Mikhail Asavkin, Product Manager in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Mikhail Asavkin

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Toptal Member Since
July 14, 2021

Mikhail has 10+ years of experience specializing in B2B2C marketplaces, AI, eCommerce, and real estate. While his primary focus is multiplying company profits via product management, he likes to help with engineering leadership, growth hacking, hiring, and company culture. Mikhail's greatest achievements include founding five companies (two of which were acquired), leading products in multinational companies with 5,000+ engineers, and bringing many startups to profitability and greater success.

Project Highlights

Fake News Detector
I've founded a company and created AI technology to do fact checking and detect fake news.
As a consultant, I led the complete platform rebuilt effort for buymyplace.com.au managing stakeholders across five different companies and an engineering team of 10 to deliver the project.


Work Experience

Product Manager

2021 - PRESENT
Improve the News Foundation
  • Took the product from a small site built by students for a large, unbiased media outlet with millions of users.
  • Launched new product verticals: podcasts and news context explainer videos, bringing unbiased news to new audiences.
  • Took the organization and the products through the rebranding and complete UX overhaul.

Head of Product

2017 - 2021
Skychute Pty Ltd
  • Built the engineering team from 0 to 12, with most of them working remotely from all over the world.
  • Worked with internal and external stakeholders delivering products to the market.
  • Led the project of the complete rebuilding of the platform for buymyplace.com.au.

Head of Product and Founder

2015 - 2018
Fact Read
  • Developed the AI-based technology that reads text in three languages and extracts facts better than humans. The technology remains on track for completion at the end of 2021.
  • Built the product for fact-checking and fake news detection for news outlets.
  • Acquired several medium-sized media companies as customers on a $10,000/month subscription.

Product Engineer

2015 - 2017
Kent and Lime
  • Launched AI Stylist, a tool that worked almost as well as a human stylist but much faster.
  • Built a data analytics and business reporting tool allowing the business to make better stock and product decisions.
  • Led the development of the company's internal system that automated procurement, order picking, shipping, returns, and settlement.

Product Group Manager

2014 - 2016
  • Launched three new products targeted to the business users: real estate agents, car dealers and service providers, in under 10 months increasing verticals’ LTV by 250%.
  • Built the product management and engineering team for the B2B products department, established an exceptional engineering culture.
  • Established the competitive intelligence and the business intelligence practice within the department, allowing us to get real-time metrics for all competitors.

Head of Product, Co-founder

2012 - 2015
  • Built the business and the product from scratch on very limited bootstrap funding.
  • Delivered five different monetization schemes, all profitable.
  • Launched the photo education app in three major regions (SE Asia, Latin America, and North America).

Product Manager

2013 - 2014
  • Brought the company to operational profitability, increasing share value by 500%.
  • Launched the taxi-hailing app in 48 cities, the largest coverage on the market by far.
  • Launched ERP system for taxi companies, improving the average taxi wait time by 300% and providing an additional revenue stream for the business.

Product Manager

2010 - 2012
  • Increased the revenue of the eCommerce platform by 25% with a new shop offers presentation and sorting algorithm.
  • Added 4 million MAU and $4.5 million in annual revenue by launching new mobile products.
  • Established an eCommerce startup accelerator within the company allowing Yandex to take advantage of new innovation in the space.


2008 - 2010
  • Delivered a platform to market in six months, profitable from day one.
  • Built the engineering team from 0 to 20 in three offices worldwide.
  • Increased adoption by evangelizing at development conferences.

Software Engineer

2005 - 2008
E-Style Software House
  • Delivered a billing system with 3 billion daily transactions.
  • Built an authentication service for a WiFi network with 14 million DAU, covering an area of 2,511 km².
  • Built a superannuation accounting system used by 150 million people.

Fake News Detector


I've founded a company and created AI technology to do fact checking and detect fake news.

FactRead uses machine reading technology to extract facts from multiple sources in a universal way, then compare the extracted facts between the sources. This allows for automatic fact-checking of the news articles as well as fake news detection. It works with three languages: English, Mandarin, and Russian with the ability to compare articles written in different languages.

The product has been sold as a subscription service to several medium-sized media companies in the EU.



As a consultant, I led the complete platform rebuilt effort for buymyplace.com.au managing stakeholders across five different companies and an engineering team of 10 to deliver the project.

Buymyplace is the product that allows Australian property owners to sell or rent their property without an agent. It provides a multitude of tools to achieve a great financial outcome for the vendors and landlords and provides automatically fulfilled services such as premium photography, photo boards, auction, negotiation, and many more.

