Fort Ross Ventures, a venture capital firm looking to more U.S. startups to Russia, has raised a $200m fund.
The fund will provide $5m to $10m to fast-growing startups working on financial services technology, artificial intelligence, cloud computing and on-demand services.
Fort Ross has offices in Silicon Valley, Israel and Moscow, and is led by?Victor Orlovski, a former technology executive at Russian state-owned bank?Sberbank, which is also an investor in the fund.
About 60 percent of Fort Ross fund comes from Russian investors, and the other 40 percent was raised primarily from investors in China and the Middle East, Orlovski said.
The fund, which is double the size of its $100m predecessor, is expected to announce the first two investments in the coming weeks. Fort Ross first fund backed NetGuardians, a FinTech company recognised for its behavioural risk-prevention solutions. The RegTech 100 company provides an enterprise platform helps financial institutions to prevent banking fraud and digitize regulatory compliance.
Earlier this year, NetGuardians?was selected?by Steward Bank to help fight financial crime.?The company software has been chosen by the Zimbabwean bank to strengthen its defense against cyber-fraud.
The RegTech company also signed its first client in North America. The Swiss company financial crime solution was chosen by?Canada FirstOntario Credit Union to strengthen its position in the fight against fraud and cyber-crime.
Investments from Fort Ross previous fund also include ride service?Uber Technologies?and computing service?GridGain Systems, deals that were joined by the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund and Sberbank, among other investors.
In addition to capital, Fort Ross also provides a cultural and business development bridge for US founders by facilitating market entry through partnerships with some of Russia’s most significant financial institutions.
?Fort Ross brings together Silicon Valley venture expertise with an extensive network of relationships across Russia’s largest commercial organisations. We help startups navigate and thrive in this lucrative, tech-savvy market while establishing an invaluable foothold for global growth,” said Orlovski.
He added that Russia offers startups a market of more than 100 million internet users, little competition from local tech companies and a skilled workforce that costs a fraction of what Silicon Valley employees command.
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