Yuri Milner On What It Takes For Digital Sky To Invest

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Thus far the Russian powerhouse Digital Sky Technologies has invested in only 3 companies: Facebook, Zynga, Groupon. Between this and the fact that its subsidiary Mail.ru had a  $876 million IPO back in October, the Moscow-based investment firm has seen a pretty exciting 18 months. While not saying much about anything else, Milner shared some of his investment parameters while on stage while talking about what it takes to capture DST’s interest, and money.

Milner’s primary criteria was that a company be:

a) late stage

b) have billion dollar plus valuation

c) in social internet space

d) anywhere in the world

While admittedly vague, Milner went on to state that there are maybe 25-30 companies which fit the above and are still not public. Twitter is on the list by definition,” he said.

While DST’s investments are all late stage, the company’s stockhold of shares is split into 80% secondary 20% primary, secondary meaning that it buys shares from employees that want to get liquidity before an IPO or acquisition.

Perhaps the only other revealing thing about the talk was the fact that Milner liked the Social Network, because it is about what he holds to be a new trend of mathematical genius and computing power dominating the global agenda.

“When you have 2 billion connected people and pretty powerful machines processing all this information, by definition you will see mathematicians having impact.”

You can read more on Milner’s theories about how math and Facebook will take over the world here.

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