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Mobile Commerce Explodes onto the Scene

0 September 2013


In September 2013 the Russian venture market displayed impressive growth - the number of deals almost doubled and pre-seed investors stepped up their activity in the Russian tech startup sector. A number of projects in the e-commerce and software sectors, which have traditionally struggled to raise early investment, received funding of up to $500,000. 

A major driver of this trend has been the increasing popularity in Russia of mobile-based projects, which can be launched quickly and at little cost. This fashion echoes Western trends - in Europe and the US mobile-focussed startups have been all the rage since 2007. 

Across the world accelerators and incubators, such as YCombinator, 500Startups and TechStars, have helped these startups get going, and this month the Internet Initiative Development Fund’s (IIDF) Moscow incubator announced its first 50 residents as it seeks to do the same. 

One potential benefit of the increase in pre-seed and seed-funding could be the liberalization of the Russian venture industry, which remains too dependent on the state and major, non-tech strategic investors. 

Below you can see an infographic analysis of the Russian venture market in September 2013, brought to life by GoVisual



$1.35 million

Investors: Prostor Capital, Runa Capital, FastLane Ventures

Some of Russia’s top investment funds joined forces this month to try and create a market leader in the online health sector. ZdorovieOnline, a portfolio company of Runa Capital, became part of VitaPortal, backed by Prostor and FLV. As part of the deal, Runa Capital and ZdorovieOnline founder Alexei Kandikov invested $1.35 million in order to maintain the balance of shares in the merged company. The goal is to turn VitaPortal into a online health hub with over 5 million users. 


$3 million

Investor: MTT Group

MTT-Innovations, which is part of MTT, one of Russia’s top-10 telecom companies, has invested $3 million in Beam, a Skype-like mobile app that hopes to compete on the global market by offering cheaper tariffs to call mobiles and landlines. 


Sum: $2 million

Investor: Maxfield Capital

Maxfield Capital, the fund managed by former Skolkovo boss Alexander Turkot, funded Skolkovo resident Jelastic, which develops hosting software for Java and PHP apps. In previous rounds the company has raised $4 million from Russian investors. 


Flint Capital 

Flint Capital, formed by former Finam Global managing partners Dmitry Smirnov and Oleg Seydak, made its first venture investments. The $30 million fund, which aims to gather a portfolio of 12-15 tech and media projects, invested $1m in task outsourcing site Youdo.


Denis Kryuchkov

Russian tech entrepreneur Denis Kryuchkov bought out Group’s stake in Habrababr, the Russian online tech-community. Kryuchkov started out as a journalist at Webplanet and went on to found HabraHabr and the company “Thematic Media”, which runs a number of popular Russian websites. The money to fund the deal, which was worth in the region of $10 million, was provided by Yandex



Twistock, which allowed people to trade virtual stock attached to Twitter accounts, was shut down. The technology and right to use it had been passed on to an investor for free last winter. One of the founders, Aleksey Giyazov explained that although the technology behind the project was sound, it broke down due to disagreement between the team and their investors. 


The data provided in the current document is gathered both from public and private sources. RusBase's analysts produce these reports based on current coverage of deals in the media, social networks and blogs. Some information is also obtained via tips from industry insiders.

These analytics (including open source data) should not be the sole source of information used for making investment decisions, securing rounds or dealing with any other issues without further clarification from the business owners or general managers. You may purchase verified data for deal-books and market insights, produced especially upon a client's request (see more details below). If you have any additional questions, comments or require any explanation, please feel free to contact us at

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