Who invests in fintech startups?

    Recent studies by Life.SREDA venture capital fund have shown that investment in FinTech is doubled annually. So, in 2012, it amounted to just over $ 1.6 billion, in 2013 - already $ 2.2 billion, and in just nine months of 2014 reached $ 4.2 billion. According to information received from CrunchBase , an online database of companies , people and investors, last year in the venture capital market, fintech startups attracted more rapidly than others. Moreover, such giants as Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook enter the FinTech market. Life.SREDA predicts that by 2018, the total investment in companies involved in the development and implementation of innovative projects for the financial sector will amount to $ 8 billion.

    The largest market segments that attracted investment in 2014 were: online lending, electronic payment solutions, special solutions for business (small and medium), online trading, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, personal finance management systems, mobile banking, mPOS and international money translations.

    In this article, we will present to your attention a selection of the most active companies investing in fintech startups, as well as tell you what startups Russian investors recommend investing in. The review was prepared by the editors of Web-payment.ru , a site about payment services and fintech startups with an aggregator of electronic currency exchangers.

    Flint capital

    Flint Capital  is a venture capital fund managed by Flint Management. The fund is worth $ 50 million. The key investment area of ​​Flint Capital is the TMT sector (telecommunications, media, technology), but the fund's portfolio also includes projects related to FinTech. For example, the services CreditCardsOnline (a service specializing in online lending) and Platiza (instant online loans). The fund is focused on the markets of Eastern Europe, Israel and the USA.

    Maxfield capital

    Maxfield Capital Investment Fund is  focused on fintech startups that are preparing to launch their product on the global market. The company was founded in 2013. The average bill is more than $ 1 million. The fund's portfolio includes Fingooroo.ru (an online p2p lending service), Qbaka (a service for tracking JS errors), the Too.me messenger, DialMyApp (a mobile constructor of Android applications for business), Drchrono ( cloud medical platform), LogDog (security system for online services) and some others. Priority is given to those teams that work in the field of processing large amounts of data, fin-tech, e-health, new media and mobile platforms.

    In February 2015, Maxfield Capital invested in Zdravprint, a Russian company specializing in 3D printing of lightweight and durable bioplastics, designed to replace plaster casts. In total, the fund allocates up to $ 4 million for subsequent investments in portfolio companies showing steady growth.

    Runa capital

    Runa Capital  is a venture capital fund specializing in investments in rapidly developing areas of IT. Runa Capital I with a volume of $ 135 million was created in 2010, in 2014 the Runa Capital II Fund with a volume of $ 200 million was created. Runa Capital focuses on cloud computing, virtualization, sophisticated software and mobile applications. The fund’s portfolio fintech project is Ubank, a mobile payment service that allows you to make payments without a commission.


    Life.SREDA  is a venture fund founded in 2012 and specializing exclusively in investments in fintech. Key investment areas: mPOS, mobile banks, e-wallets, mobile payment systems, online and p2p lending, online acquiring, money transfers. From September 2012 to November 2014, the fund invested 15 projects, the total investment amounted to $ 40 million. Among them: LifePay (the leader of the Russian mPOS market), SumUp (the leading player in the mPOS market in Europe), Scorista (Russia's first cloud service provider for scoring), Fidor (a joint project of the Russian Life.SREDA fund and the German bank Fidor), the crowdfunding platform myWishBoard, Rocketbank (the first Russian bank built in accordance with the “mobile-first” logic), My-Apps (mobile application builder).

    In 2015, Life.SREDA plans to invest up to $ 90 million in Asian fintech startups. In particular, the fund is interested in Southeast Asian countries - Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and China. According to Vladislav Solodky, Managing Partner of Life.SREDA, the investment will be directed to the development of 20 or 30 Asian startups, each of which will receive from $ 1 million to $ 10 million, depending on the level of development of the company.

