XX in Tech

Jalak Jobanputra, RTP Ventures New Managing Director, Talks About Russian Billionaire Leonid Boguslavsky’s $120 M. Fund


A few weeks ago we told you that RTP Ventures—the U.S. arm of ru-Net, the $700 million fund founded by Russian billionaire Leonid Boguslavsky—was on its way to naming “two splashy new hires” to join senior managing director Kirill Sheynkman. Although word got out early, as of this week, both hires have been officially announced, as well as the size of the U.S. fund: $120 million.

Battery Ventures alum Murat Bicer is RTP’s managing director in Boston and Jalak Jobanputra, the former director of emerging market mobile investments at  Omidyar Network, will be RTP’s managing director in New York, joining Mr. Sheynkman at the firm’s Third Avenue office in Midtown.

“Kirill started first investing Leonid’s money on the cloud computing and infrastructure side and I joined to look at more the consumer internet,” Ms. Jobanputra, who blogs at The Barefoot VC, told Betabeat earlier this week. Read More

Shut Up Nerds

New York Tech, Stuck at No. 2, Still Shaking Pom-Poms


Over the last few years, the rhetoric in Silicon Alley has started to sound like a Bring It On sequel. The rhetoric is dominated by two themes: boostery New York exceptionalism—in September 2009, the high-profile investor Fred Wilson gave a talk called “NYC’s Startup Scene: What makes it special?”—and the David and Goliath narrative, with Silicon Valley as the reigning champion versus New York as the cool, scrappy young challenger. Read More

Mama I'm Coming Home

Return of the Diaspora: After a Taste of the Valley, New York Techies are Coming Home


Underlit bars and blaring techno set the scene at the Park Avenue Armory earlier this month, when a who’s who of New York’s tech scene gathered in the cavernous block-length building for the sort of startup event that bore little resemblance to the usual beer, pizza and Powerpoint office gathering. No, this was a fashion show; a nerdy fashion show, to be sure, but one with glamour and theatrics. Raise Cache, a fundraiser for the apprentice developer program HackNY, tapped local tech personalities to walk the runway outfitted in glasses from local e-prescriber Warby Parker, slacks from e-tailor Bonobos and accessories from e-jeweler Bauble Bar. Larger-than-life cartoon avatars lorded over the crowd from the DJ booth as amateur DJs spun tracks using Union Square-based streaming music startup Turntable.fm. Founders and VCs milled about in gowns, coattails, pinstriped vests, glittery tights and cowboy hats. A recording of Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has been pumping his pom-poms for the New York tech scene of late, boomed out at the close of the show: “Now more than ever, [New York] is the place for to be for tech soirees!” Read More

From Russia With VC

Meet Ron Rofe, Head of U.S. Operations for The Vaizra Seed Fund

MAMRAM? I'll have to call you back. Mark Pincus on line 2.

Recently Betabeat told you about Kirill Sheynkman, the Silicon Valley veteran who was investing big bucks for Russia’s number two tech titan. Last night at the TechStars NY after party, we met Ron Rofe, the point man for Vaizra Seed Fund, which was sponsoring the party.

“We’ve been making investments here for a while, but now we are doing business here full time,” Mr. Rofe, dressed in a slick silver suit with a white pocket square, told Betabeat. “Increasingly the talent from the financial sector is being unlocked, and we think a lot of young tech companies here are poised to capture that.” Read More


Meet Kirill Sheynkman: The New York VC Representing Russia’s Second Biggest Tech Investor

RTP Ventures Kirill Sheynkman

Everyone in the tech world knows Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire and Facebook investor with a $100 million Silicon Valley mansion. Fewer Americans are are familiar with Leonid Boguslavsky, who ranks right behind Mr. Milner at no. 2 on Forbes list of powerful figures in the Russian tech establishment.

But that may change quickly with the opening of RTP Ventures, the U.S. arm of a $750 $700 million fund. RTP’s U.S. arm is based in New York and managed by Kirill Sheynkman, a former EIR at Sequoia, venture partner at Greycroft, and a well-established veteran of Silicon Valley. “I’ve lived most of my career in Silicon Valley and that is where I founded my companies, but I fell in love with New York. I’m a city person and this is the best place for me to run this new venture,” Mr Sheynkman told Betabeat by phone.

RTP Ventures has a unique complexion for a VC fund. “Because Leonid is basically the GP and the LP, we didn’t have to form a thesis and go out to pitch investors. This is money he made investing in tech, not coal or oil.” Read More

Venture Capitalism

Two New Tech Funds Prepare to Launch In New York and One of Them Is Massive

Mr. Sheynkman

Two new funds have emerged with plenty of rations to get you through the coming startup winter, and they’re both led by some familiar names. Fortune.com’s Dan Primack reports that a new firm called Tribeca Venture Partners, targeting local seed stage and early stage startups, might close its first $100 million fund as soon as today.

Meanwhile Betabeat has been hearing some buzz around RTP Ventures, whose whopping $750 $700 million fund “focusing on technology, internet, SaaS, and cloud computing” will be headquartered in New York, but invest around the world.

In both cases, the funds’ leaders come with a notable pedigree. Read More