Interest-focused Social Network

Led the product team and engineering team and delivered mobile and web products to the market in four months, gathering 1 million users in 1 month after launch. Two months later, I launched location-based advertising capability within the product.

Happlink was a social network in 2011-2014. Unlike Facebook, it connected people based on their shared interests, thus allowing for higher engagement and better people discovery than traditional networks.

After building the initial product, I focused on monetization and have launched the geofencing advertising product with the top three advertising agencies, allowing retail and restaurant businesses to target people nearby with special offers.
2002 - 2008

Master's Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science

Moscow State Forest University - Russia


Project Management Professional (PMP)

Project Management Institute (PMI)


Jira, Slack, AWS Deployment, Balsamiq Mockups, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, Tableau, Google Analytics, Zoom, Figma


ProductPlan, Mixpanel, Google Analytics API, J2SE, IBM WebSphere


API Architecture, Kanban, Continuous Delivery (CD), Agile Product Management, Agile Project Management, Agile, Scrum, Continuous Deployment, B2C, Agile Workflow, Data Science, B2B2C, Agile UX, Data-driven Design, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C)

Industry Expertise

High-tech Startups, Logistics, Education Technology (Edtech)


OmniPlan, Project Management, Product Management, Machine Reading, Mathematics, Engineering Management, Engineering, Data Engineering, Customer Development, Customer Discovery, Web Product Management, Mobile Product Management, Business Intelligence (BI), API Design, API Development, Team Mentoring, .NET, Web Development, Business Analysis, Roadmaps, Product Roadmaps, Product Coach, CRM APIs, Value Engineering, Planning, Stakeholder Management, Lean Project Management, Scrum Master, Feature Planning, Feature Analysis, Feature Prioritization, Feature Roadmaps, Feature Backlog Prioritization, Head of Product, Business Strategy, Product Strategy, Product Vision, Competitive Strategy, Competitive Intelligence, Product Ownership, Product Owner, Market Strategy and Research Product Manager, Mobility, Startups, Lean Startups, Early-stage Startups, Startup Funding, UX Roadmaps, Feature-driven Development (FDD), Business to Business (B2B), Business Logic, Talent Management, Talent Strategy, Business Processes, Status Updates, APIs, API Connectors, Implementation Project Management, Burn-down Charts, Agile Program Management, REST APIs, GraphQL, Agile Product Delivery, Node.js, TypeScript, Angular, AngularJS, eCommerce UX, Mobile eCommerce, eCommerce UI, Delivery, JSON API, Front-end, Sprints, Continuous Improvement, Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Development (CD), Projects, Agile Sprints, Agile Delivery, Backlog Grooming, iOS, IT Projects, Project Scoping, Custom APIs, Project Delivery, Product Launch, Stakeholder Analysis, Stakeholder Engagement, Team Leadership, Remote Team Leadership, Agile Leadership, Cross-functional Team Leadership, Process Automation, Launch Strategy, Mixpanel API, Online Tracking Analysis, eCommerce Payments, Data-driven Decision-making, Data-driven Frameworks, Data-driven Methodology, Data-driven Performance Improvement, Technical Product Management, Technical Project Management, Product Analytics, Statistical Data Analysis, Data Visualization, Lean Experiments, SQL, Product Consultant, Market Research, Pricing Strategy, Digital Product Management, Monetization, Conceptualization, eCommerce Analysis, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Mathematical Modeling, Mathematical Analysis, Software Engineering, Artificial Intelligence Product Manager, Artificial Intelligence as a Service (AIaaS), Amazon SageMaker, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Pricing, UX Analysis, Negotiation, Stakeholder Interviews, Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Startup Consulting, Startup Growth Strategy Development, Salesforce, Salesforce API, Salesforce Lightning, Salesforce Sales Cloud, HubSpot CRM, Computer Vision, DocuSign, Keras, PyTorch, Inventory Management, Shipping Management, Drop Shipping, User Interviews, User Interface (UI), Graphical User Interface (GUI), Project Rescue, Business Process Optimization, Business Process Automation, eCommerce, Customer Support, Mobility as a Service (MaaS), Data-driven Marketing, eCommerce Design, Dashboards, Architecture, Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Growth Hacking, Pricing Models, Pricing Consulting, User Journeys, Market Entry, eCommerce Management, Embedded Software, B2B Partnerships, Mobile App Development, Oracle, ASP.NET, C++, Lean UX, Android, Business Development, Social Media, Social APIs, Social Media Apps, Social Media Platforms, Social Media Analytics, Social Media Marketing (SMM), CTO, Growth Marketing, Marketing

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