(English) Russia seeks to attract Asian investors to support $900 million later-stage tech fund

25 января 2019

(English) RVC, the state fund-of-funds dedicated to innovation, and Da Vinci Capital, a major EBRD-backed Russian private equity firm, announced Monday the launch of a 6 billion ruble ($900 million) tech fund.

While Da Vinci Capital manages the fund (christened the ‘Da Vinci Pre-IPO Tech Fund’), RVC has contributed a quarter of the capital (1.5 billion rubles). Discussions with unnamed “Asian institutional funds” are being held to reach the 6 billion ruble target.

The fund aims support some 10 Russian-founded startups with global activity and plans to go public. Its strategy focuses on such technologies as blockchain, smart mobility, on-demand services, B2B solutions based on IoT and Big Data, artificial intelligence, AR/VR and cybersecurity.

At least 55% of the fund’s capital will be invested in Series C and Pre-IPO rounds.

The Da Vinci Pre-IPO Tech Fund comes as one of the Russian state’s initiatives to boost Russia’s tiny venture market. Just weeks ago, RVC announced plans to launch a $100 million fund to support education technologies in Russia. In total, the fund-of-funds intends to create 10 new funds until 2020, in addition to its existing 26 affiliated funds.

RVC and Da Vinci Capital already teamed up in 2015 to launch a pre-IPO fund. With $120 million in capital, ‘Da Vinci Pre-IPO’ invested in B2B Center, a leading Russian B2B marketplace, Softline, a major software publisher, and taxi-hailing service Gett, among other companies. None of these companies ever went public yet, notes business daily Vedomosti, even though some of them still have IPO plans.

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