BW piece on how the VC scene is hotting up in Russia:
To encourage such investments, the Russian government has set up a trust that matches investments from private venture capitalists. Already, it has agreed to dispense nearly $100 million to three groups of investors. Among them: Asset Management, run by legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist Franklin “Pitch” Johnson, which has secured $52 million in matching funds from the Russia government for a new investment vehicle called Bio-Process Capital Partners. The Russia-based fund will scope out investment opportunities in biotech.
Other experienced tech hands also are piling in. Roel Pieper, a seasoned industry executive now based in the Netherlands, has set up a new fund primarily targeting Russian opportunities, including hydrogen technologies and light jets. Alexander Galitsky, a well-known Russian entrepreneur-turned-investor is planning to launch a new Russia fund later this year, in partnership with unnamed Western venture capitalists. And in April, Boston-based OpenView Venture Partners teamed with Moscow-based ABRT Venture Fund to form a “partnership for Russia” investment program targeting information technology companies in Russia and Eastern Europe.
“This is just the beginning,” says Joe Bowman, a U.S. venture capitalist working for Russian Technologies, a Moscow early-stage $50 million venture fund. “We’re entering a new era for Russian venture capital.”