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Moscow accelerator FRII invests $450k in two resident projects

0 25 June 2014

Russia’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund (known locally as FRII) has announced another two seed investments worth $450,000 each. 

The money will go to Easy Ten and Hot Wi-Fi, which have both just completed FRII's 3-month acceleration programme. Easy Ten helps English learners to quickly increase their vocabulary by encouraging them to learn 10 words per day. Hot Wi-Fi is an advertising service for venues. In order to connect to wifi clients must sign in via a social network. When they do so a post about the venue is placed on their social network page. 

In a press release, FRII explained why these two projects were deemed worthy of investment.

“During its time in the accelerator the Easy Ten team managed to triple its revenue per user. The company now makes three times more money from each user than it spends attracting them. The project is scalable and plans to add 100 language pairs.”

It also attracted the attention of Vladimir Putin at the recent Internet Entrepreneurship in Russia conference, where the President promised to support the startup to help it teach Russian to foreigners. 

“While it was a resident at FRII Hot Wi-Fi managed to increase its revenue fourfold from $3,000 to $12,000 per month. It also increased its number of hotspots to 200, entered 23 new cities (taking the total to 30) and doubled the number of daily log-ins from 20,000 to 40,000.”

Easy Ten’s Dmitry Zaryuta commented that

“We will spend this investment on developing our product, creating a version for tablets and introducing new languages. We want to become a global service operating in more than 20 countries and offering more than 100 languages.”

Dmitry Stepanenko of Hot Wi-Fi explained that

“the biggest chunk of the money will go on employing new staff for our Moscow office and as regional representatives. This will help us increase the number of hotspots, which we hope will reach 2000 venues in 50 cities by the end of the year. We also plan to buy new equipment and create new products.”

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