New fund to turn Ukraine’s e-commerce potential into scalable reality

Earlier this month, the Moscow-based management company Flint Management launched a venture fund dedicating to developing e-commerce in Ukraine. This move comes just weeks after the company announced the creation of Flint Capital, a $35 million fund with a large high tech investment focus in Russia and Ukraine.

Christened ‘Bull Ventures,’ the new fund has $10 million of committed capital at the time of first closing, but its managers told East-West Digital News that they target no less than $40 million. The new fund’s LPs include “Russian and Ukrainian individual and institutional investors from the financial, logistics, media, IT and retail sectors.”

Flint Management has partnered with a team of experienced local e-commerce professionals, including Yuri Shurmelev, a pioneer in fashion online retail, and Vitaly Janicki, who was the first person to launch an e-commerce oriented delivery network in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian online retail market is estimated at about $2 billion (compared to $16 billion in Russia this year, according to an EWDN study). However, it is one of the fastest growing business segments in Ukraine, said Dmitry Smirnov, managing partner of Flint Management.

According to Smirnov, the fund’s purpose is “to form a leading group of companies that provide a full-life cycle of online retail with a capitalization potential close to a hundred million dollars in the medium term.”

Bull Ventures may invest in projects “at any stage,” leveraging its expert network to incubate young companies “or even develop ideas from scratch,” Flint Management’s PR Director Sophie Paskal told East-West Digital News. Bull Ventures may also ultimately invest in other countries of the former Soviet Union and Russia itself.

The fund’s first investment went to Eurobox, a company that develops a network of self-pick up boxes, or “postomats,” in Ukraine, following the steps of InPost in Poland and Logibox, PickPoint, and Qiwi Post in Russia. The terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Topics: E-commerce, Finance, International, News, Venture/Private equity
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