Konstantin is building his development empire through a digital home base in Estonia with e-Residency
In some ways, Konstantin Klyagin has a story typical to many tech entrepreneurs.
He was six years old when he first laid eyes on a computer, started coding at eight, and released his first product, a BBS software program (remember those?) called TornadoBBS at fifteen.
In high school, he turned to open source development for Linux and built an instant messenger platform called Center ICQ because he wasn’t satisfied with other ICQ clients on the market.
After studying mathematics at university, Konstantin took a job with the local police department to build criminal database software, and that’s when things got interesting, and his path started to diverge slightly from the norm.
After 18 years of working in Germany and Romania for companies based in the US and other places, the idea of starting his own company began to form in his mind, and soon after, Redwerk was born.
One of their first projects was an e-government project for Belgium and the Netherlands. Since then, they’ve created solutions that are still used in government institutions in Europe and the US, including the YouTown app that was given a “Champions of Change” award by the White House.
“Being a developer myself, I knew what programmers value most of all and what they pay attention to while choosing an employer. Work-life balance, comfortable office, flexible schedule, flat and transparent organizational structure — those were the things that I valued as an employee and that I apply in my own company now.”
We caught up with Konstantin recently to learn more about why he chose to apply for e-Residency and eventually establish a new company, Redwerk OÜ, in Estonia.
Redwerk OÜ in a nutshell
Redwerk is a software development agency that creates, maintains, and supports digital products for its clients. It mainly specializes in developing SaaS systems and provides full-cycle development, from requirements analysis to actual product development and its administration.
Unlike many other IT services agencies, Redwerk doesn’t provide simple outsourcing. Their work is project-based, and they offer full support to their clients during each stage of the software development cycle and take complete responsibility for the end result.
“For some time, we focused exclusively on e-government solutions, but later extended our work to e-commerce, business management solutions, e-health, media & entertainment, innovative digital solutions, and even gamedev. We continue to grow and take on new industries and technologies. For example, we plan on working on augmented reality projects in the nearest future.”
One of their recent projects is Freenet — a P2P network assuring anonymity, freedom of speech, and censorship resistance on the web. For this open-source project, Redwerk was hired by a Freenet sponsor to help the core development team with restoring the original functionality of the product, performing comprehensive software testing, doing bug fixes, and partial code refactoring.
Finding convenience in e-Residency
While living and working in Germany, having a company registered there made a lot of sense. At some point in 2018 however, he started spending more time in Ukraine, and it quickly became clear that running a German-based company might not be the best option anymore.
“I started looking for another way to manage a business: did my research, talked with the lawyers. I looked through different options and chose Estonia: it is convenient to register and run a company through e-Residency because everything is done online.”
Konstantin says that even though he is not in Estonia physically, he is constantly interacting with Estonia digitally — using its services, and seeing how everything is organized. With his background in e-government projects, he also has a keen interest in how Estonia was able to build its digital state.
“I believe that the way governmental services function shows the country’s attitude towards its citizens and foreigners. So far, Estonia offers the best conditions for running a business for us, so, of course, Estonia seems like a welcoming country.”
Find out how to apply for e-Residency and join Estonia’s digital nation:
e-Residency saves time and money
E-Residency allowed Redwerk to focus on the work itself rather than its administrative routine. Before that, the company was registered in Germany and the UK. The business processes were complicated due to the bureaucracy levels in those countries and also pricey to maintain.
“With Estonian e-Residency, we don’t have to send and keep tons of printed-out documents — everything is digital. We can easily find any of the invoices and reports in a few minutes using a laptop rather than trying to organize them in countless drawers.”
Konstantin added that it’s less expensive to run a company in Estonia with e-Residency than it would be in Germany or the UK.
“I don’t have to pay thousands of euros for tax reports. We also got a European tax ID, which made it easier to work with European customers.”
Find out more about starting a company with e-Residency:
Konstantin describes Redwerk as a company that grows organically — step by step. Their projects are increasing, and their team as well, with headcount growing by 20% just last year despite the pandemic.
“We’ve been constantly improving our processes, adopting new practices and technologies. For instance, we intend to add augmented and virtual reality development to our services. The list of our services is continuously extending, but we keep our quality standards on the same high level.”
You can learn more about Konstantin and the team at Redwerk OÜ here: