Participants of the Russian investment forum discussed sources of growth of the national venture market


On February 15, within the framework of the Russian investment forum in Sochi, a session "Competitive venture investment market in Russia" organized by RVC together with the fund "Roscongress". Representatives of the development institutions, authorities, corporations and venture funds discussed development perspectives of the venture industry, increase of the number of players and attraction of the additional funds to the market.

The key discussion issues are possible measures of institutional and infrastructure support of the players on the venture investment market, reduction of the limitations for new participants and tax incentives mechanism.

According to the General Director of RVC Aleksandr Povalko, the Venture Market Development Strategy now states a number of support mechanisms by 2030. It was developed by RVC last year with participation of the venture community. Now the critical task is to ensure implementation of the suggested initiative in practice.

According to the deputy minister of economic development of the Russian Federation Sergey Gorkov in order to increase market volumes it is necessary in the first turn to stimulate attraction of "inactive" private money and develop angel financing.

"There are far more budget funds on the venture market than the private funds, it is necessary to change the situation. Great amount of money belonging to the Russian people are now laying "under the pillow" — in banks, on deposit accounts and do not actually work. Volume of this "pillow" is 50 billion USD. To attract at least 1 billion from this amount to the venture market is a real task. In order to do it is necessary to use crowdfunding mechanism; the relevant law is already developed. Let's see how much money leak from the country — from 30 to 50 billion UDS per year. Some part of this money can be also retained in Russia. It is important to attract big corporations to the venture market - at the moment their volume in not very large. And at last — attract pension funds", deputy minister noted.

A venture investor, founder of Universa Blockchain Platform Aleksandr Borodich considers that business-angels also need support:

"Today, we have about a thousand of business-angels. They are people that are at maximum money risk for the projects. In this case, this is all not about qualified investments, but about the social function when people help to the entrepreneurs not to be caught in the same trap they were caught. They invest in the projects their experience, knowledge and money. And it is important to support business angels with the finance shoulder, through the crowdfunding mechanism. Without this help, the investments may not grow up".

Konstantin Shabalin, General Director of StartTrack told of how to attract the funds to the venture market through the investment venues:

"At the end of 2017, our venue had 2.5 thousand of people — potential investors in the technological start-ups. Today, we have 8 thousand. And nothing prevents us from increasing this number. People has great interest in it. Many of them have experience working with the business."

Deputy General Director — Investment Director at RVC Aleksey Basov paid attention to the fact it is possible to strengthen motivation of the private investors with the changes in the taxation system. Thus, it is possible to consider financial loss for the other investment projects when calculating income tax.

"In this way, a business angel could partially compensate its expenses related to the losses and decrease investment risks", Aleksey Basov noted.

He also reminded that this initiative is one of fifty that are included in the long-term Venture Market Development Strategy. Aleksey Basov also named work of the public investment venues, crowdfunding liberalization and launch of electronic notary system to simplify transactions mechanism as a part of the necessary instruments used to attract private investments.

Evgeny Yakushev, Public and State Relations Executive Director at NPF “SAFMAR" told about perspectives of the pension funds participating in the venture market. According to him, the problem is in the regulatory policy related to NPFs when the funds may face the requirement to compensate losses related to unsuccessful and risky investments.

"The regulatory logic itself leads us to the state securities", the expert considers.

Evgeny Yakushev noted that in perspective NPF's could invest in projects on the investment stages following the venture stage. He also emphasized that today the pension funds are not the investors, but users of the new technologies. For example, NPF's were the first and the biggest players on the market of digital signatures — gave rise to development of this technology.

"We see a lot of interesting start-ups and technologies that we can use and develop. For example, blockchain technologies, customer management systems", he reported.

Sergey Kerber, the Head of the Investment Projects and Programs Administration at MC "Leader" agreed that because of the severe regulatory policy and focus on the low-risk investments, NPFs don't consider active participation in the venture market.

"But we hope that 1-2% of the funds will be allocated", he emphasized.

Alexandr Povalko summarizing the session noted that venture investments play extremely important role of a catalyst element:

"Work of the venture investors at the pseudo-capitalist market is to substitute loan-based funding with the other instruments. The more people involved in this work, the more chances we have to improve this situation".

He specified two main factors: at first, dummy copying will not lead to positive results — it is necessary to adjust the instruments; secondly, in Russia, business angels, funds and pension funds do not like risk. It is necessary to lower risks for managers including those in the state corporations in order to allow them to think outside the box — in this way it is possible to improve situation on the venture market.

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