Music Messenger

Roman Abramovich invests $15 million in Israeli startup Music Messenger

As reported by Reuters, Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has invested $15 million in Israeli startup Music Messenger, leading a $30 million round which also involved Benny Andersson from pop band ABBA, artists David Guetta, Will.i.am and Avicci, and Gee Roberson, manager of Nicki Minaj.

Co-founded by Israeli entrepreneur O.D. Kobo and launched seven months ago, this Israeli startup has developed a mobile phone app that allows users to send music to each another for free. 

Continue reading

Hotel Tonight

Last-minute booking app HotelTonight enters Russian market

HotelTonight, a mobile booking application that helps travelers reserve hotel rooms at the last moment, is coming to Russia, the US company announced via Twitter earlier this month.

“We invest in markets where people are ready for spontaneous travel and adapt well to new technologies,” said HotelTonight CEO Jared Simon. “Russia was ideal. Russians don’t plan one year ahead like in many other countries.”

Continue reading

Scorista

Moscow Seed Fund and Life.Sreda invest in microcredit scoring technology

Earlier this month Moscow Seed Fund, the venture arm of the Moscow city authorities, and Life.Sreda, a Russian fintech fund, announced they brought in 12 million rubles (approximately put $240,000 at the current exchange rate) in Scorista.ru.

Launched in 2013, this Moscow-based startup provides microcredit companies with credit scoring and risk analysis “in a minute.” In addition to authenticating the borrower’s ID documents, this scoring technology integrates information from the borrower’s social media profile, mobile phone account, credit and even fine history.

Continue reading

mail.ru group

Mail.ru Group grows more slowly throughout the crisis, focuses on mobile and video advertising

Yesterday Mail.ru Group, a leading, LSE-listed Russian Internet Group, released its annual report for 2014 and provided the final audited segment financial information for the year ended 31 December 2014 and preliminary revenue update for Q1 2015.

The group’s aggregate segment revenue amounted to 35.78 billion rubles in 2014 with EBITDA at 18.3 billion rubles and net profit at 12.52 billion rubles.

Continue reading

Argentina Russia

Skolkovo fortifies trade ties between Russia and Argentina

Skolkovo played a pivotal role this week in building trade bridges between Russian and Argentina, entering a dozen startups in a bilateral Moscow business forum held as part of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez’s official visit to the capital.

Fernandez’s two-day visit to Moscow was aimed at drumming up business and investment for her country: She was accompanied by a reported 57 Argentinian companies seeking to enter the Russian market and to forge partnerships with Russian companies back home.

Continue reading

The Secret Society_logo

Twins from Yakut village make millions on online games

The Ushnitsky twins were born in Yakutia in a village in northeastern Siberia, where winter temperatures can drop to minus 60 degrees Celsius. Their game – The Secret Society – has been installed 15 million times from the App Store, Google Play and social networks.

iPhone users alone bring the Ushnitsky brothers and the publisher $11,000 per day. How have the twins managed to conquer the international market from the coldest place on Earth?

Continue reading

Sapato+KupiVip

KupiVIP acquires footwear retailer Sapato.ru

KupiVIP, a major Russian online fashion group, announced today the acquisition of footwear retailer Sapato.ru and its 6-million client base from the Ozon group.

“The acquisition will help KupiVIP strengthen its position by significantly expanding its client base and product assortment,” KupiVIP stated. The acquirer also expects to benefit from Sapato’s “deep expertise in international purchases in the fashion industry.”

Continue reading

brain drain emigration russia

Russian startups look westward

Even though Russia’s internet-related businesses make up just 10 percent of the country’s GDP, more e-commerce and discovery commerce startups are looking at the U.S. market for ample investment and opportunities for growth.

2for1, a fledging Russian-Ukrainian startup is one such company that has tailored its project for the U.S. market.

Continue reading

TMT Investments_new

In 2014, TMT Investments injected $4.3 million in 15 companies

Founded by Russian businessmen, LSE-listed fund TMT Investments stands as one of the most active Russian-backed funds operating internationally.

The fund, which has raised some $30 million in total since its inception in 2010,  published today its results for the year ended 31 December 2014.

Continue reading

Scentbird

New York startup “opens the world of fragrance” – with a touch of Russian love

Perfume lovers now have an easy and affordable way to access a supply of over 350 top designer fragrances, including Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, Hermes, Gucci and Marc Jacobs. By subscribing to Scentbird.com, they will receive a new fragrance each month ”in a sleek and beautiful purse-sized spray,” the startup promises.

Subscribers can choose their fragrance based on suggestions from Scentbird’s “TruScent Recommender,” which leverages a database of thousands of scent profiles and hundreds of thousands of user reviews. Or, find their match searching by brand, mood, occasion or personality.

Continue reading

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