RVC Names the Most Active Russian Venture Investors in 2019


RVC presents an annual rating of venture capital investors activity that identifies key players and significant trends in the Russian venture capital industry. The rating considers three types of investors: venture capital funds, business angels, and corporations.

The total volume of transactions of Russian investors, which were reflected in the rating, amounted to $520 million — almost 50% more than in 2018 ($ 352 million). At the same time, the number of transactions increased from 684 to 776; the number of exits — from 48 to 82. In total, the rating included 208 investors. Almost half of all transactions turned out to be non-public — information about them was obtained only by the results of individual questioning of investors, and not during the analysis of publicly available databases and media reports.

Venture capital funds

The rating of the most active Russian venture funds included those who concluded the most significant number of transactions with start-ups in 2019 — the leading indicator of ranking — the number of investment projects. The rating partner is the National Association of Alternative Investment Market Participants (NAAIMP).

In 2019, the rating included 87 active venture capital funds (excluding corporate venture capital funds), which in total concluded 473 transactions (in 2018 — 441 transactions). The rating divides funds into four categories: classic funds, seed funds, new funds, and foreign investors. According to the number of transactions, the most active traditional fund is AltaIR Seed Fund, which has invested $15 million in 38 companies. For the fourth year around, the IIDF took the first place in the category of seed funds, having completed 45 transactions for $1.3 million. The leader among new funds was the Sberbank-500 accelerator. It has 15 deals worth $1.2 million. Among foreign investors is the leading venture fund — Day One Ventures, which has completed 27 transactions for $ 7 million. It is important to note that the number of foreign funds investing in Russian start-ups, increased to 25 (in 2018 — 14).

This year, the three leaders among management companies have changed. The most active was FRII Invest, which conducted 45 transactions. The second and third places were taken by Altair Capital and Tealtech Capital, respectively.

The leaders in terms of the number of exits in 2019 included the IIDF (12 transactions), Moscow Seed Fund (7 transactions), and Runa Capital (4 transactions). By the volume of exits, the top 3 were FinSight Ventures ($430 million), Elbrus Capital ($150 million), and Runa Capital ($111 million).

Top 5 most active classic funds:

  • AltaIR Seed Fund — 38 transactions
  • Day One Ventures — 27 transactions
  • Runa Capital I & II & III — 20 transactions
  • Target Global — 19 transactions
  • DST Global — 19 transactions

Top 5 most active new funds:

  • Sberbank-500 — 15 transactions
  • TealTech Capital — 9 transactions
  • A&A Capital — 8 transactions
  • Digital Horizon — 7 transactions
  • Alpha Accelerator — 7 transactions

Top 5 most active seed funds:

  • FRII — 45 transactions
  • Starta Ventures — 26 transactions
  • Startup Lab —19 transactions
  • TealTech Capital — 9 transactions
  • The Moscow Venture Investment Development Fund — 8 transactions
  • A&A Capital — 8 transactions

Top 5 most active foreign funds:

  • Day One Ventures — 27 transactions
  • Starta Ventures — 26 transactions
  • Target Global — 19 transactions
  • DST Global — 19 transactions
  • Sistema Asia Fund — 9 transactions

Top 5 most active management companies:

  • FRII Invest — 45 transactions
  • Altair Capital — 38 transactions
  • TealTech Capital — 35 transactions
  • Starta Ventures — 26 transactions
  • Runa Capital — 20 transactions

Business angels

In the ranking of the most active business angels with Russian roots, there was a change of leader — Bogdan Yarovoy replaced Alexander Rumyantsev in his first place. At the end of 2019, his portfolio had 13 transactions worth $0.5 million. In total, according to the study, in 2019, in the business angel investment market, 170 transactions were completed by 89 investors. In general, the results of the rating show that regular players dominate the industry. They have been regularly investing in start-ups over the past few years. RVC compiled the rating in partnership with the National Association of Business Angels (NABA).

Top 5 most active business angels in Russia:

  • Bogdan Yarovoy — 13 transactions
  • Alexander Rumyantsev — 9 transactions
  • Sergey Dashkov — 6 transactions
  • Dmitry Shurygin — 6 transactions
  • Alexey Karlov — 5 transactions


In 2019, the ranking included 24 corporations and 17 corporate venture funds, which in total concluded almost twice as many transactions as a year earlier — 77 transactions in 2018 and 133 transactions in 2019. Transactions of corporations as an LP were not taken into account. Among the corporate investors in 2019, new players have appeared such as private companies and corporations with state participation. With 26 transactions, Sberbank became the leader of the rating, followed by AFK Sistema and Group — 17 and 13 transactions, respectively. In the segment of corporate venture capital funds, the five most active also entered Veb Ventures.

Top 5 most active corporations:

  • Sberbank — 26 transactions
  • AFK Sistema — 17 transactions
  • Mail.Ru Group — 13 transactions
  • Kaspersky Lab — 10 transactions
  • S7 Group — 8 transactions
Alexey Basov, Deputy General Director-Investment Director of RVC
The events of the first half of 2020 will affect the economic situation worldwide. The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and other destabilizing factors has led many world markets to volatility, which will entail several difficulties as early as this year. To prevent a decline in the standard of living of the population, and the economic situation had the opportunity to improve, the government and participants in the venture capital market must solve the problem of implementing new market opportunities. It is necessary to take additional measures that will ensure the dynamics of the development of the venture capital industry and a change in its structure. To stimulate an innovative economy, new players and resources must be attracted. We note an increase in the number of transactions and the volume of invested funds in our annual ratings of active venture capital investors. New public and private funds appear. The role of corporations in the status of investors interested in supporting Russian technology companies is also growing. However, now it is necessary not only to maintain this trend but also to take additional measures. The need for this year and the next decade will be legislative and infrastructural changes that should affect all venture capital players, including regulators and development institutions. RVC presented its view on the tools and initiatives needed by the Russian venture market in the Strategy for the Development of the Venture Market until 2030.

The ratings are based on an analysis of public transaction data from January 1 to December 31, 2019, and a subsequent survey of market participants. The full version of the ratings is available here:

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