Almaz Capital Partners, one of the most established Russian venture funds, has discretely launched a second fund with $102 million under management. No noisy announcement was made, but the news was reported in late July by the financial press and the fund’s Crunchbase page has been updated correspondingly.
“Our first fund has exhausted its capital. It is keeping only receives for portfolio companies,” said Almaz co-founder and managing partner Sasha Galitsky in an exchange with East-West Digital News.
Almaz II has kept the same anchor investors as Almaz I – Cisco and the EBRD – and the same focus, essentially Internet and software startups. With two offices in Moscow and Menlo Park, the fund invests in startups from Russia or from other countries “if they have ties to Russia,” Galitsky explained.
Almaz II will intervene in Series A and B rounds, investing $15 million per average in companies during their life cycle.
The fund has also setup a special seed investment program in cooperation with incubators and accelerators, said Galitsky. In such cases, investment amounts will typically vary from $50,000 to $300,000.
Almaz I co-founder Peter Loukianoff is absent from the new fund following a dispute that Galitsky declined to comment on.
3 exits and 2 failures
The portfolio of Almaz I includes such prestigious companies as Parallels, a globalized Russian software company, and Yandex, the Russian search engine giant that went public on the NASDAQ in 2011.
The funds other exits to date include Qik, a mobile video startup which was sold to Skype in 2011, and Vyatta, a publisher of software security and networking solutions which was acquired by Brocade in November of last year.
Almaz I has had two failures to date: Travelmenu, an online retailer of packaged tours which shut down this past spring, and Apollo, a mobile social network provider.
Almaz’s latest investment went to GridGain, a startup headquarted in Foster City, California, but with an R&D office in Moscow. Started in 2007 by Russian entrepreneurs Nikita Ivanov and Dmitriy Setrakyan, GridGain has developed an in-memory computing platform to address real-time big data needs.
The startup’s $10 million Series B round took place in late July, involving Almaz and RTP, the US arm of the Russian venture fund Ru-Net. Almaz did not specify whether the money for this investment came from its first or second fund.
First published in East-West Digital News.
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