Vkontakte founder Pavel Durov

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.

Telegram Avi Kovacevich Flickr

VKontakte shareholders sue each other as Telegram gets hotter

That the Durov brothers started the Telegram instant messaging service while they were VKontakte executives is enough for a part-owner of VK to lay claim to Telegram, too.

On his Instagram account, Mail.ru Group CEO Dmitry Grishin found an explicit way to illustrate his accusation of “corporate trolling” by UCP.

Vkontakte shareholder drama continues: UCP to sue Mail.ru Group and Ivan Tavrin

The Vkontakte shareholder drama saw new developments yesterday as United Capital Partners (UCP), which acquired a 48 percent stake in the social network last year, announced that it is suing the company’s two other shareholders in Russian and international jurisdictions.

The hottest new internet companies are growing up outside the U.S.

High-value financings for venture-backed private internet and digital media companies seem to be happening at a rapid pace. Dropbox, Tumblr, AirBnB, Foursquare, and Spotify have all raked in big fundings and attained record valuations in recent months. Meanwhile, public investors are decidedly less sanguine. The Nasdaq Composite index is flat for the year – and the average internet and digital media company is down 50% from 52-week highs.