The Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF, or FRII in Russian) has announced that 52 Russian startups are going through a three-month summer batch of its acceleration program – a record number since the fund’s inception in 2013.
Eighty percent of the startups of this summer batch develop B2B solutions, in particular in the fields of marketing (17%), retail (15%), IT solutions for business (9%) as well as medicine, security, multimedia and much more.
While 10 of these startups focus on the domestic market, 42 will aim to develop international sales through a ‘GoGlobal’ track. Many of these startups are supported financially by the Moscow Export Center and similar organizations at the regional level.
Among these internationally-oriented startups are the following:
- Allcorrect, from Samara, Russia, which provides game developers and publishers with localization and related services;
- Arena Space (Moscow), which has developed a B2B platform for distribution, publishing, and content management for operators of VR parks and amusement parks in general;
- Atwinta, a digital agency with offices in Kemerovo and Moscow, Russia, as well as San Diego, California, which designs complex websites and data-driven marketing applications;
- Audiotouch, with offices in St. Petersburg and Zurich), which has developed an app “for your emotional well-being” with musical tracks based blending classical music and sounds of nature;
- Avist Oil & Gas, from Perm, Russia, which has developed a platform for managing oil and gas production using the “Intelligent Deposit” technologies;
- Biot (Perm), which offers a solution for continuous remote monitoring of a person’s physical condition parameters, in order to identify and assess health risks;
- BYYD (Moscow), a company that touts itself as “the world’s largest DSP (Demand-side Platform) for buying mobile inventory with the use of RTB-technology (Real Time Bidding);”
- Cinemood (Moscow), alias Multibutik, which has made of its mini cinema projectors for children an international success story;
- Drivepixels (Nizhny Novgorod), an outsourcing software development company that specializes in custom business web and mobile applications;
- Hudway (Izhevsk, Russia), which offers a technology for projecting information from a smartphone onto a car glass to increase driver comfort and safety — and made the news a few years ago with a successful crowdfunding campaign;
- Innerica (Moscow), a publisher of software for drilling;
- Jalinga (Moscow), which installs video studios to shoot remote education courses, webinars, and broadcasts (more than 60 studios in Russia, Kazakhstan, the UK and Indonesia to date);
- Monq (Moscow), with its AI platform for collecting and analyzing data on IT infrastructure operation in large companies;
- Omnic (Moscow), which offers a multifunctional self-service point for food delivery, postal services, e-commerce, dry cleaning delivery, retail, and other self-service services in different locations;
- SmartPlayer (Moscow), whose platform for multimedia projects manages complex and centralized device management at points of sale;
- Touch (St. Petersburg), which has developed “an easy solution to charge your own electric vehicle or to implement a charging service in your business;”
- Varwin (Moscow), which offers a platform solution for quick and inexpensive creation of VR applications;
- 3i TouchPoint Analytics (Moscow), which provides corporates with a cloud platform for automated analysis of verbal communications between employees and customers.
Curiously, some other participants in this ‘GoGlobal’ track do not offer an English-language version of their website.
“The IT business is reviving after lockdown,” said Gadzhimurad Aliev, who manages of acceleration programs at IIDF. “These teams understood how important it is to offer products on the global market and to generate revenues from abroad in such an unstable time.”
Launched in 2013 as an instrument to support the emergence of a strong startup industry in Russia, the IIDF became Russia’s largest startup investor.
Initially, FRII’s strategy focused mainly on the domestic market – a considerable playing ground for Russian startups with 90 million Internet users and even more mobile phone users. Then, it began paying due attention to the global market, putting a strong focus on the USA as the world’s largest market in both a venture and commercial perspective. However, its ‘TechMafia‘ project in the heart of Silicon Valley shut down in 2019.
In February 2019, the fund announced a new focus to support its existing portfolio companies rather than make new investments. In early 2020 Rostelecom, the national telecom operator, announced the acquisition of 31% of FRII Invest, the investment vehicle of the IIDF.