What does a Russian startup look like? Just like one in the Valley

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Russia’s startup scene is still growing but with a potential market size of 170 million users in the next 18 months, it’s white hot. There remain hurdles – like payment mechanisms and door-to-door delivery in a market known for corruption in the postal servce. But these are gradually being eroded by entrepreneurs.

Yesterday I had lunch with a VC who hits Moscow once a month now, such is the potential for even ‘normal’ business models like old fashioned e-commerce. Meanwhile, there are lots of categories in Russia waiting to be filled and one of them is travel.

Ostrovok.ru is still being built right now, and remains in private beta. Its aim is simple – to be the most convenient online hotel reservation platform for Russian users.

And CEO Kirill Makharinsky is an experienced Russia/British entrepreneur who knows what he’s doing. And right now, what he’s doing is turning his Moscow startup into a microcosm of Silicon Valley, complete with bean-bags.

Here are the pictures from his office re-firbishment, which he posted to Facebook today.