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Russian Venture Company, a development institute of the Russian Federation

For instituting a collaborative innovation lab. This government-formed coalition--including seven Russian funds and some of the biggest name Russian VCs--now represents 139 companies, with investment capital totaling $400 million.

Russian Venture Company is a government fund of funds and a development institute of the Russian Federation, one of Russia's key tools in building its own national innovation system.

Russian Venture Company was established by Russian Government on June 7, 2006 (Order No. 838-r). Its mission is to encourage Russia’s own VC industry and boost capital of VC funds. RVC’s role is that of a government fund of venture capital funds channeling public incentives to venture capital and financial support to the hi-tech sector, and of a Russian VC industry development institute.

RVC’s authorized capital — RUB 30 011 320 700 (about US$ 983.2 mln.) — is 100% owned by the Federal Agency for State Property Management.

As on February 2012, RVC backed funds run a portfolio of 104 companies, invested capital totaling more than RUB 9,1 bln i.e. about US$ 310 mln.

RVC has signed 26 cooperation agreements with different Russian regions.

On October 22, 2009, RVC launched its RVC Seed Fund. Its mission is to invest into Russian innovation-based start-ups promising high growth opportunities both on Russian and foreign IT markets. This RUB 2 bln (i.e. about US$ 68 mln.) vehicle is assisted by a network of Venture Partners—special entities who have access to academic, technology and financial resources required for their activities.

An important area of RVC efforts is infrastructural development. RVC is struggling to create an environment in Russia that would favor innovation business. These include legislative initiatives, efforts to launch an ecosystem as a partner network of RVC, and international efforts involving both import of technologies and competencies from developed innovation markets and assistance to Russian companies on their way to global markets.

Since May 2009, RVC is headed by a new CEO—Igor Agamirzyan. His accomplishments include RVC Corporate Strategy and Business Plan 2010. As per these documents, RVC is planning this year to double its investments into innovation companies and increase its Seed Fund’s deals to RUB 440 mln, as well as to launch up to four new special purpose vehicles to a total capitalization of up to RUB 11 bln i.e. about US$ 374 mln.

In April 2010, the Board of Directors of RVC resolved to join an international venture capital investors’ alliance by establishing in the UK a specialized venture capital fund named RUSSIAN VENTURE CAPITAL I LP and invest the dollar equivalent of RUB 300 mln (as per Central Bank of Russia exchange rate - USD 10 mln) in BrightSource Energy Inc as a part of Round D totaling over USD 150 mln. The pool of BrightSource Energy Inc. investors includes Morgan Stanley, BlackRiver, Chevron Human Energy, BP Alternative Energy, StatOil HydroVentures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and other world’s largest funds. Additionally, the Board of Directors of RVC resolved to establish a special-purpose VC fund to carry out transactions aimed at joining international later-stage funds. June 25, 2010, RUSSIAN VENTURE CAPITAL II LP was registered in the UK. It is a 100% RVC backed fund focused on joining leading international later-stage venture capital funds. This mechanism of joining international later-stage VC funds (consortiums, alliances) will provide RVC with access to the best VC practices to be disseminated on the Russian market. Additionally, RVC will get a firm foothold in this club of leading international funds, which in return, via RVC, will find their shortcuts to investing capital into Russian companies.

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