PayPal, WhatsApp, Solana And More: Projects You May Not Know That Have Ukraine-Born Founders

Ukraine is known as the breadbasket of Europe. The country — second-largest on the continent after Russia — has also produced several notable entrepreneurs through the years.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine brings the latter into sharp focus of the world, here are some people from the country that have made a difference in the realm of technology in recent times.

Jan Koum: WhatsApp, now owned by Meta Platforms Inc FB, was founded by Jan Koum. He was born in Kyiv and grew up in Fastiv and moved to the United States at age 16. 

In 2014, Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 billion in a cash and shares deal, according to a BBC report

See Also: How To Buy Facebook (FB) Shares

Max Levchin: A co-founder of Paypal Holdings Inc PYPL, Max Rafailovych Levchin, was born in Kyiv. Levchin is an early investor in Yelp but has also donned the robes of either a founder or co-founder in Slide.com, HVF Labs and Affirm Holdings, Inc AFRM

Vlad Yatsenko: The founder and chief technology officer of Revolut, a financial technology company that offers banking services, Yatsenko was born in Ukraine but is now a British citizen.

Yatsenko criticized the invasion of Ukraine in a Tweet on Thursday. “I hope, people of Russia will finally realise what a monster and a liar their president Putin is,” he said.

Anatoly Yakovenko: Ethereum ETH/USD rival blockchain network Solana (SOL) labs was co-founded by Anatoly Yakovenko. Yakovenko grew up in Ukraine, while his parents were first-generation immigrants, according to a writeup by Ebiographypost.com.

See Also: 'Glory To Ukraine:' Russian-Born Ethereum Creator Vitalik Buterin Says 'Very Upset By Putin's Decision'

On Thursday, Yakovenko tweeted in relation to the invasion of Ukraine that “‘Sphere of Influence’ is an imperial strategy.”

He warned that there was no limit to how far this sphere of influence will reach. “Call your leaders if you don’t want to eat borscht for the rest of your life,” said Yakovenko.

Illia Polosukhin: The NEAR Protocol (NEAR) co-founder attended the National Technical University "Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute" in Kharkiv, a city bearing the brunt of the Russian attack currently. 

Polosukhin urged his followers to support Ukraine in a Tweet, saying, “Glory to Ukraine!” Separately he tweeted that “violence is never justified.”

Read Next: Here's How Jack Dorsey's Square Fared On The Bitcoin Front In The Latest Quarter

Photo: Courtesy of World Economic Forum via Flickr

Posted In: Jan KoumMax LevchinRussia-Ukraine ConflictUkraineCryptocurrencyNewsTop StoriesMarkets

Visit Benzinga's Crypto Homepage - 1,000,000+ depend on Benzinga Crypto every month