How Vkontakte and Mail.ru overcame lawsuits, drama, and intrigue to reach a happy ending

Last week, Mail.ru Group, the LSE-listed Russian Internet giant, announced it now fully controls Vkontakte (VK.com), the leading Russian language social network with over 250 million registered accounts and 60 million daily users. The group, which already owned 52 percent of the Vkontakte, bought the remaining 48 percent stake from UCP, the Russian investment fund that had become a VK shareholder in April last year. The all-cash transaction amounted to $1.47 billion.

Undeterred by Crimea, Western investors are still in the game for Russian startup deals

Launched in 2008 by Stanford graduates Maxim Faldin and Kamil Kurmakaev, Wikimart had the initial ambition of creating a Russian analog of eBay. Heavily funded by major U.S. investment funds, the startup has now become a major marketplace offering its own products alongside nearly 2 million items from 1,500 third-party merchants.