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Runa Capital to launch second investment fund

0 13 December 2013

The venture investment company Runa Capital has announced the launch of a second fund for investment in startups. It will be bigger than Runa's first fund (which was recently ranked the most active in Russia) and will focus on later stage projects, Dmitri Chikhachev the co-founder and managing partner of Runa Capital has told in an interview behind the scenes at the TechCrunch Moscow Conference.

The first Runa Capital fund for investment in technological startups was created in 2010 by Parallels and Acronis founders Serguei Beloussov, Ilya Zubarev and Dmitri Chikhachev. The fund is worth $135 million and the investment portfolio of Runa Capital includes around 40 companies from Russia, the US, Europe and the Ukraine.

“The Runa 2 Fund will appear next year; I think we will announce its creation in the first half of the year. Now we are busy marketing the fund, in order to attract new as well as existing investors. It will be larger than Runa 1 and will be focused on more fully developed projects, but it will generally cover the same investment themes,” Chikhachev reported without specifying the value of the fund.

Runa Capital’s second fund would include Russian as well as foreign investors Chikhachev has said. “I think that it will be mostly private investment. We don't have many institutional investors, and our institutes tend to be very wary about investing in venture funds, especially those that are connected to Russia and invest in early stage projects. Such institutes often operate according to a certain template,” he said, adding that with private investors such problems do not arise.

According to Chikhachev the new fund will primarily focus on projects related to “cloud” computing software which provides a service to small and medium-sized businesses. “The global market for IT-services is about $2 trillion, and much of this money will gradually go into the “cloud” market,” he said.

The fund will also focus on so-called sophisticated software for the storage of a mass data, parallel computing and virtualisation. “We will focus on small and medium businesses working in areas such as education, financial services, healthcare and governmental services,” Chikhachev said.

According to a Runa Capital spokesperson, these sectors are emerging as important areas for the global venture investment market. “The technological market is defined by three global trends – the mass distribution of smartphones, “cloud” computing and communication via the internet. The investments emerging from these trends are focused on the development of “cloud” technology and consumer products for education and health for the established mobile devices,” he said.

In particular, Chikhachev remarked, that spending on E-learning now amounts to about 2% of the total market of educational services at $4 trillion. “Over a short period of time we can expect to see this market grow by up to 10%,” he said.

With regard to the situation, the managing partner of Runa Capital considers the main difficulty for the Russian venture investment market in 2014 to be that the number of investment possibilities exceeds the quality of the products. “The projects, the people and the technology, come from education and science. The market has been flooded with money quickly but the number of research laboratories and university graduates increases slowly,” explained Chikhachev.


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