group Group sites blocked in Italy over piracy allegation

Access to online services of the Group has been blocked in Italy by order of a Roman court. The Russian portal is on a list of 25 websites, along with filesharing and video streaming sites, that face allegations of piracy, Group reports.

The group stated that it became aware of the problem after receiving complaints from users. It added that the action was taken in response to a complaint filed by Italian film distributor Eyemoon Pictures claiming that video content it controls was being illegally hosted by sites belonging to the group.

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Russian emblem

First charge recorded in a non-FSB-sanctioned foreign smartphone purchase

Russia has witnessed its first case brought by the federal customs service against a local resident for trying to order a smartphone from a foreign online store. Eugene Yarutkin, a resident of Dimitrovgrad (Ulyanovsk region), was given the dubious honor when he ordered a Motorola Moto G with a data encryption feature from a German online store in May 2014.

According to an enacted law in 2012, subscriber-based telecom equipment with an encryption function that is not certified by the FSB (Russia’s state security organization) is not to be sold in the territory of the Russian Federation. Continue reading


SafeData invests in CDN operator Ngenix

The Center for Network Interaction Technologies (TsTVS in Russian) has invested in the content delivery network (CDN) operator Ngenix and received a blocking stake in it, reported last week IKS Media, an online publication covering the Russian IT and telecom market. TsTVS  is owned by data center operator SafeData and prominent Russian businessman Dmitry Shumkov.

Ngenix will use the funds it received for the development of the CDN cloud platform for broadcasting video on the Internet, increasing the speed of ecommerce sites and guaranteeing the security of web apps for corporate and state customers.

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Anna Chapman

Alleged ex-spy Anna Chapman to launch online shop with logistic support from Otto Group

Anna Chapman, the Russian businesswoman and alleged secret agent uncovered by the FBI in 2010, has teamed up with the Otto Group to launch an e-commerce shop dedicated to her own fashion brand.

According to an agreement signed last month, the group’s logistic subsidiary eTraction will provide the warehousing, fulfilment, call center, and returns management services required to support the online shop. Delivery will be provided by eTraction’s specialized partners.

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TMT Investments_new

TMT Investments injects $400,000 into US business productivity software publisher

Last week TMT Investments, a UK-headquartered venture fund backed by Russian businessmen, announced the completion of a $400,000 investment in US startup Quote Roller Inc.

Headquartered in South San Franciso, Quote Roller Inc. was founded by two Bielorussian-born enterpreneurs, Mikita Mikado and Serge Barisyuk. The startup is behind two business productivity SaaS products: Quote Roller and PandaDoc. Both products help improve efficiency and productivity of business development and sales teams across various industries.

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International VC consortium injects $7 million into Russian package tour online reseller

On Thursday Russia’s hot online travel market saw its third major venture funding operation in one month as OnlineTours, a reseller of package tours, closed a $7 million Series B round. The funds were brought in by a VC consortium that includes international funds, Global Founders Capital and Holtzbrinck Ventures as well as Russia’s InVenture Partners.

The latter, a $100 millon fund launched in 2012, already invested $2 million in OnlineTours in a Series A round that took place a few months after the startup’s inception that same year.

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Russian-American startup iBuildApp receives 3rd capital injection in 5 months

Earlier this month Rafael Sultanov, founder of the Russian-American startup iBuildApp, used his Facebook page to announce that his startup received $400,000 from “a well known CEO of a listed IT company.” However, he did not name the investor.

“This is the third investment we’ve attracted in five months,” Sultanov told East-West Digital News.

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How Russian hackers stole the Nasdaq

In October 2010, a Federal Bureau of Investigation system monitoring U.S. Internet traffic picked up an alert. The signal was coming from Nasdaq (NDAQ). It looked like malware had snuck into the company’s central servers. There were indications that the intruder was not a kid somewhere, but the intelligence agency of another country.

More troubling still: When the U.S. experts got a better look at the malware, they realized it was attack code, designed to cause damage.

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Symantec Skolkovo

Symantec and Skolkovo pen partnership agreement

Earlier this week Skolkovo, the international tech hub under completion on the outskirts of Moscow, and California-based digital security solutions firm Symantec signed a deal for joint cooperation across a number of segments.

Cooperation will range from educational projects to cooperation in software development. In particular, Symantec will provide mentoring support and advice to companies participating at Skolkovo by helping them create innovative IT products.

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Qiwi Universe

Qiwi launches acceleration program and invests in 12 startups

The investment arm of QIWI, the Russian payment giant, has injected $700,000 into 12 startups selected for the QIWI Universe acceleration program, hosted by Moscow State University’s business incubator. According to the company’s press release, over 500 applications were received out of which eight pre-seed stage and four more mature projects were chosen.

Among the finalists are projects in e-commerce, telecom and financial sectors, as well as Big Data and CRM. Some projects are complementary to QIWI’s main business while others represent technological solutions that can help enhance and develop IT infrastructure in the future.

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East-West Digital News is published with the support of:
  • Higher school of economics
  • The Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge
  • Russian Venture Company
  • Territory of tomorrow foundation