The LP Unlimited conference for existing and potential investors in technology startups, Limited Partners and General Partners, held within the framework of the “Open Innovation” forum opened today covered the prospects of attracting private and corporate investment in the capital venture industry.
The founder of Medica Venture Partners, Ehud Geller, noted that the state’s involvement in venture projects is a global trend. The expert believes that in the world the innovation gap between countries is growing: states with a large number of innovations are advancing to leading positions and are leaving behind countries, which do not possess advanced technologies. Investments in innovative industries are treated by governments as investments in their own global competitiveness.
Mr. Geller said that traditional western conservative investors, which include insurance companies, pension funds and family offices, are increasingly showing interest in venture capital investment. Another speaker at the conference, the founder and CEO of Gentry Financial Corporation, Larry Ashebruk, presented a similar point of view, saying that 15% to 20% of family offices customers’ funds are channeled to alternative venture capital investment.
According to the chief portfolio manager and member of the Board of RVC, Mikhail Tsygankov, RVC is an active investor in venture capital projects, and the objective of the company is to attract private investors to cooperate in the field of venture capital investment. “Currently, RVC is developing new venture capital funds and is selecting teams to act as their managers. RVC has never been the sole investor in venture capital funds, and it now plans to cut its stake in future funds, which in some cases is not to exceed 20%. At the same time, the company is ready to cooperate with all kinds of investors with different investment focus – corporations, family offices, pension funds and other types of investors.”
Mikhail Chuchkevich, managing partner of Bright Capital, noted that family offices in Russia are being organized by first-generation entrepreneurs, who manage their savings personally. They do not trust company managers and they believe that they are good managers themselves. At the same time their children, who will inherit their capitals, will hire professional managers to make big profits, and private equity therefore may become a tool for generating big incomes.
At the panel discussion «General Partnership: a Success Story,” experts noted that it is too early for Russia to speak of a successful exit from innovative start-ups as they are too young, the oldest of which has not more than 5 years. In the next few years, projects, in which development institutions like RVC, Rosnano or Skolkovo have invested, will be offered to other investors, and the country will witness the first return on investment in the venture capital area.