HomeOther StuffBacked by VCs, this design company is bolstering the front lines in...

Backed by VCs, this design company is bolstering the front lines in Ukraine

As bombs continue to rain down on Kyiv, O0 Design is one of the many local companies who endures the onslaught not only to fight for the survival of the business but for the future of their own country, by donating half of its profits to the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

When the war broke out, many Ukrainian businesses resisted shutting their operations to continue working to support their people and their economy, without waiting for help. 

“With the first explosions, the business matrix stopped mattering — owners, managers, employees, or consumers — they all became the people,” says Illia Krupenikov, O0 Design GM. “For many company owners, shutting their doors would mean letting people down in the worst possible moment.” 

Help started to arrive as international organizations and foreign nations provided significant support to Ukraine, from aid to military assistance. Among the most beneficial initiatives has been developing business partnerships between Ukrainian and foreign companies.  

One of those partnerships was forged between O0 Design and One Way Ventures. O0 Design is an award-winning, full-stack cloud design studio that prioritizes high-impact projects. One Way Ventures is a US-based VC firm backing exceptional immigrant founders. It was founded by Semyon Dukach, a Ukrainian-American who came to the US as a child refugee in 1979. Semyon also recently launched the fund Cash for Refugees for Ukrainians affected by the war.

O0 Design is supporting the country’s fight for freedom and sovereignty by donating half of its profits to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. One Way Ventures hopes to make a difference and contribute to Ukraine’s cause via their collaborations.

The two companies began partnering in 2020. One Way Ventures found that O0 Design was a great partner for helping many of its portfolio companies rebrand and get a new look. What started as a simple business relationship gradually became a partnership, as more portfolio companies said O0’s service and design were outstanding. Finally, in Q1 of 2023, One Way Ventures did its own rebranding with O0 Design. 

“We’re honored to be able to support Ukrainian businesses in times of crisis, and to have seen several of our portfolio companies also collaborate with O0 Design, including a digital fashion startup led by two Ukrainian women, DRESSX,” says Masha Levin, Entrepreneur in Residence at One Way Ventures. “We love our new website, and it’s important to us that we’re also supporting Ukraine’s cause in a way only private businesses can.”

“We believe that the economy wins wars. And we know how to help innovative companies drive the economy. We make them grow, and they help us win this war,” says Illiya Krupenikov.

O0 Design is a remote company with a third of its employees in Kyiv and others dispersed around Europe. The agency spun out of a tech startup, meaning they have inbuilt experience in product design and branding. The team works with both physical and digital design, specializing in branding, user experience, and video production. 

As the war in Ukraine continues, O0 Design is committed to supporting the country’s armed forces and contributing to their ultimate victory. “The easiest way for foreign businesses to support Ukraine is to partner with Ukrainian companies, to buy Ukrainian products and show a united global front,” says Illia Krupenikov.

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Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo
Stefano De Marzo is the Head of News at EU-Startups. He has been extensively covering startups, venture capital and innovation ecosystems, including contributions to numerous publications such as Sifted, Entrepreneur and Forbes. Through his work as an editor and writer, he continues to shape the narrative surrounding the best stories of the tech world.

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