    InVenture Partners

    InVenture Partners - An investment company helping start-up entrepreneurs building their business on advanced technologies. The company invests in various niches in the segment of Internet and mobile services, Internet commerce and software. One of the fund's first portfolio projects was 2Can, a mobile acquiring service. In 2012, InVenture Partners invested $ 1.6 million in the project, and in 2014, together with Almaz Capital Partners, another $ 5 million was invested in the new round. In addition to 2Can, the Fund’s portfolio includes the following projects: GetTaxi (a mobile application for quick taxi ordering), Fogg (mobile data network that allows you to access the Internet from anywhere in the world at a single fixed price), OnlineTours (online travel agency for selling tours), Moneymatika (aggregator of financial services), Netology (online educational center),

    SBT Venture Capital

    SBT Venture Capital is a venture capital fund owned by Serbank and investing in promising financial startups. The fund was established in 2012. SBT Venture Capital shares its start-up projects with its banking experience, contacts of financial companies, and technology providers interacting with them. The fund is equal to $ 100 million.

    FinSight Ventures

    FinSight Ventures  is a joint project of the Finam investment holding and the Skagit Investments investment company . The fund was founded in May last year. The target volume of FinSight Ventures is $ 50-100 million. The key areas for investment are p2p platforms, payment systems and software products for the financial sector, capable of introducing new technologies in this sector. The fund is mainly focused on Western startups, however, FinSight Ventures portfolio also includes a company such as GillBus (not a startup) - an online service for selling bus tickets for long-distance and international flights in the CIS, Eastern Europe and SEA.

    Qiwi Venture and Qiwi Universe

    QIWI Venture  is the QIWI Group's corporate investment business that has existed since 2013. The purpose of this structure is the search and development of innovative projects. QIWI Venture pays particular attention to ideas that are synergistic with the Group’s core business, i.e. fintech projects. The key investment areas of QIWI Venture are Big Data, cloud technologies, logistics and financial services, B2C applications, e-commerce and m-commerce, geolocation, remote user identification, recognition technologies, artificial intelligence.

    Among the fund's portfolio projects are Easy Wallet (an online service that allows you to choose the most profitable bank card) and Zaimix (an online service that provides a credit history and helps you choose a bank offer). In 2014, the company announced the launch of partnership projects with alumni of the corporate accelerator Qiwi Universe. Among them are two fintech startups: POSFinance  and PINBonus . In 2015, Qiwi is ready to invest in small startups that are in an early stage of development. Projects can count on up to 6 million rubles.

    Prostor Capital

    Prostor Capital  is a Russian investment fund focused on high-yield investments in dynamically developing IT companies. The fund was founded by a group of private investors in 2011. The fund is worth $ 50 million. Prostor Capital invests in the Media for Equity model, both in cash and in media investments.
    The basis for the formation of the Prostor Capital portfolio is a cluster strategy: companies with a common industry specialization are combined into one “cluster”. Then, profile projects that can complement this niche are considered. One of the priorities for the fund is the sphere of innovative financial technologies.

    Ocean ventures

    Ocean Ventures  is a venture capital fund established in May 2014 by the Ocean Group. This fund, like Life.SREDA, is focused on fintech investment.
    The Ocean Group owns Ocean Bank (Ocean Internet Bank), as well as Robokassa electronic payment service. The structure was created as a corporate fund: the integration of portfolio projects in the core business is not the goal of the partners, however, if the fund is useful for other Ocean Group projects, then synergy is possible.

    Ocean Ventures is ready to invest up to $ 1 million in start-ups. The volume of the fund is $ 10 million. Detailed terms of the transaction, as well as the volume of investments, are negotiated individually with each company and depend on the development stage of the project.

    Accelerator 404 HUB

    404 HUB  is a private accelerator, opened last year in St. Petersburg by the holding company 404 Group. Unlike most investment funds and accelerators operating in Russia, 404 Hub does not focus on projects that promise quick returns and have a high degree of risk. The company's goal is projects with a clear niche specialization in the IT market, as well as a competently built concept. The company's priority area is financial technology. 404 HUB offers startups up to 1 million rubles for a minority stake in the project. With the successful passage of the acceleration program, a second round of investment of up to 20 million rubles is possible.


    Y-Combinator  is one of the largest American accelerators. It was founded in 2005. Y-Combinator annually conducts two three-month financing cycles, during which the fund works with the founders of the companies, helps them find investors and invests independently in exchange for 2-10% of the company. The fund's program consists of weekly dinners, to which various experts are invited to talk with the founders of the companies. Guests often give advice or invest in startups.

