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50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2022

Ukrainian vendors: Lviv-based Leobit is a true gamechanger, leading country’s growing IT sector from the front

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“The Ukrainian IT sector employs roughly 2, 20,000 people, with 31,000 specialists in Lviv.”

Leobit is a Ukraine-based leading full-cycle web and mobile app development provider. It focuses on .NET, Angular, iOS, Android, Ruby, Flutter, PHP, React, and a comprehensive range of other technologies from the Microsoft, Web, and Mobile Stacks. The company serves clients from around the world.

Leobit was founded in 2014.

The Silicon Review reached out to Leobit’s Lviv headquarters and spoke with Oleksa Stelmakh, founder, who is the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Here’s what he said.

Interview Highlights

Q. As a journalist, I find Leobit quite striking. From the emotional branding standpoint, it has that appeal. How did you come up with the brand name? And please brief us about the history so far.

Launching the company, I wanted to start a brand that would show everything we are about right in its name. Since Leobit is a software development provider, our label includes a ‘bit’, the essential data unit in computing. The first part of the brand name—‘Leo’—stands for the city where the company was established—Lviv. Lviv means the lion's city, named in honor of Leo, the son of Daniel of Galicia. This way, our brand name tells the global community where we are from and what we do.

Setbacks are a part of every growing business. Tell us about a few roadblocks and learning lessons that helped Leobit grow through the years.

Having been in the market for almost a decade, we have gone through many ups and downs, from winning our first clients to going through the Covid crisis and the large-scale Russian invasion. Of course, as the company matures and grows, dealing with challenges gets easier. We have a loyal team and are still going strong.

The first lesson learned is that starting small and growing gradually is better than trying to do everything at once. What do I mean by that? At the start, Leobit primarily focused on .NET, mobile, and web directions based on what our clients requested. We hired only the specialists we needed to supply services to our key partners at that time. As we got more resources, found new projects, and made our name more familiar in the tech industry, Leobit launched new directions and opened new offices.

Another lesson is that you must continuously invest in the development of your team to attract big clients and new talents. The tech industry is changing unbelievably fast. Big projects usually involve more complex and novel technologies. Hence, without supporting the education of team members on the corporate level, you won't be able to complete them.

Q. How skilled is the Leobit team of software engineers? How do they help their clients save budget, increase production capacity, and improve performance?

We have hired over 170 skilled employees, who have delivered 150+ projects with a 98% client satisfaction score. Some of our talents have more than 20-year experience in the tech industry. What does it mean for our clients? First, due to a large talent pool, we can find a software engineer with almost any tech skills and expertise. It saves our clients a bunch of time and money since they don't need to do the recruitment themselves. As to the increased production capacity and performance, companies become more flexible and focused on strategic tasks by outsourcing some or all software engineering processes to Leobit. They don't have to do everything on their own and have a reliable partner to rely on.

Q. What makes your technology platform revolutionary?

We are revolutionary in the way we balance quality software development services, business growth, and employee satisfaction. There are multiple successful startups among Leobit's clients, including launches with 10+ million investments each. We are the #1 .NET and web development company in Ukraine that is steadily growing.

We are also proud of being among the top IT employers in Ukraine and investing in the professional growth of our teammates. Our team retention has less than a 10% turnover rate. For several years, Leobit has gained Microsoft Gold Application Development competency and ISO (27001:2013, 9001:2015) compliance. Now our software engineers are trained to develop software solutions following the leading global standards.

Q. How has Russia's Ukraine incursion impacted Leobit? What are you doing to keep your business afloat in a downturn like this?

Leobit is lucky enough to be located in the Western part of Ukraine, the farthest region from Russia, and thus, the safest one. Since 95% of our employees reside in Lviv, we weren't forced to move our office, unlike many other Ukrainian IT companies.

I want to stress that the incursion began in 2014 in the east of Ukraine when Russia occupied Crimea and part of the Donetsk & Luhansk regions. Back then, we were a much smaller company and already had a plan on what to do in the worst-case scenario. When things started to escalate in the winter of 2022, we facilitated the relocation of all employees to the West of Ukraine. Other than that, we have managed to ensure 100% continuity of our services for our existing and new clients. All projects are being completed as planned without any delays. Our employees work remotely from their laptops while all data is stored in a secure cloud corporate IT infrastructure on US & EU servers.

Of course, Leobit also supports the Ukrainian army by all means. We view it as our contribution to our country's victory that is sure to happen.

Q. Is there anything else you want us to highlight that we might have missed?

I would like to stress that the Ukrainian tech industry sector keeps working and thriving despite all the obstacles.

Ukraine is one of the most dynamically growing European IT sectors. It accounts for around 4% of the nation's global GDP. Ukraine offers the best price-quality ratio for software development services, and that's why companies from around the globe choose us. Working with Ukrainian vendors, the clients get well-educated software engineers with a good level of English language and advanced programming skills. The Ukrainian IT sector employs roughly 2,20,000 people, with 31,000 specialists in Lviv.

During this challenging period of Ukrainian history, we all have gathered forces to continue delivering exceptional services for our clients, thus supporting Ukraine on the military and economic front. In the last four months, we have started six new projects with customers from the US, Canada, and Estonia. Moreover, Leobit has launched a new branch called Leobit Design Studio to provide professional UX/UI services as one of our core directions.

For more information please visit:

https://leobit.com/

“In the last four months, we have started six new projects with customers from the US, Canada, and Estonia. Moreover, Leobit has launched a new branch called https://leobit.design/ to provide professional UX/UI services as one of our core directions.”