3 Sep 2021 13:00

Interros to invest 10 bln rubles in Far East venture fund projects in five years

VLADIVOSTOK/MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) - Billionaire Vladimir Potanin's Interros plans to invest 10 billion rubles over five years in the projects of the new Far East venture capital fund Voskhod, the group's CEO, Sergei Batekhin said.

"Interros has decided to create a venture capital fund called Voskhod in the Far East. We have committed to investing 10 billion rubles in the next five years," Batekhin said at the Far East IT Hub 2030: Targeting Asia-Pacific Markets session at the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

The agreement to set up the fund was signed later on Friday by Batekhin and Far East Development Minister Sergei Chekunkov in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev, who is also the Russian president's envoy to the Far East Federal District.

"Investment in modern technologies, including digital, is one of the key areas of Interros's business. And the Russian Arctic and Far East are among the most promising regions of the country, the technological and scientific potential of which is difficult to overestimate. For Interros, participation in the created fund is not only a big investment, but also a contribution to the innovative development of the whole region, the whole Russian economy," Interros owner and Nornickel president Vladimir Potanin said.

He said the fund should help to create Russia innovative businesses that are competitive on the international level. "The main objective of the created fund is to provide support to young, promising teams in the creation of successful companies and bringing scientific and technological developments to their practical realization and commercialization," Potanin said.

"The creation of the venture fund with private capital is of fundamental importance to us. We, together with Interros, must develop transparent, effective mechanisms for providing support to high-tech companies. I am confident that this will help the development of high technologies and the development of our country," Trutnev said.

The fund plans to make its first investments this year. It will stimulate the emergence and development of high-tech startups in the Far East, Batekhin said.

He said the creation of the fund in the Far East was facilitated by government efforts to support science and business in the region, including the creation of the Far East High Technologies Fund and the Russky Innovation Center.

"All this, in our view as an investment company, creates the critical mass of necessary conditions where big business is prepared to enter the region not just in the mining sector but also in information technology," Batekhin said.

The creation of the fund will make it possible "to fill the niche of support for startups at the early stage," he said. "Given our experience and understanding, we could provide assistance to these startups in the development of business plans and training programs," Batekhin said.