    Compared to other investment funds, Y-Combinator itself invests insignificant amounts of funds ($ 14 thousand for start-ups from one person, $ 17 thousand for start-ups with two founders, $ 20 thousand - with three or more). Nevertheless, the fund has opened hundreds of startups to the world, including such large companies as AirBnB and DropBox. The average rating of companies that went through Y-Combinator is $ 22.4 million.

    Plug and Play Tech Center

    Plug and Play Tech Center  is another U.S. startup accelerator. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, California. The Plug and Play investment network includes 300 fintech startups and 180 investors and communities of leading universities and corporate partners. The fund offers all start-up companies to participate in the financing program, and also provides its own data center, helps in the search for qualified, talented personnel, offers mentoring for entrepreneurs and provides free consultations on strategic planning issues. The fund's portfolio includes companies such as Paypal and Lending club.

    Expert opinion

    We examined 13 major investors who prefer to invest in promising fintech startups. Next, we will tell you which areas, besides FinTech, experts consider the most promising and in which projects they would like to invest.

    Dmitry Chikhachev

    Dmitry Chikhachev, founder and managing partner of Runa Capital, points to several promising areas for potential investors: cloud technologies for business, sophisticated software and IT solutions for the financial sector, education and public services. The expert notes that the least developed today is the educational sector, in which, contrary to modern trends and digital technologies, obsolete methods are still used: paper textbooks, notebooks and classroom studies.

    The global education market is about $ 4 trillion a year. This is the amount that governments of various countries spend on education. Out of this $ 4 trillion, about $ 90 billion falls on online learning and every year this figure grows by about $ 20 billion. The development of digital education gives people additional opportunities, it is interactive, adaptive and personalized for the needs of the student. Educational content, according to Dmitry Chikhachev, is a great growth point for startups and, accordingly, for investors.

    The expert considers medicine to be another “interesting sphere”. Currently, almost any process in the human body can be observed and measured. However, in medicine there are still not enough tools for storing, processing and transmitting an array of such data. Chikhachev considers the prospective direction “the development of software for the systematization and processing of a large amount of genome decryption data by searching for marker sites responsible for determining the pathology”.

    Alexander Ivanov

    Former partner and co-founder of Life.SREDA fund Alexander Ivanov is confident that the venture investment market is driven by global trends. Based on this, the expert calls Big Data and m2m (machine interaction) the most promising areas, and also predicts the growth of the FinTech sphere.

    Another important trend, Alexander Ivanov considers the economic recovery after the crisis, followed by the growth of small and medium enterprises (SME). Due to this, services designed to optimize internal processes for SME (invoicing, loyalty and customer communication services, mobile payment services) may become the most popular.

    Oleg Seydak

    Oleg Seydak, partner at Flint Capital venture capital fund, considers the financial industry to be the most conservative. The additional regulation introduced after the 2008 crisis significantly limited the freedom of action of traditional financial institutions. At the same time, the growing popularity of the Internet and mobile devices has led to the emergence of new players and business models on the market. This prompted many investors to invest in fintech projects.

    Another trend is projects working with Big Data. The main consumers of products based on processing large amounts of data are medicine, large-scale industries and other industries where instruments are equipped with an increasing number of sensors. Currently, there are still few Big Data-oriented projects on the market, which means that new players have great opportunities in this area.

    Other experts

    Alexander Chachava, the initiator of the foundation of the LETA Capital fund, calls the areas of Big Data, robotics and mobile applications the most promising.

    Lyubov Simonova, director of Almaz Capital, believes that it is worth developing domestic projects by investing in technology Internet companies with great ambitions. The expert also notes that you need to invest in what you understand yourself and in someone who can realize the idea.

    Gleb Davidyuk, Managing Partner at iTech Capital, is focusing on fintech and the Internet of things.
    The creator of the QIWI group of companies and the managing partner of the Run Capital fund, Andrei Romanenko, prefers projects focused on optimization, simplification of routine tasks for a wide audience (service aggregators, transferring services from offline to online space).

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