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(English) Russian state to put more than $100 million in edtech fund

13 июня 2019

(English) The Russian Ministry of Economic Development and RVC, the Russian state fund-of-funds dedicated to innovation, have inked an agreement to create a new venture fund dedicated to IT innovation in the field of education. The fund will target projects using the latest word of IT technologies on the global market.

The parties are committed to provide a total of 7 billion rubles ($108 million at the current exchange rate) to the fund, which is being created in the framework of a government program called “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation.”

The funding will be divided into two channels. While the first one will help Russian edtech companies develop their products and bring them to foreign markets, the second one will aim to foster technology transfer to Russia in the field of education.

“The market of educational technologies is one of the most dynamic ones. Recent attempts to improve the efficiency and decrease the time needed to launch new technologies in this area testify to a global fight for top talent. This being said, only a decentralized system based on partnerships with competing companies and entities can be efficient,” said RVC’s CEO Aleksandr Povalko.

RVC announced its intention to launch such a fund back in January this year.

The state fund of funds has been very active lately on several tech segments. Just two months ago April, RVC participated in the creation of a $40 million fund to support AI and robotics projects. In January 2019, RVC and Da Vinci Capital, a major EBRD-backed Russian private equity firm, announced the launch of a $900 million tech fund to support Russian startups develop blockchain, AI, AR/VR and cybersecurity projects.

In mid-2018, RVC announced a new investment strategy that involves the creation of 10 new funds by 2020 to promote VC activity in the country, which is still stands at relatively low levels.

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