The relationship between Russia and the United States may be fraught with tension, but one venture capital firm wants to help startups bridge the divide.
Russia’s Fort Ross Ventures announced it had closed a $200 million fund for U.S. startups that are developing products and services in the areas of fintech, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and ecommerce. The firm wants to offer money as well as advisory services aimed at helping startups understand the culture, politics, and financial regulations necessary to operate in Russia.
“Fort Ross brings together Silicon Valley venture expertise with an extensive network of relationships across Russia’s largest commercial organizations,” said Fort Ross partner Victor Orlovski in a statement. “We help startups navigate and thrive in this lucrative, tech-savvy market while establishing an invaluable foothold for global growth.”
The name “Fort Ross” refers to a town in Northern California that was originally settled by Russians.
Via a previous $100 million fund, the Russian firm had invested in such startups as GridGain, Moven, eToro, Uber, and NetGuardians. With the U.S. wing of the firm and the new fund, the goal is to dramatically expand those investments and those efforts.
To help with that, the firm also announced it had brought on board Anurag Chandra, a venture capitalist who was previously with Lighthouse Capital Partners, NXT Ventures, and The Galleon Crossover Fund.
“I am excited to join the Fort Ross team as it continues to build bridges through investment between two of the world’s most technologically-savvy countries,” said Chandra. “The potential for U.S. startups in Russia is incredible, and we look forward to helping even more U.S. companies address this market and unlock its potential.”