Making It Easy to Learn Languages Online. The Founder Story of Promova

Interview with the CEO, Andrew Skrypnyk

Ucha Vekua
Startup Adventures International
7 min readFeb 18, 2024


Let’s face it — learning new languages can be challenging at times. Creating a platform that helps other people learn different languages is even more challenging.

The Promova team is building an online language learning tool tailored to users’ needs. Through their platform, users can get a study plan and improve their language skills with the unique personalization approach they have.

Promova team

We had a chance to interview the CEO & Co-founder of Promova, Andrew Skrypnyk. The conversation was very interesting — we talked about their solution, founder story, and the challenges he had to go through to grow this company at scale.

Here’s what we talked about:

Tell Us About Promova — How Would You Describe Your Solution in the Simplest Way?

Simply put, Promova is a one-stop solution for all your language learning needs.

But the solution has evolved a lot — if we go back to 2019, Promova wasn’t a full-circle platform for learning languages. We started it as a simple flashcard mobile app, which was initially named Ten Words.

The idea was really simple — every day, users could learn 10 words of their choice with the help of flashcards.

To be honest, this concept was never our true vision for the product. We aimed to create a unicorn in the language learning industry and a sustainable business that will outlive us.

As time passed, we saw requests for a more holistic development approach and understanding of the complexity of language learning, and we started filling the app with different types of lessons to help people master total language skills and increase memorization.

Summer 2022 became a period when the product went under some major changes. First, we changed our name to Promova. Promova is a Ukrainian word that means “speech” or “about the language” when broken into two words — “pro mova.”

As a Ukrainian-founded product, we decided to go with this name to honor our Ukrainian roots, support our fellow Ukrainians, and express enormous gratitude to Ukrainian defenders who have been fighting against Russian aggression.

So, as you can see, the only way to introduce Promova is to list all the tools available for our users.

Is Promova a language-learning app? Yes, but there is more to it. Is Promova a language tutoring platform? Yes, but there is more to it. Is Promova a space to practice speaking English? Yes, but there is more to it.

What Are the Biggest Problems That Your Platform Is Solving, and For Whom?

The biggest pain for language learners around the world still is the inability to find an effective tool that will actually help them master the language instead of just playing around with the content inside and receiving some badges.

We created Promova for goal-oriented and personalized learning. Those are the two vital principles on which we are building our product.

Goal orientation means that we adopt our self-learning courses and tutoring programs to each user’s goals.

Personalization partially comes from goal orientation but isn’t limited to it. Everybody is different, so it’s no wonder we seek different things when deciding to learn a new foreign language.

Also, at Promova, we don’t just teach language mechanics but also provide insight into the history, customs, conventions, and traditions of the cultures where the languages are spoken.

We’re certain that when people understand other cultures and perspectives, they are less likely to make assumptions, spread stereotypes, and discriminate against those who are different from themselves.

Let’s Talk About the Founder Story. How Did You Start Promova?

I believe everyone has at least one itch that just needs to be scratched. Mine was to create an effective language learning solution after years of experiencing not the best English lessons at school.

Unfortunately, back in the day, English in Ukraine wasn’t taught very well. People didn’t really understand why they needed to learn it and what value there was in knowing it.

So, as a kid in school, I struggled to find an effective method to learn languages. I saw that the school system wasn’t designed to help students learn a language and use it in real life.

On the other hand, I spent years learning and building expertise in different fields to become an entrepreneur.

I’ve been actively studying how different components contribute to a business’s success and grew my expertise in product strategy, marketing, finance, etc., through different job experiences I’ve had.

By the end of university, I was the CTO of Concepter, an award-winning design and product development studio, where I led the software development of iblazrs — the first product in Ukraine to raise 1 million USD on Kickstarter.

Once I had the knowledge to launch my own business, I created Promova. Our team originates from Genesis — one of the most prominent players in the Ukrainian tech market.

Tell Us About Your Current Team. How Big Is Promova?

Our team includes 120+ lifelong learners passionate about languages, including philologists, professional educators, and language learning advocates working from Ukraine, Europe, and the US.

Interesting fact — 70% of Promova’s managers (Leads, Heads, and C-level) are women.

Initially, the core team was all Ukrainian tech and non-tech professionals. But in 2022, we started hiring internationally. I believe that people with different mentalities can bring a lot of value to product development and help us understand the needs of as many users worldwide as possible.

Regarding the e-learning team, which creates self-learning courses, and the tutoring team, which provides individual and group lessons, you can be sure they both include only professional certified linguists, some of whom are native speakers.

What Were the Biggest Challenges to Grow Your Company Until Now?

The biggest challenges I had as an entrepreneur were to build a product from scratch, adapt it to the growing needs of our users, and bring it to the worldwide market using only the expertise and experience of Ukrainian specialists.

Fortunately, I managed to successfully overcome these challenges. Speaking of achievements, I would like to highlight two of the most prominent ones for Promova. First is building a solid team of 120 people that makes the business work and grow.

The second is to transform the product from a simple vocabulary app into a one-stop platform that provides different tools for personalized and goal-oriented language learning, available to all Ukrainians for free as part of the national program Future Perfect.

It is important to note that since the launch of the program, 100,000+ Ukrainians started learning languages with Promova.

Currently, I’m working on transforming Promova into a multichannel business that operates not only online but also offline, which is also challenging.

What Are the Future Milestones and Objectives That Your Team Is Trying To Reach?

As with any ambitious business, Promova has short-term and long-term business goals.

Some of the company’s short-term goals include building more partnerships with other online businesses to increase revenue, launching our first offline partnerships, and increasing international hiring.

On a more long-term scale, the leadership team is working to make Promova a leading global provider of personalized language learning solutions with 5x our current ARR.

We aim to make Promova a leader in global education online and offline worldwide, and that goal includes any subject you can imagine — not only language learning.

At the end of the day, everything we do as a business converges toward a common goal — to become an absolute leader in personalized language learning.

What Would Be Your Advice to Every Up-And-Coming Founder Who Wants to Start Their Journey in the Startup World?

Firstly, the best-case scenario is to do exactly what you are passionate about. So when you’re looking for an idea for a project, have a strategy session with yourself and dig deeper into yourself.

A great idea is born when you manage to find that unique balance between your desires, the needs of your potential users, and your business goals.

Second, no matter how brilliant your idea may seem, it is still worth conducting market analysis. You need to understand whether there is room for new players and what potential profit your business can bring you.

Third, only work with people you trust. Most likely, you will start your business with limited human resources. That’s why it’s important to find co-founders who believe in your idea so much that they are willing to invest maximum time and energy in the initial stages.

To Sum Up

I’d like to say thanks to Promova’s founder, Andrew Skrypnyk, for finding time and giving us this insightful interview about their startup journey.

Their team is tackling an interesting challenge, and I’m very excited to see how their solution develops over time. Thank you!

Ucha Vekua



Ucha Vekua
Startup Adventures International

A Creative Mind — Sharing my experiences and Startup Adventures 🚀