As Russia and Ukraine were escalating to a new level of mutual threats and recriminations earlier this week, venture funds offered a welcome illustration that nationalism has not completely spoiled relations between the two countries.
A major Kiev-based fund, AVentures Capital, teamed up with two Russian funds, Almaz Capital and ABRT, to inject $3.25 million into StarWind Software, a major US-based provider of software-defined storage for Microsoft Hyper-V environments, in a Series B round.
StarWind’s founders, Artem Berman and Anton Kolomyeytsev, have been developing their proprietary technology on the frontier of iSCSI SAN since 2003.
“There is obviously some decline in investment in the region, but the best startups still raise money during this turbulent time,” AVentures managing partner Yevgen Sysoev said in an exchange with East-West Digital News.
AVentures almost simultaneously announced two other deals. One is a capital injection into Coppertino, a California-based audio player app publisher. TA Venture, another major Kiev-based fund, and Torben Majgaard, a prominent figure on the Ukrainian IT outsourcing scene, also participated in the round.
Another investment went to Augmented Pixels, a developer of visualization solutions based in Odessa, Ukraine, and operating internationally. AVentures and also teamed up with Majgaard to complete the round of financing.
The upsurge of tensions in Ukraine did have an impact on some other venture activity. “Like other Russian investors, we have reduced our activity in Ukraine,” Dmitry Smirnov of the Moscow-based fund Flint Capital told East-West Digital News.
“Personal relations between Russian and Ukrainian investors have not been affected, even though their joint operations have been postponed until the economic and political situation becomes more stable,” Smirnov added.