Russia State VC Fund Seeks Tech Startups in Singapore

Russia State VC Fund Seeks Tech Startups in Singapore

April 24, 2020

Singapore-based Sistema Asia and Russia state venture capital firm says it will increase market opportunities for tech companies seeking to expand its footprint between both nations.

Sistema Asia signs a memorandum of understanding with Russian Venture Company (RVC) – the State Fund and Institute for Development of the Russian Federation, that operates within Russia’s venture capital ecosystem.

Under this two-year cooperation, RVC says its will collaborate with Sistema Asia to commercialise digital technology innovations.

The partnership will also leverage Sistema Asia’s Sales Jet platform to expand market opportunities for Russian technology companies in Singapore and Asia. Meanwhile, RVC will assist Singapore-based companies seeking partnership opportunities within Russia.

Sales Jet is a business development platform for advanced technology companies from Russia and Singapore that are looking to expand their business across Asia.

Formed in 2019 by Sistema Asia, in partnership with Enterprise Singapore, the Skolkovo Foundation (a prominent Russian technology innovation and commercialisation agency) and MTS (Russian telco).

According to RVC General Director Alexander Povalko participants in the Sales Jet program currently include ICT companies from both countries, that have market-ready products and are ready to expand their footprint in the two respective nations.

During Sales Jet’s three-month programme, companies receive expert insights on their target local markets. The companies also receive professional assistance on scaling their businesses, such as organising sales, improving engagements with local consumers, as well as expanding stakeholder and investor networks.

Povalko says it is expected that at least 20 Russian and 20 Singapore companies will participate in the Sales Jet annually.

“Singapore is a strategic platform for businesses looking to expand in Asia and a good launch pad for Russian projects looking to grow globally. Technology companies are now particularly seeking new markets, investment resources and geographical diversification of their business. Sistema Asia has become an important partner in the region that helps us identify and enable the export potential of RVC tech companies in the Asian market,” says Povalko.

As Sistema Asia’s new partner for Sales Jet, RVC will help in the search, initial selection, and participation of Russian companies for the program – namely via a vetting process that meets RVC’s stringent assessments, as mandated by Russia’s National Technology Initiative for 2018-2020.

Specifically, companies will be chosen based on RVC’s ‘TekhUspekh’ rating and those that took part in the agency’s GenerationS Corporate Accelerator program. The selected companies, via Sales Jet, will then get to learn more about market access opportunities in Singapore and other Asian markets, such as Southeast Asia and India.

Additionally, RVC says it will assist Singaporean tech firms in establishing contacts with Russian business and technology partners.

As the same time, Sistema Asia will help Russian technology companies engage with more stakeholders in Singapore’s technology sector. The firm will also help Singaporean technology firms reach out to Russian partners, including entities under RVC’s portfolio and companies within the Russian ecosystem.

Commenting on the MoU, Sistema PJSFC Group CEO Vsevolod Rozanov says Sistema Asia and RVC will work closely together to organize the participation of technology companies in both the Sales Jet program and the GenerationS program.

“We are pleased to welcome RVC as our newest partner for Sales Jet. The Sales Jet platform today is already a full-fledged bridge for Russian innovation companies in Singapore and Southeast Asia and Singaporean companies in Russia. The cooperation between Sistema Asia, with its extensive experience in this region, together with RVC, the state fund of funds and the Institute for the Development of the Russian Venture Market, alongside our other partners, the Skolkovo Foundation, MTS and Enterprise Singapore will be invaluable to our program’s success,” says Vsevolod Rozanov, Group CFO at Sistema PJSFC.

According to Sistema, the first edition of the Sales Jet program took place in the third quarter of 2019 and was participated by five Russian companies and three Singaporean firms. RVC says two Russian firms signed contracts with government and corporate clients in Singapore.

Sistema claims one Singaporean company will enter the Russian market and has already signed an agreement of intent with a major Russian entity. It also claims two Russian companies have initiated merger and acquisition plans with partners from Singapore.

(Ed. Sistema Asia claims to be an investment holding company that focuses on financing high growth tech in Asia. Sistema Asia is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sistema Public Joint Stock Financial Corporation (Sistema PJSFC).  RVC says its mission is to create a mature venture capital market in Russia.)


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