Ukrainian startup Grammarly supports Ukraine donating all profits from the sale of their services in Belarus and Russia from 2014 to today for charity aid.
From startup to unicorn
Grammarly was founded in Kyiv in July 2009 by:
- Alex Shevchenko,
- Max Lytvyn,
- Dmytro Lider.
The software program itself is furnished by Grammarly, Inc. and is headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Grammarly also has offices in Vancouver, New York City, and Kyiv.
The company released its initial software program as a paid subscription product and an online editor. A goal was to help students with their writing. It helped people learn the basic building blocks of the English language.
The initial successes encouraged the company to hire in 2011 as CEO of experienced businessman Brad Hoover. He transformed the program into a framework, which significantly accelerated the project’s development. Since 2013, it can be used directly from Microsoft Office. From 2015, it automatically corrects basic linguistic and grammatical errors from various search engines such as Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. It led to an absolute explosion of interest in the product.
In 2016, the program became widely known for its undisputed grammatical validation, and articles appeared in LifeHacker and PC World. In 2017, the company received $110M from mutual funds for development, and in 2019 – $90M. Thanks to it, its program was first equipped with a virtual keyboard that could be used on Android and iOS smartphones. Then, it corrected the style of statements in articles, blogs, and e-mails ranging from official to friendly, which users appreciated.
From 2020, the program can also be used by corporations. They can purchase access to Grammarly Business for employees with the Docugami option supporting the creation of business documents. The use of AI mechanisms allows you to correct errors in flight. Just by clicking on one of the hints provided by the virtual assistant. There are also versions for iPad and MS Word, Google Docs, Outlook, and LinkedIn. According to Techradar, its Mac version is one of the best home worker applications for this platform. In turn, application developers can embed the ability to use Grammarly to edit text automatically into their products.
The company currently employs 90 people, mainly in San Francisco. An annual subscription to the Premium version costs $144 per person. But on various occasions, you can take advantage of the multiple discounts that have been offered since 2018. The basic version, which checks grammar, spelling, and punctuation, is provided free of charge. The Premium version also can customize the style, rewrite incomprehensible sentences, and be an anti-plagiarism tool.
Over 20 mln paid subscribers currently use the program, of which 30,000 are corporations. The company was profitable from the very beginning. Its current value is estimated at $4B. The assets of the main shareholder have already exceeded this amount. Initially, the program was intended to support only students of Ukrainian universities. Still, unlike Western universities, it soon turned out they were not very interested in paying a subscription to use it. The company’s purpose has also changed. It no longer supports only those who want to learn to write better in English. But also those who use it in everyday life. The number of daily applications users increased from 1 million in 2015 to 30 million in 2020.
Read more about Grammarly here.
And how Google for Startups helped 58 startups from Ukraine, here.
From the editor: We want to show the Ukrainian IT specialists who fight for the freedom of their country that we are with them. We remember that they are also the creators of many world-renowned achievements. We wish that they could develop them further as soon as possible