Enlarged Sberbank seeds a venture fund for high tech projects

Sberbank of Russia, which has just completed a $1bn merger with Troika Dialog to create Russia’s largest bank, has already launched a venture fund investing in high-tech companies and projects.

With a seeding stake of $100m in the fund, Sberbank intends to increase investments to $500m, alongside international partners. Troika Ventures (the venture arm of Troika Dialog) will manage the fund.

The focus is growth stage start-ups dedicated to new information and communication technologies for financial institutions. This will not only include start-ups from Russia, but also back the most promising innovations from around the world.

Sberbank also proposes to use the expertise of its own Technology Research Centre to help the portfolio companies to grow new technologies and optimise their commercial prospects.

Victor Orlovskiy, Senior Vice President at Sberbank of Russia, said the venture is proof of Sberbank’s commitment to developing the latest technologies, which will help the discover new markets and offer clients unique services. “We are certain that with our potential portfolio companies, Sberbank will be interesting not only as an investment partner, but also as the largest consumer of the technologies offered by the aforementioned companies.”

Sberbank of Russia accounts for about 27% of the aggregate Russian banking assets and employing about 240,000 people. Its founder and major shareholder is the Central Bank of the Russian Federation holding over 60% of voting shares. The bank’s other shareholders comprise more than 245,000 legal entities and individuals.

The bank has the largest Russia branch network with 17 regional head offices and more than 19,000 branches as well as subsidiary banks in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Belarus, a branch in India, and representative offices in Germany and China.

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