(English) Last week Russian venture fund Pulsar VC, Russian-Japanese consulting agency SAMI and Japanese firm Skylight Consulting launched the Japanese-Russian Tech Companies and Investors Association to promote cooperation among entrepreneurs and investors from the two countries.
The partnership agreement was signed on April 11 at the Russian Venture Forum in Kazan, 800 km east of Moscow, in the presence of high-ranking officials.
Through a platform named ‘Innovations Bridge,’ the association aims to help startups and investors enter new markets and foster the exchange of technologies between Russia and Japan.
While Japanese VCs need to assistance to find investment targets in Russia, Russian high tech products have their chance on the Japanese market, believe the partners.
More than 30 companies from Russia and Japan have already announced their intention to join the association.
The past few years saw several moves on the Russian-Japanese tech and venture scene, including notably the following:
- In 2018 Skolkovo, the international tech hub on the outskirt of Moscow, signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s IoT Acceleration Consortium;
- In 2017 and 2018, through two rounds of funding, Japanese fund SBI FinTech Business Innovation Fund LPS committed itself to invest $50 million in SimpleFinance, a Russian online micro-lending platform;
- In 2017, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) announced a joint $1 billion fund to invest in healthcare, industrial and tech projects;
- In 2016-2017, Mitsui & Co invested repeatedly in Moscow-based food delivery startup Chefmarket.ru.