Online guide to the Russian tech market
Home trends

SaaS launches Russian startups into 2013

0 November 2012


November appeared to be rather calm for the local startup market ahead of the lull in activity leading up to Russian New Year holidays. Along with the Media and eCommerce sectors, a sizeable amount was invested in SaaS

November Analysis is presented in infographic kindly provided to us by GoVisual


Funding: $ 15 mln. Investor: VTB Capital, Phenomen Ventures

Why?  One of the most creative eCommerce projects, is an online retailer of design products and accessories. Originally launched as a social network for the gay community, Fab quickly pivoted to e-commerce. It recently  received $15 mln from VTB Capital and international venture fund Phenomen Ventures, bringing the total amount of investment in Fab to $156.3 mln. The company is now reportedly valued at $600 million post-money and plans to attract more international investors. However, after the increased valuation, a number of global investors refused to back the project. These Russian investors decided not to stand back.


Sold for: $ 10 mln. Acquired by: WebGames 

Why? Nikita Sherman, the former CEO of social network Odnoklassniki and dating site Mamba, founded Drimmi, a social-gaming company in 2009, The company raised $4 million in seed funding just 6 months after its founding from Mangrove Capital Partners and ABRT.  Drimmi was sold to WebGames, an affiliate of WebMedia, a leading global online ad network. 


Funding: $ 2,5 mln. Investor: Runa Capital

Why? Russian Pinterest-like video sharing startup, ClipClock has received a $2.5 mln investment from VC firm Runa Capital for further development and expansion to the U.S. market. Founded by  Alexey Krainov, the former director of Broadband Internet at VimpelCom, ClipClock is a video clipping and sharing service that allows users to collect their favourite video clips and share them through social networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, YouTube. ClipClock received its first investment of $200K from business angels Igor Ustinov and Marina Ravun, the founders of Buka Company. The service also received a $50K grant from the Microsoft Seed Fund


Third Rome Black River Ventures

Fund size: $ 50M

Why? Third Rome, a Russian asset and wealth management firm has launched a new venture fund called Third Rome Black River Ventures. The fund will focus on Russian startups in the fields of e-commerce, digital content, online ticket reservations, social media, mobile and cloud technologies, and online advertising. The fund plans to invest up to $50 million in Russian Internet and technology startups at different development stages. It also plans to back local projects successfully copying global ones, i.e. Russian “clones” of popular sites (Etsy, Zazzle, Quirky). Reportedly, the fund will invest between $200K and $2.5 mln.


Yuriy Milner

Why? Russian-born Yuriy Milner along with U.S. venture capitalists from Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst and Maverick Capital established a new venture capital fund YC VC within Y Combinator business incubator. This structure will replace the previous Start Fund that was set up by Milner earlier.  YC VC, as Start Fund, will invest in Y Combinator startups, but will invest $80K instead of $150K in each startup. The four investors will each contribute $20K, with Y Combinator itself investing an additional $20k.



Why?, an online recruitment service, founded at the beginning of 2011 by startup incubator Fast Lane Ventures, was closed in November 2012. The project's founders along with Fastlane Ventures Board of Directors do not comment on the fact. Reportedly, failed to show any operational profits despite having raised $1M of seed investment from Fastlane Ventures in February 2011. As stated by some investors, the project's business model was not commercially viable.


Data provided in the current document is gathered both from public and private sources. In most cases Startupafisha analysts produce reports based upon current coverage of deals in the media and on social networks and blogs. However some information is obtained from industry insiders' tips.

Analytics (including open source data) are provided as is and should not be used as sole basis for making investment decisions, securing rounds and dealing with any other issues without clarification from the business owners or general managers themselves. Verified data are available in paid versions of deal-books and market insights, produced on demand for clients – see more details below

In the case of any additional questions, comments, updates, explanations, please feel free to contact us at

More on the topic

comments powered by Disqus


All important news and analytics on Russian venture capital market weekly in your inbox

via social network

Linked in