Press about RVC

Venture market is preparing to accelerate

Source: Kommersant

It needs tax breaks and NPF money to grow.

Russian Venture Company (RVC) presented a strategy for the development of the Russian venture capital market, the volume of transactions in which relative to GDP is only 0.02%, against 0.4–0.5% in the United States and China. The authors of the document propose to reduce this gap by attracting pension and insurance money to the market, as well as introducing tax incentives for investors. It is proposed to reduce direct investment from the state, and, on the contrary, to expand programs to subsidize scientific research and access to foreign markets.

In the Russian Federation, 80% of the tools used in the world to support the venture capital market are used, however, there is an imbalance in the share of investments in IT compared to the real sector, a lack of late stage funds and sales markets, said RVC Deputy Head Alexei Basov at a presentation of the venture capital market development strategy and direct investments 2030 The document was prepared by order of the Ministry of Economic Development on the basis of surveys of experts and investors. It is assumed that it will be submitted for approval to the Government in the first quarter of next year, said Artem Shadrin, Head of the Department of Strategic Development and Innovation.

The share of venture investments in GDP in Russia is still significantly lower than in the United States and China: only 0.02% versus 0.43% and 0.54% (the entire market for direct and venture investments is estimated at $ 2.8 trillion, or 3.4 % of global GDP, of which venture accounts for $ 621 billion). In terms of the volume of transactions, the share of North America is 42% ($ 84.2 billion), China — 36% ($ 65.9 billion). Last year, the Russian Federation had only $ 240 million. By 2030, the share of venture capital deals in GDP should increase to 0.3% of GDP due to a sharp increase in total capital supply, the number of projects and sales markets (in the inertia scenario, the figure will only double to 0.04%). According to PwC partner Sergey Safonov, there is still “shy growth” on the Russian venture capital market, while overseas investment in 2017 was a record one — this is due not only to the availability of funding, but also an increase in commercialized innovations.

The authors of the strategy suggest minimizing the participation of state institutions in making investment decisions, providing support in other areas: to change regulation (for new technologies it is proposed to introduce platforms for testing prior to certification), to attract universities, to reduce barriers to enter international markets (to create accelerators oriented at global market, search for foreign partners, launch of the export credit program).

It is proposed to use tax incentives: from January 1, 2019, investments in securities of technology companies (there are 14 such issuers in the special sector of the Moscow Exchange so far) will not be taxed (if the investor holds them for more than a year). It is also proposed to facilitate an IPO on the stock exchange for technology companies by subsidizing the costs of preparing for listing. In addition, the list of measures includes capital amnesty on the terms of investments in venture funds, income tax exemptions for venture funds and business angels (the deadline is the end of 2024)

Finally, the share of private pension funds in the capital of venture funds, according to the program, should increase from zero to 10%. It is planned to raise pension and insurance funds by covering some risks from the state, creating specialized “funds of funds”, as well as developing exchange instruments (in particular, issuing bonds). The development of these measures should be completed by mid-2020. While NPFs are not interested in increasing profitability, the most conservative position for them is optimal, capital protection could be one of the tools to raise funds, and the introduction of minimum yield requirements is also possible, Alexey Basov explained to Kommersant.

“Facilitating listing on the Moscow Stock Exchange can be a useful tool, which is actively used in Poland, where companies rarely seek to enter the global market,” said Alexander Galitsky, founder of Almaz Capital Partners Investment Fund.

It is necessary to enter the US market quite early due to high competition, while in China, the venture capital industry is mostly “sharpened” for local corporations and is not very actively buying foreign startups, the investor explained.

By: Tatyana Yedovina

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