Skolkovo Ventures, a group of three new investment funds launched in June by the Skolkovo Foundation to focus on IT, industrial technology, and biotech, will support start-ups with global ambitions.
The funds, which were set up in partnership with the state-backed fund of funds RVC, operate out of an office in the Skolkovo Technopark on the outskirts of Moscow. The CEO of Skolkovo Ventures is Vasily Belov who formerly served as senior vice president for innovations at the Skolkovo Foundation.
He said earlier this year in an explanation of the reasons for setting up a commercial venture fund that “as a state institution that supports a large number of start-ups, we see a deficit of money, and in particular, money that would allow companies to grow and enter foreign markets.”
The new funds focus on helping companies go global and attract foreign investment.
Each of the three funds has around $39m in capital, with RVC expected to ante up as much as $26m for each fund.
Skolkovo Ventures has inked partnerships with three existing private venture funds specializing in each of its focal areas: iTechCapital (IT), I2BF (industry), and Primer (biomed).
The IT fund is investing in start-ups working in areas that include artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and big data. The industrial fund will also back AI, as well as the Internet of Things, robotics, energy, and space; while the biomed fund is looking primarily for companies that have already reached phase I and II clinical trials, according to representatives of the three partnering funds.
Skolkovo Ventures is primarily supporting Skolkovo’s resident start-ups, but up to 30% of its capital can be invested in other start-ups with international ambitions.