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Venture Barometer 2018: A Study of the Russian Venture Capital Market

The survey of the Russian venture capital market carried out annually by the Venture Barometer project covered representatives of state-owned and private VC funds and business angels. The majority of the respondents (42%) invest in startups on a regular basis and manage multiple funds.

In 2018, new funds on the Russian VC market, including corporate venture funds, were launched faster than before. Also, there is a growing number of active business angels who are strongly committed to long-term investments and developing startup projects. Over a half of the participants of the survey noted a general rise in investment activity and investment volumes. Also, compared to the previous year, projects are now better prepared for investment. Notably, the overwhelming majority of the respondents (over 70%) are planning to increase the volume of their investments in 2019, as well as the number of projects they invest in.

The authors of the report stress the fact that projects related to financial technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to have investment priority on the Russian VC market for several years running. The segments of e-commerce, advertising technologies and blockchain technologies remain the least appealing for investors.

The list of main events that influenced the Russian VC market in 2018 is topped by the sanctions which are far ahead of other factors. Investment activity of two largest market players — Yandex and — comes second, and the much-discussed state corporate funds are placed third. The results of the study suggest that investors’ optimism is reinforced and they are planning to expand to Asian markets. The report also demonstrates that Russian investors have a good track record of serial fund launching. All these facts indicate that the Russian venture capital market is maturing while the regulatory environment is getting increasingly comfortable, and that this sector is deeply integrated in the country’s areas of economic growth.

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