We are saddened and heartbroken by the horrific acts of violence and loss of life that continue to unfold in Ukraine. We stand in solidarity with all of those directly impacted in the region, including our Rocket.Chat employees, family, and friends.
With the war continuing to unfold, our first order of business has been to support our employees on the ground. We’ve been very focused on this priority, maintaining constant contact, and working with our team to find ways to provide assistance or relief to them and their loved ones.
As the war extends, we’ve been grappling with the commercial dimension of how we should respond as a business. As with all other US-based companies, we are closely tracking and strictly complying with all US sanctions. Beyond that, we’ve decided to take an unconventional approach to the situation – to do something that can meaningfully contribute to the humanitarian cause on the ground in Ukraine. As CEO, I wanted to explain why we think this approach makes sense for Rocket.Chat, our employees most affected by the war, and our global team and community.
The list of international companies that still do business in Russia continues to shrink. McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and Apple are among some of the big-names who have recently announced a temporary shut down of operations in the region.
Rocket.Chat, like many other global businesses, has employees and customers in Russia and Ukraine. What’s unique about us, as an open source platform, is our large number of community workspace deployments in both of these countries. These deployments are unique for a couple of reasons:
- They operate under our free version, which we simply cannot censor or control. It is the very nature of an open source, self-managed and, oftentimes, air-gapped deployment.
- They exist under what’s called an MIT license. In its simplest form, it is the most permissive open source license there is and it gives workspace owners complete control over their implementations.
Given this context, we evaluated our options as a team and determined there were basically two alternatives: stopping all business in Russia (just like more and more big-name companies are temporarily doing) or taking all of the net revenue from customers in Russia during this time and donating it to humanitarian efforts to support Ukraine.
Given the nature of our open source business, we chose the latter. We will be donating 100% of net sales generated by Rocket.Chat in Russia to humanitarian causes that directly support Ukraine. The fact is, the free community version of our open source communications platform is and will continue to be used in both of these countries regardless of what we do. This way, we can turn that into a strength by providing on the ground support where it is needed most.
Finally, we recognize the situation continues to evolve quickly and we are actively looking for additional ways in which we can help.
We stand for peace.
Gabriel Engel, CEO & Founder