The Russian market of business angels "matured" and contracted


The Russian market of business angels "matured" and contracted

The volume of transactions with the participation of private investors of an early stage in 2014 amounted to $ 34.3 million., which is about one third more than in 2012 and 40% lower than in 2013 – data of the annual Russian business angels market research by Atom Partners, RVC and the National Association of Business Angels was presented in Skolkovo Hypercube on November 25 within the framework of the 5th Annual NBBA Congress. The event, organized by the National Association of Business Angels, with the support of RVC, brought together over 150 participants: private investors, venture capital funds, large corporations, development institutions and state authorities. Candace Johnson, the President of the European Business Angels Association, was the guest of honour at the Congress.

"The main trends in the market of business angels in 2014 – maturing of the market, reducing the number of "spontaneous "investments and expansion of professional investment community" – said Ivan Protopopov, a managing partner from the Atom Partners. The study showed: the most active angels of 2013 gradually shifted to another segment of the market, grew to full seed funds, and the amount of speculative investments fell against the background of deteriorating economic conditions. Investment preferences of private investors have also changed: angel investment in consumer goods decreased 7 times, the share of investments in projects that provide financial services also fell from 36% to 25%. But the interest of angels in health projects increased, their share grew up from 6% to 17%. Business angels themselves have noted that over the past year new names have come at the market, the community has grown largely due to the development of infrastructure and mechanisms of syndication of deals.

Detailed analysis of Russian platforms for syndication of transactions was carried out at the Congress by the participants of the panel discussion "Platforms for syndication of transactions in Russia: review": Konstantin Sinyushin, director of business development in Russia of the Untitled Venture Company; Alexander Borodich, founder of VentureClub; Oleg Vasilkov, co-founder of Atlantium; Oleg Lozovoi, Managing Director of; Konstantin Shabalin, CEO of StartTrack. The participants told about the peculiarities of operation and business models of their platforms, as well as about their main objectives: to form in Russia an investment lift for the companies at early stages of development, to attract investments at the seed stage and to develop market of outlets for business angels.

The discussion "Angels and accelerators: opportunities for joint development of start-ups" focused on problems and new ways of development of business angels relationships. "One of the problems is the lack of a convenient tool to view the projects of accelerators at the entrance, before the demonstration day", – said Alexander Borodich.

A new niche for funding was searched for by the participants of the session "Is there life after IT: Angels in Biomed." Summarizing the meeting the moderator Kirill Kay, head of BMT Cluster of "Skolkovo" Foundation, emphasized: "Biomed is surely a very complex area. Working in this direction is not easy, however, the problems and difficulties of start-ups in the biomed are quite solvable, and success stories are realistic - and our meeting today has become another confirmation of it. I am sure that Russian projects in Biomed have a great future."

The business program of the 5th Annual NBAA Congress finished with a joint panel discussion on the topics of "Venture capital funds, corporations and business angels: strategic partnership or competition for innovations "and" Angel investments under the conditions of new geopolitical environment." The discussion was attended by Pavel Arkhipov (Head of R & D, the Fund "Energy without borders" Inter RAO Group), Alexander Borodich (Managing Partner of FutureLabs), Alexey Girin (Managing Partner of Starta Capital), Lyubov Simonova-Emelyanova (expert of Almaz Capital Partners), Andrey Zyuzin (Managing Director of the "VEB Innovation" Foundation), representatives of foundations, corporations, business angels. The managing partner of Altair Capital, Igor Ryabenky, noted in his speech: "Now we can talk not about a new geopolitical situation, but about the anticipation of new geopolitical conditions. Of course, this does not contribute to the inflow of investments. Today we can see several trends: On the one hand, there appeared rudiments of the business angel community. On the other hand - this growing uncertainty raises concerns for the continuation of funding of projects. One possible solution – law-making which efforts should be directed to support the activities of ventures. It is necessary to make the Russian venture economy sector not "peculiar", but similar to those that exist in the world."

Following the results of the pitch-presentations in the Shared Deals session, Starta Capital seed fund signed an investment agreement with the Navigine project - a platform for indoors geolocation services.

The IV Annual NBAA Award became the culmination of the Congress. Bronze griffons have found their owners:

• Business Angel of the Year - Aleksandr Borodich, managing partner of FutureLabs and founder of VentureClub

• Exit of the Year - UniSender project (Evgeny Medvednikov)

• Early Stage Fund of the Year - Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF)

• Business Angel Organization of the Year - Skolkovo Business School Investor Club

• Syndicated Deal of the Year - Panorics (VentureClub)

• Infrastructure Organization of the Year - Moscow Seed Fund and Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF)

• Best Performing New Member - Starta Capital

• Best operator of the Third Russian Business Angels Week - The Urals Association of Business Angels (BAUR)

• For contributions to developing the early-stage venture capital market in Moscow - GVA Launch Gurus

• For the best mass-media coverage of the early-stage venture capital market - Elena Krauzova (

The National Association of Business Angels thanks for the help and support:
The general partner of the Congress - RVC; strategic partners - Skolkovo Foundation and Skolkovo Business Angels Club (SKBA); partners - Centre for Innovative Development of Moscow, VentureClub and GVA LaunchGurus; Ministry of Economic Development, the Chamber of Commerce of the Russian Federation, the Russian public organization "Business Russia". As well as media partners: MIA "Russia Today", "Rossiyskaya Gazeta. Business", RBK. Innovations, "Rain" TV channel, "Snob", "Banking Review", "Business Journal", "Own Business", Gentl’s, Firrma, Rusbase, Venture Business news, "Business Environment", as well as StartTrack and "STROGINO" Technopark.

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