According to the report, the Russian venture market showed a certain margin of safety. Values of the venture transactions volume in dollar equivalent decreased, but the observed reduction of the market volume is, to a considerable extent, a result of a 37% drop in the rouble yearly average exchange rate according to CB RF.
Venture transactions market volume in dollar equivalent decreased by 52% comparing to values of 2014 and is 232.6 billion USD. Average transaction value decreased by 55% and is 1.5 million USD. The number of the executed venture transactions increased comparing to the values of the last year by 21%, and the number of exits decreased by 13%, and the aggregate cost of exits in 2015 increased by more than twice.
Industry structure of the market in 2015 remained unchanged; IT sector kept the leading role in total investment volume and constituted 88%, though industry technology and biotechnology demonstrated solid growth in 2015 and in aggregate increased their relative share to 12%.
Results of 2015 demonstrated general continuance of the trends observed in the previous year, — Gulnara Bikkulova, member of the Management Board of RVC noticed. — Most likely, this is an indicator of the certain maturity of the venture ecosystem that allowed the market to stay stable; it is also an indicator of the state effort to support those market segments where the investor participation is insufficient. First of all, it is related to the projects of seed stages and support of developments in high technology science-driven industries.
The number of venture transactions in IT decreased by 27% comparing to the previous year and constituted 97 transactions of total value of 205.9 million USD. E-commerce remained a leader among the IT sub-sectors for the quantity of transactions and investment amounts. In 2015, 17 transactions for the amount of 73 million USD were executed in 2015. The second for the number of transactions were cloud technologies and software — 11 transactions for the total amount of 34.4 million USD were executed, which is 2 transactions less than in 2014 (28% less in money equivalent).
The first and the second position for the average transaction value were taken by the advertising technologies and reference and recommendation services/social media (5.5 million USD and 5.4 million USD). E-Commerce sub-sector got the third position (4.3 million USD).
Biotechnology sector demonstrated significant growth in the number of transactions in 2015 showing almost seven times increase of their quantity from 6 to 39 transactions. To the significant extent, this indicator was formed by the transactions of the funds with participation of RVC capital in 2015. The number of transactions in industrial projects increased from 10 to 15. In spite of it, the volume of investments in biotechnology in money equivalent decreased by 48% and constituted 18.1 million USD against 35.1 million USD in the previous year. Investments in the industrial technologies, in the opposite, increased by 65% and constituted 8.6 million USD comparing to 5.2 million USD in 2014.
Big transactions of the amount more than 100 million USD are considered separately in the report. The number big transactions remained unchanged in 2015: 2 transactions for the amount of 200 million USD were executed comparing to the same number of transactions for the amount of 350 USD in 2014. One of the transactions was executed in the games sub-sector — USM Holdings of Alisher Usmanov invested 100 million USD in the cybersport community Virtus.pro.
The number of investor exits reduced a little in 2015 and constituted 26 transactions which are by 4 transactions less than in 2014. At the same time, total value of the exits in 2015 increased by more than twice and constituted 1573.5 million USD comparing to 731.5 million USD in 2014.
Grants are also considered separately according to the survey methodology. Following the results of 2015, the number of the provided grants was 6074. Total amount of grants was 178.2 million USD in 2015. Increase of the amount of provided grants in rouble equivalent was more significant than the growth of its dollar equivalent. Considerable number of the grants was provided to support the projects in industrial technologies and biotechnology. Traditionally, the main part of grants was provided by the Fund for Assistance to Small Companies in Science and Technology (Fund for Assistance to Innovations or Bortnik Fund). The number of grants issued by the Fund in 2015 constituted 5792 grants for the amount of 155.4 million USD. The total number and amount of grants were influenced by additional capitalization of the Fund in 2015, which allowed provision of additional 527 grants. The second position for the activity rate was taken by the Skolkovo Fund that provided 256 grants for the amount 21.3 million USD in 2015. According to the results of 2015, growth in the grant provision activity offered the ability to compensate the reduced funds offer for the seed stage projects.
At the first sight, decrease of the venture transactions market volume, which is a base for this survey, looks sad. Negative dynamics was observed, but it is necessary to take into consideration the fact that we talk of dollar values. Rouble devalued by 37% in average during the year (according to the official information). It's impossible to expressly identify impact of the currency constituent in every transaction, but it is obvious that slowdown in the Russian market in roubles was much less than 50%. — Andrey Ekimenko, Director of the Corporate Finance Department of PwC in Russia says. — The market gradually changes: new players appear; they are very conservative yet and invest small amounts in the understandable companies. As a result, investment activity expressed in the number of transactions grew and the average transaction sum decreased. Here we face with the natural market development at the current lifecycle stage. It's interesting that dynamics for decrease of the relative share of investments in IT manifests clearer, but we shouldn't expect quick changes of the industry infrastructure — we observe the dominating role of this segment in all countries where our survey is published.
Summarizing the main development tendencies of the Russian venture industry in 2015, the survey makes a conclusion that in spite of the non-stable macro-economic situation, the Russian venture market showed a good margin for safety and further growth in the number of exits and appearance of the success stories is significantly limited by absence of the interested strategy investors. In general, level and dynamics of the investment activity on the market make it possible to provide carefully-optimistic forecast subject to absence of the serious external shocks.
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