Stock Groups

Ukraine crisis hits home for BigCommerce and 106 staffers there


This is a general view of the Russian armored vehicles that were destroyed in Bucha, West Kyiv on March 4, 2022.

Aris Messinis | AFP | Getty Images

If BigCommerceThe global all-hands meeting of executives was held Thursday. They didn’t expect any employees from Ukraine to appear on the screen. The majority of staff members were just trying to get safety, as Russia intensified its attacks on the smaller neighbour.

A half-mile from BigCommerce’s offices, two days before, there was a television station in Kyiv. bombedRussian soldiers and left at least five dead. Employees of the company had already evacuated at that point.

However, the BigCommerce product manger logged in to video chat while she was working from a darkened room at an undisclosed address. Her role was to oversee what Brent Bellm called “the most important launch” in 13-years of company history.

Bellm stated that “there wasn’t an eye dry in the meeting.” She spoke to Bellm in an interview on Thursday. Bellm said that the rest of us felt so inspired by her presence and she was a powerful voice and leader.

This is the Company’s quarterly earnings callBellm spent Monday updating investors with information about the situation. Bellm noted that some workers “have joined military service and taken up arms to defend their country” while others “have been reported being in unsafe places, either inside Kyiv, or outside.”

Ukraine emerged as an important area of technical talent, and is now one the biggest IT markets. outsourcing marketsThe world. U.S. technology companies have included Russia’s invasion Ukraine in their earnings announcements. Vendors of cloud software Snowflake, BoxAnd VeevaEach person has noted the risks, as well. HP Inc.Alternative energy providers Plug Power.

Box was one of many companies that stated in boilerplate language, “the Covid-19 epidemic or the Russian invasion Ukraine” might have an impact on results.

BigCommerce is in a much worse position. Texas-based BigCommerce opened an engineering center at Kyiv for about 8% its employees in 2019. Visit its website jobs pageBigCommerce lists only 20 opportunities in Kyiv, as opposed to 52 listings in Austin, 26 listing in London, and 24 listing in Sydney.

Bellm stated that Ukraine has the best e-commerce engineers in the world. He said, “Ukraine’s workforce is one of the most skilled and competent in the field.” 

Bellm explained that, in spite of the chaos and confusion on the ground Bellm was able to tell the company that an employee called the meeting wanting to give the company an update about multi-storefront. It is a product which allows merchants manage multiple storefronts through a BigCommerce site.

BigCommerce in Kyiv, Ukraine


Bellm stated that she wasn’t going through her relocation or current situation, but she simply gave an update about the product launch. It’s the largest product launch the company has ever seen and the products manager was integral to the success of the event. This was a great opportunity to watch her demonstrate the incredibleness of this product live.

But her coworkers knew she was going through something terrible.

Russia launched its invasionLast week, Ukraine was hit with military attacks on major cities. Despite the strong resistance of Ukrainians, President Vladimir Putin’s troops have been unable to stop the relentless shelling. Over a million people have fled the country.

Bellm spoke out about his employees in Ukraine, saying that “we can’t make peace. We can’t handhold our arms around their hands on the ground.” We can let them know, however, that regardless of what they do their jobs are safe and the company is going to make every effort to keep them safe.

Television distractions

Many are already armed and ready to defend their homeland in the event of an emergency.

Manning stated that employees around the world are making donations to help their colleagues. Employees in Australia and elsewhere are offering their houses.

Manning stated, “Every day we remind them that they are not alone” We tell them that we will do everything to get you.

Bellm also looks into sustainable solutions.

He stated, “I see us opening an offices in Poland some day down the line.” We just want them to know that we are here to support and keep in touch with you, financially or otherwise.

“Most beautiful and innocent thing”

Bellm stated that the invasion was a surprise to his Ukrainian team. They meet monthly and he said that, at the start of February, he was questioning them about why they didn’t worry as U.S. intelligence reports circulated suggesting that Putin might attack.

Bellm said that an invasion was only a ploy. They spoke out in support of Russia, pointing out that they have lived together for many years.

Bellm described the response of employees as “the most innocent and beautiful.” “They just kept saying — ‘We don’t think they’ll attack, we’re a peaceful people.'”

Bellm now tries to reconcile with reality.

He stated, “They’re innocent.” They didn’t provoke it. They attacked these people, and now they are in danger of their lives. We are doing our best and praying for peace. This is every emotion that you can think of. 

There have been challenges in keeping money flowing as the banking and payment system have been interrupted. Manning stated that the company had prepared contingencies.

She said that there was an initial period when we paid in U.S. Dollars, but banks were not allowed to convert the money to local currency. And then, even if employees received their money in local currency they could usually convert it to USD. But that was not the case.

Manning explained that since then they’ve been able obtain dollars. Manning added that the company also offers early access to payroll and provides interest-free loans to those in dire need.

“They’re investing one of the most valuable assets they have in this world, which is a lifetime of accumulated education, work experience, passion, talent,” Bellm said. Bellm stated that they have a duty to return their care and do all we can to make them feel valued.

WATCH: Russia could take Ukraine war to space