The Russian-Belarusian Venture Investment Fund, which was established by RVC, RVC Infrafund and the Belarusian Innovation Fund, has invested RUB 25M in AgroDronGroup, an R&D company that develops agricultural drones. The investments are expected to be used to finance the project's capital expenditures and expenses connected with its development and scaling. It is also planned to establish in Belarus a design bureau and manufacture drones for the markets of neighboring countries.
AgroDronGroup focuses on the creation of a system to monitor condition of crop areas and plant health using specially-equipped drones. The collected measurements and images are conveyed to the company’s proprietary platform, which provides users with visually structured information and recommendations on agricultural works. The technology allows agricultural businesses to increase yields, minimize costs on chemical treatment of plants, diminish agrochemical harmful effects on human health and reduce costs.
The distinguishing features of this product are high accuracy of provided data and high reliability of agro-drones due to an improved design. In addition, the business model of AgroDronGroup is not limited to marketing of drones. The company intends to create an aggregator platform for suppliers and consumers of agricultural products, where drone pilots can sell their services to agricultural producers and agricultural customers can receive the information they need in a convenient format.
The technology by AgroDronGroup was evaluated and approved by the D.N. Pryanishnikov All-Russian Research Institute of Agrochemistry, agro-chemical stations, Fruit and Vegetable Union. The company has already effected first sales of services to agricultural producers and is ready to launch batch production.
The Russian-Belarusian Venture Investment Fund was established in December 2016. Its size is RUB 1.4 billion. The investors of the fund were the Belarusian Innovation Fund (Belinfond), RVC and RVC Infrafund that invested 50%, 49% and 1% respectively at the first stage.
The managing partners of the Fund are RVC Infrafund and the Belarusian Innovation Fund.
RVC JSC is a governmental fund of funds, the Institute of Development of the Russia's venture investment industry. The main objectives of RVC JSC: promote creation of Russia's own venture capital industry and execute functions of the Project Office of the National Technology Initiative (NTI). The authorized capital of RVC JSC is more than 30 billion roubles. One hundred per cent of the RVC capital is owned by the Russian Federation represented by the Federal Agency for Management of State Property of the Russian Federation (Rosimushchestvo). The total number of funds formed by RVC JSC has reached 26, their total size is 35.7 billion roubles. The share of RVC JSC is 22.7 billion rubles. The number of innovative companies approved for investment by RVC funds has reached 223. The total amount of monetary funds approved for investment is 18.2 billion roubles.
About RVC Infrafund
RVC Infrafund, LLC was established in January 2011 with the participation of RVC’s capital (99.91%) and capital of MSP Bank OJSC (0.09%). The strategic task of the RVC Infrafund is to develop an infrastructure of innovation markets so that its members can successfully commercialize the results of their scientific and research activities. RVC Infrafund invests in commercially promising companies that provide a wide range of services to all participants of innovation markets and are located in regions with developed research and educational facilities.
About the Russian-Belarusian Venture Investment Fund
The Russian-Belarusian Venture Investment Fund is the first venture fund with state participation in the Republic of Belarus. It was founded in December 2016. The investors of the fund were the Belarusian Innovation Fund (Belinfond), RVC and RVC Infrafund that invested 50%, 49% and 1% respectively at the first stage. The managing partners of the Russian-Belarusian Venture Investment Fund are RVC Infrafund LLC and the Belarusian Innovation Fund.
The size of the Fund is RUB 1.4 billion. The fund invests in start-ups based on an innovative technology developed either in Russia or Belarus. The Fund can invest up to 4.8 million Belarusian rubles in one project. The contribution is made through participation in the authorized capital, provision of convertible loans or other venture financing instruments. The Fund also resorts in its deals to the international practices of drawing up joint stock agreements.
‘Belarusian Innovation Fund is a non-profit organization aimed at boosting state support for innovative activities in the Republic of Belarus. The main objective is to provide favorable conditions for the development of innovative entrepreneurship and efficient operation of companies and entities with various forms of incorporation that develop and produce high-tech innovative products in the Republic of Belarus.’