Since February 24, 2022, more than 20% of small and medium-sized businesses in Ukraine have had to close, and another 28% are on the verge of closing. A survey conducted by Tech Ukraine revealed that 90% of Ukraine's tech startups require financial assistance, even though the country had a flourishing tech scene with more than 2000 startups before the war.
What is Stripo
Stripo is a Ukrainian startup, an all-in-one email design platform that lets you build high-quality emails fast with little to no coding skills. Nowadays, we have 787,000 customers worldwide. We are technical partners of Google AMP, Amazon, Mailchimp, AWeber, HubSpot, and more.
How the war affected our company
Stripo is one of our four products. And the war affected each of them differently.
When the war started, we did not need to drastically change the processes in our team as we are an online product with clients from all over the world. On the first day of the full-scale war, we decided to break off any business relations with clients from the Russian Federation. We stopped accepting payments from them.
Honestly, we expected a financial downturn. However, we were surprised that not only did the financial flow not decrease, but it increased slightly. On the eve of the full-scale war, we modified the company's pricing policy, and the average check increased by almost 10%. As a result, the fact that we stopped working with customers from Russia did not affect Stripo in any way.
However, for example, our other product eSputnik, an omnichannel CDP, suffered significant losses because its primary market was Ukraine and Russia. eSputnik also stopped working with Russian clients, started supporting other Ukrainian companies offering free services. So, Stripo had to support eSputnik financially.
How we fight for victory
When Russia invaded Ukraine, we immediately created free war email templates for our users. These emails contained real photos of bombed-out houses and suffering people. We launched an email campaign that asked our clients to share this information with the world, support the Ukrainian army with donations, and help in any way they could.
We've been providing humanitarian aid from the first day of the full-scale war. Our goal is to ease the suffering of those affected by the conflict and help them rebuild their lives. Also, some of our colleagues joined the Armed Forces.
Life and safety of the team
95% of our company lived and worked in the Dnipro before the full-scale war, the city not far from the front line. The situation was tense even a few weeks before the full-scale invasion. Therefore, we took all willing team members from Dnipro to the west of Ukraine or outside the country even before February 24.
We managed to avoid a reduction of staff across all products. We temporarily transferred some employees from our other products, such as eSputnik, to Stripo. By now, they have all returned to their permanent projects.
Now, our offices in Ukraine are equipped with Starlinks and generators to guarantee trouble-free work among those staying in Ukraine. Our main strength is our people. Thanks to the dedication of our employees, we have managed to retain customers.
Solutions to keep the business running
Most of the clients were afraid that we would not be able to work thoroughly and ensure the uninterrupted operation of the platform due to the war in our country.
Customers store a lot of important information in their Stripo accounts. They regularly send many emails to their subscribers, prepare templates, etc. That is a huge amount of work. And, of course, no one wants to lose it. Email is an important and effective communication channel because 70% of clients prefer it.
We worked a lot with all clients and even contacted some of them individually. We explained that our company's servers are in a secure place. Our support department and developers are also located in relatively safe cities in Ukraine and Europe. So the basic needs of customers, such as maintenance of operational efficiency of the service, timely assistance, and fixing of technical errors, we could manage.
Stripo in numbers
But even as Russian missiles rained down, Stripo grew its business. Our numbers in January 2023 in comparison with the same period in 2022:
Revenue per month — $366,829 (+71%)
MRR — $312,636 (+71%)
Users — 787,514 (+71%)
Team members — 69 (+69%)
Investments — 0
We even managed to launch our new product Claspo. We planned to do it in February, but we postponed the release to spring due to the war. And it did happen.
We made a valuable conclusion for ourselves: a product with a global market is much more stable and reliable.
Plans for the future
None of us in wartime can know where we will be tomorrow and what we will do. However, our professional plans are still ambitious and huge. We want to release all the new functions at the set time.
But we understand that if enemy troops move west from Donetsk, north from Kherson and Zaporizhzhia to Dnipro, or even occupy our city, many of us will have to leave Dnipro.
The safety and health of our colleagues are a priority for us. Therefore, we also consider this possibility. But we hope for the best because we believe in our Armed Forces.
This article is part of Tech.eu's highlighting of remarkable Ukrainian startups on the one-year anniversary of the Russo-Ukrainian War. Read more ...