Prostor Capital and Flint Capital have invested $3 million in equal shares in Federal Finance Group, a group of companies developing online financial services. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. The group, founded in October 2010, has been backed so far by Russian financial services company Finam, PR director Ekaterina Prikhodko told East-West Digital News.
The first property of Federal Finance Group is CreditCardsOnline.ru, an online service providing information about credit cards and online credit applications to dozens of Russian banks. The site generates a monthly audience of more than 800,000 users, according to the company.
CreditCardsOnline.ru allows Russian consumers to apply for a credit without visiting a bank outlet and generates a flow of leads for credit organizations.
Another property of the group, Platiza.ru, provides microloans online. Loans can total up to 15,000 rubles (approximately $450) and be provided for up to 30 days. The service approves more than 80% of loan applications. Platiza.ru thus provides about 2 million rubles per day of loan financing (approximately $60,000), with an average loan amount of 10,000 rubles ($300).
The National Bureau of Internet Passports (FF.ru) presents itself as “Russia’s first online service providing facilities for the identification and verification of Internet users in order to confirm their identity.” Each client can receive an electronic document that grants access to a variety of online services. Federal Finance’s in-house video service also completes identity verifications in less than three minutes. The service aims to solve the problem of abuse of anonymity on the Internet and to combat fraud and cybercrime.
According to Prostor Capital ‘s managing director Alexey Soloviev, “remote financial services are one of the most promising Internet segments for consumers today.“ Citing experts who predict that the market of leads generation in the banking industry will exceed 500-700 million rubles (from $15 million to $21 million) this year, Soloviev underlines that more than 50% of all loan applications received by Russian banks are filed online.
With $20 million under management, Prostor Capital has invested in a diversity of startups since its inception in 2011, generally in syndication with Russian or foreign investors. Among its portfolio companies are medical portal VitaPortal, educational social network Dnevnik.ru, online video service provider Dulton Media and US cloud telephone service provider Infratel. In 2013, the $20 million fund also invested in online ad management startup CPAexchange and narrated slide-show startup Penxy. Earlier this fall, Prostor invested $2 million in Smart Checkout, a hardware and software system that identifies customer preferences during checkout and produces a targeted advertising message via coupon.
Flint Capital is a $30 million high-tech fund launched earlier this year. It is managed by Flint Management, which comprises former executives of Finam’s venture branch, Finam Global. Flint Capital’s first investment went to Youdo.com, a startup that matches those in need of assistance for day-to-day tasks with free lancers or providers who can service these requests.