16 Nov '20
Russia’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF, aka FRII in Russian), a major government-owned innovation support organization, has recently changed its investment strategy in favor of backing foreign-based young companies with Russian founders.
According to FRII Director Kirill Varlamov, the fund’s new strategy prioritizes investing in IT start-ups abroad in which Russians own at least 50% of shares. FRII will also invest in Russian IT start-ups that plan to enter international markets.
In 2021, FRII reportedly has plans to increase its annual venture investment eightfold to $2.6m while reducing the number of start-ups to invest in from the current 70-75 to 20. Additionally, the government fund undertakes to help Russian IT start-ups look for foreign investors and partners, which Mr. Varlamov said was essential for entering “certain foreign markets.”