Intel injects millions of dollars into 2 Russian companies

June 09, 2011, Thu 1:35 PM  Business

The Intel Capital fund and several other investors have allocated $12 million into the Russian online shoe shop Sapato.ru and $10 million into the Altergeo geosocial network developer.

The Intel Capital investment fund and a number of other investors have injected over $20 million into 2 Russian companies, the Sapato.ru online shoe shop and the Altergeo geosocial network developer.

The former received around $12 million. Apart from Intel which had the largest share in the investment, Sapato.ru received sums from its previous investors, Direct Group, eVenture Capital Partners, and Kinnevik. The overall volume of the investment's first round was $20 million. The company plans to spend the money on developing the client service and promotion.

The Sapato.ru online shoe shop is a Fast Lane Ventures fund project and was launched in 2010. After a year its revenues were $2,8 million and the number of its clients exceeded 100 thousand.

Director General of Intel EMEA Christian Morales said Sapato.ru had become the company's first experience in the Russian electronic commerce. "Online trading is a fast growing sector of internet services in Russia and being part of it is a rather attractive prospect", he said.

The Altergeo developer received about $10 million. The lion's share of the investment was made by Intel Capital and Almaz Capital funds. Entrepreneur and investor Esther Dyson acted as co-investor. The fund earlier had investments from the AddVenture business angles and Kite Ventures funds, $50 thousand and $1 million, respectively.


Director General of Intel EMEA Christian Morales says being part of Russian online trading projects is a rather attractive prospect

Altergeo is a city navigation service. It spots the location of a person/user and shows which people and places are in the vicinity at the time. Choosing a place to visit users may invite their friends there. For that, one should mark their location and one's friends will receive an automatic message about it.

Intel Capital say the investments Altergeo receives in the second round will pay to enlarge its client base and develop new services for users. Altergeo say 700 thousand people currently use their service.

Altergeo's counterpart abroad is the Foursquare.com service. A similar approach to collecting geosocial data is used by Sense Networks. Intel Capital say the geosocial service segment is one of the world's most rapidly growing ones.

Intel Capital fund was founded in 1991. Since then it has invested over $10 billion into 1,140 companies worldwide. In 2010 Intel Capital had 119 deals investing $327 million. 44% of them went to companies beyond the US and Canada.

Intel is not the only company investing into Russian companies. Within the recent 6 months 5 Russian startups received grants from the Microsoft Seed Financing Fund. In terms of a corporation, investment volumes are in several hundred thousand dollars. Microsoft Russia Head Nikolay Pryanishnikov said his company plans to finance 100 software development and internet service startups within the coming 10 years.

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