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Microsoft teams up with Russian government-backed fund to support industrial startups

Last week FRII, the $200 million government-backed startup fund launched last year, and Microsoft announced that they were beginning an industrial accelerator to support startups developing IT solutions for education, healthcare, commerce, industry, the service sector, the financial sector and municipal services.

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Moscow-based Runa Capital to invest up to $200 million in European startups

Runa Capital, a Moscow-based global tech-focused venture capital firm, announced yesterday the first closing of its new fund, Runa Capital II. With a target size of $200 million, the firm will continue investing in tech-based companies worldwide, focusing especially on Europe. The amount of the first closing has not been disclosed.

Euro dollars

Yuri Milner's DST Global launches its fourth investment fund

DST Global, which is controlled by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, has launched its fourth investment fund — DST Global IV. The news was reported last week by Russian business daily Vedomosti based on documents posted on the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The home page of Russian e-book store LitRes.

Russian e-commerce giant Ozon acquires stake in e-book store

Yesterday Ozon Holdings, one of Russia’s most established e-commerce players, announced that it acquired a stake in LitRes, the leader in Russia’s fast growing — though still embryonic — domestic e-book market. Neither the size of the stake nor the amount of the transaction has been disclosed.

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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.

A view of Artillery Bay in Sevastopol, Crimea, dated May 5, 2013.

Russia opening gov’t-backed startup accelerator in Crimea

The Internet Initiatives Development Fund, a government-backed fund supporting startup development, plans to open a remote regional accelerator in Sevastopol, Crimea, as soon as this summer.

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.

Play with Photoshop

Russian investors pile cash into a startup that can detect your Photoshop fakery

Flint Capital, a $30 million high-tech investment fund based in Moscow, and FRII, a government-backed $200 million seed and early-stage fund, have invested an undisclosed amount in SMTDP Tech LTD, a St. Petersburg startup that has developed a technology to verify the authenticity of photographs.

Angel investor

Russian angel investment grew 4x in 2013

Russian business angel investors put up $116.5 million for early-stage projects between January and November 2013 — a hefty 4.5-time increase from 2012.