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Financial rally at the end of summer

0 August 2012


The provided material is based on public data as well as private sources. The estimated total was made by Startup Afisha analysts.


August 2012 saw renewed activity in the Russian VC market with the launch of a new fund targeting financial services startups. Investors believe that the banking industry is ripe for disruption and that the experience of Western startups based on promotion of services for ordinary individuals, especially those who provide the communication process with clients and business activity of the other market segments (the restaurant business, the media, etc.)


Runa Capital, a Moscow-based international VC fund, had its first exit in August 2012 , selling its stake in Anglo-Ukrainian startup ThinkGrid. ThinkGrid, a provider of IT services on demand from the cloud such as Hosted Virtual Desktop and Software as a Service, was acquired by Colt Technology Services for an undisclosed amount. The company is London-based, but has an R&D facility in Ukraine.
According to a number of sources, Runa received at least $10 million for its stake after investing approximately $2.2 million over 2 rounds. Runa was also instrumental in helping the company build relationships with cloud service providers and developing their platform. This exit is widely seen as a vindication of Runa’s focus on early-stage cloud startups.

The Financial Group "Life" has launched a corporate venture capital fund aimed at financial services startups. The Group’s Vice President of Marketing will manage the fund. The fund will initially have $10 million under management with average investments of around $1 million. According to players in the market the fund has already invested in 3 projects, including $2.2 million in mobile app development platform My-Apps. They hope to make 4 further investments by the end of 2012.

The management at “Life” established the fund on the belief that in we will soon see the emergence of a wave of highly specialised startups, particularly in the financial services sphere. Life will offer these startups office space, expertise, licenses and access to its own client base which comprises over 3 million individuals and 100,000 companies. Given the increasing sales of mobile devices and mobile Internet traffic growth, "Life" is also interested in projects in the field of mobile applications. The fund works with projects at any stage of development.


According to primary sources in the industry, venture fund "Leader Innovation” is in the final stages of negotiations to invest $ 10 million in iiko, a manufacturer of restaurant automation terminals. iiko was founded by David Yang who also founded software company ABBYY.

Parties to the transaction did not disclose details, but sources state that the funds will be used to develop business abroad. Since January Yang has been in talks with several large investment funds to attract investment for expansion into Eastern Europe, where its sole competitor, R-Keeper by UCS, still has relatively low market penetration.

iiko’s current investors are Troika Dialog (36%), David Yang (17%) and a group of angels.


Alyona Vladimirskaya (the internet alias of entrepreneur Olga Arinin) raised $1.2 million from Almaz Capital Partners for her online recruitment startup PRUFFI. Almaz took a 30% equity stake and estimate the company to post a turnover of $4 million. The investment will be used to develop the business in the US and Europe as well as in other CIS countries. The bulk of this will go towards PRUFFI’s platform for recruitment through social networks Facebook, Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. Ей пользуется порядка 300 тысяч человек, 3500 тысяч человек оставляют более 15 тысяч рекомендаций в неделю, хотя, по информации других игроков рынка, эти цифры завышены на несколько порядков. According to sources, Pruffiup, the companies headhunting service for CS students, has already undergone reformatting and may be shut down.

Vladimirskaya states that monthly revenues of Pruffi Friends are between 1.5 and 3 million rubles a month, depending on the time of year. According to our source the company has only received $300,000 from its investors while the rest of the investment will be distributed in line with key indicators of growth. Exactly what these indicators are remains unknown, based on our conversations with other players in the recruitment market and venture capital funds.

In August 2012 the Russian venture market saw a total of approximately $29 million worth of deals#. The largest deals were ThinkGrid’s acquisition and iiko’s series A round, both $10 million. The smallest deal was a $500,000 in Advizzer.
Number of deals in breakdown by size in '000 USD

In August 2012 there were 9 deals, 2 fewer than July.

Number of deals growth dynamics

In August 2012 there were 102 venture investors on the Russian market UK - this includes incubators, accelerators, investment companies, but excludes angels.

In September 2012, the investments in start-ups distributed according to niches as follows:

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