Bloomberg reported yesterday from “a person with direct knowledge of the matter” that Yuri Milner, the Russian businessman who created DST, completed the financing for DST’s new fund, DST Global II, having raised about $1 billion.
Alisher Usmanov, who backed DST Global I, said last month he is “just a financial investor” in DST Global II. He simultaneously expressed skepticism about investing in Internet companies, which have “started to bring less profits compared with two or three years ago.”
Not only has DST Global I been Russia’s largest Internet-oriented investment fund, it has stakes in a number of leading international Internet companies. Its total investment in Facebook reached over $500 million, with a stake estimated at 10% in late 2010 before new investments made in early 2011. The Russian fund also has stakes in Zynga and Groupon, and it acquired ICQ from AOL.
DST Global I is tightly connected to Mail.ru Group, the Russian Internet giant that began trading on the London Stock Exchange in October 2010.
The Russian business daily Vedomosti reported in March that the new fund has a majority of Western subscribers, citing anonymous sources. DST Global II is said to have already acquired an additional 5% stake in Groupon. It remains unclear which of DST Global I and II has invested recently in Spotify and 360buy.com.