The Supervisory Council of RUSNANO approved the Corporation's participation in Russian venture fund, which will be established in partnership with VTB Group and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ).
The project was initiated by DFJ and VTB Group. The overall size of the family fund at the first stage will be $100 million. RUSNANO will commit $50 million to the fund, VTB - $50 million.
New funds are strategically important in terms of national innovative technologies program development and the growth of Russian economy. Funds will focus on promising nanotechnology innovation both in Russia and abroad, as well as on attracting foreign partnerships and investment to support the construction of Russian nanotechnology production facilities. International expertise in venture and innovation investments and incorporation of foreign nanotechnology developments to the Russian Federation will enable native companies to enter the global market. Investments coming to the perspective fast-growing companies will facilitate the stimulation of Russian market's infrastructure development.
VTB Capital, investment business of VTB Group, and DFJ will act as managing partners. VTB Capital objectives will conduct the supervision of the project, initiation, initial assessment and final approval of investment projects in Russia.
The DFJ-VTB Aurora's team will attract investments and foreign nanotechnology developments to the Russian market and help accommodate Russian technologies on international markets in accordance with the global standards.
RUSNANO and VTB will act as the strategic investors of the fund family and will control the project companies.
“DFJ-VTB Aurora is the first international venture project in Russia with participation of RUSNANO Corporation. Cooperation with such giants as VTB Group, the second largest Russian financial institution in Russia, and the leading venture fund DFJ, offers unique opportunities for project success,” says Dionis Gordin, Managing Director, Member of The Board, RUSNANO.
The concept of RUSNANO's participation in Venture and Seed Funds approved by Supervisory Council in June specified two types of priority funds—Seed Funds and International funds with global investor's partnership.
“This project is an important milestone in the global nanotechnology cooperation effort. The establishment of this fund will let Russia apply advanced global practice and attract new resources to the market,” says Yuri Soloviev, President and Global CEO, VTB Capital.
In commenting on the formation of "DFJ VTB Aurora" Timothy C. Draper, a founding partner of Draper, Fisher, Jurvetson, a leading international venture capital firm based in Silicon Valley, said, ”We are very impressed with the extensive amount of innovation and intellectual property currently being developed in Russia. We are looking forward to bringing the experience of DFJ's team in funding and helping along start-ups to work with the VTB Capital and RUSNANO to give more Russian entrepreneurs the opportunity to bring these strong technologies to the global market."
Alexandra Johnson, Managing Director of the new fund, added that “The new fund family will invest in hi-tech projects of the Russian companies. In addition to investing in start ups, the funds intend to promote cooperation with the leaders of the venture capital market.”