup in 2006. The incredible energy of involvement and unity. Khreshchatyk was filled with sublime people and symbols.
Independence Day has a sacred meaning not because of the date but because of the people who have believed in their country for thirty years. We all do our own things, but if there is a threat to the country, to the lives and liberties of our loved ones–we come out and change everything.