LONDON Venture capital group Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) has teamed with VTB, a leading Russian commercial banking group, to form a U.S-Russian venture capital fund, DFJ-VTB Aurora.
The team will manage a range of high technology company focused funds that will be ruble-based and convert to approximately $150 million of capital for investments in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Planning is also underway for an additional off-shore fund with flexibility to invest in technology companies headquartered both inside and outside of Russia and CIS.
The Russian partnership is the latest ddition to the DFJ Global Network of venture capital funds. The Silicon Valley based company in August took a "strategic stake" in European venture capital group Esprit Capital Partners (Cambridge, England) that saw it become DFJ's exclusive partner in Europe.
The DFJ Esprit portfolio consists of more than 35 high growth technology companies across Europe including Packetexchange, Intense Ltd, Displaylink and XMOS.
Past exits have included stakes in companies such as Alphamosaic, KVS, Fillfactory, Blackspider, Neteconomy and DRI and in previous roles the Esprit team has invested in the first rounds of successful companies such as CSR, Xaar, Arakis, and Bookham.
Meanwhile the DFJ Network is currently made up of more than 130 venture capital professionals, across 30 cities in the U.S., Asia, Europe and South America, with over 500 portfolio companies and over $5 billion of capital under management. Recent successes include DivX, Skype, Mobile365, Baidu and EnerNOC.
"DFJ has been observing the Russian start up environment for the last several years. It is safe to say that with the influx of institutional money, governmental support, and the migration of management talent of Russian origin back to Russia, the ecosystem for technology startups is now emerging," said Tim Draper, Founder and Managing Director of DFJ.