XX in Tech
Shut Up Nerds
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.
From Russia With VC
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
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.”
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.”
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.