Last week, Moscow-based fund Buran Venture Capital announced the first milestone for its second fund raising operation since launching in 2012. Buran plans to increase its committed capital to $30 million – up from the current $15 million – by October 1, 2014.
Buran’s new LP is O1 Group, a Moscow-based holding company that invests in various sectors such as real estate, manufacturing and financial services. The amount of O1 Group’s contribution has not been disclosed, but Buran Managing Partner Mihaly Szalontay told East-West Digital News that it “ranges in the millions of dollars.”
He described O1 as “the lead investor” of the new round.
“The decision to invest in Buran VC is a purely financial investment. For the management of the fund’s assets, we rely on its experienced team,” said O1 Group CEO Marina Rudneva.
Buran’s target sectors include service e-commerce, mobile applications, and SaaS solutions. Its portfolio comprises three Russian startups: the event ticketing portal Ponominalu.ru, SravniKupi.ru and Dashboard Systems.
Russian money for Central and Eastern Europe
Buran also announced the appointment of a venture partner for Hungary and Romania. Based in Budapest, Kristóf Bárány will develop the fund’s activities in these two countries, illustrating the growing internationalization of Buran and many of its Russian peers.
“Although our mandate allows us to cover Russia, the former Soviet republics, Central and Eastern Europe as well as Israel, we have invested only in Russia and Ukraine so far. We are now expanding our focus to CEE: Hungary, Poland and nearby countries,” Szalontay said to East-West Digital News.
Szalontay explained his reasoning for the move as a desire to expand deal sourcing beyond Russia – “where we see virtually all the deals already” – and diversify risk.
He said, however, that the fund’s extended coverage is not related to recent international events or the risk of Russia becoming isolated.