From London, to Switzerland, to India, Russian entrepreneurs and investors push fintech innovation

19 January 2022

Last week, as reported by Reuters, TCS Group — the owner of Russian digital banking giant Tinkoff — took control of Swiss crypto service company Aximetria as part of its international expansion strategy.

Founded by Russian serial entrepreneur Alex Axelrod in 2018, this startup has developed a SaaS platform to provide “seamless interconnection for any form of money: fiat, crypto and CBDC.”

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed yet but, according to Russian publication The Bell, TCS’s stake in Aximetria may amount to 83.2%.

Aximetria was previously backed by Digital Horizon, a London-based VC firm founded by Gazprombank executive Alan Vaksman.

The beginning of this year saw Russian investors, in search of the next Revolut, get involved in several other fintech deals:

  • Digital Horizon backed Wealthkernel, a UK-based provider of digital investment services and infrastructure, as part of a $7 million Series A round;
  • Top business angel Sergey Dashkov — acting through his Cyprus-based investment firm Joint Journey — invested some $1.1 million in Russian-founded, London-based payment infrastructure provider DigiDoe;
  • RTP Global, an international VC firm with Russian management, was among the backers of alternative investment app Koia, also based in London;
  • RTP Global and Digital Horizon were also involved in the Series E round of Refyne, a leading Indian earned wage access (EWA) platform.

On the domestic scene, Russian instant payment major Qiwi acquired a 80% stake in Taxi Aggregator, a payment and analytics solution for taxi companies and taxi drivers. Among Taxi Aggregator’s competitors is Jump.Finance, in which Tinkoff bought a controlling stake in November 2021.

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