Runa Capital ups it fund to $50m for early-stage Russian startups

Runa Capital logoRuna Capital, the Russian VC fund that launched in August last year, has announced that it’s increased its fund from 30 to $50 million.

Runa Capital’s mission is to back early-stage Russian and CIS-region technology companies so that they can compete globally, a vision that has attracted other investors both in Russia and globally (including the U.S.), says the VC firm, hence the increase in the size of the fund. Specifically, Runa targets startups in the “rapid growth tech sectors” of cloud computing, machine learning, virtualisation and mobile/Internet applications.

Its made two investments to-date: In November 2010 Runa Capital invested $2 million in OnAir3G, which is described as a “voice-enabled mobile social networking platform”. This was then followed in December by a more modest $500,000 invested in Hivext, a cloud-based application development platform.

Runa Capital says its list of partners now consists of “more than 20 world-class technology entrepreneurs and professional investors.” Two of the new partners are Edward Nicholson, former CEO of Brunswick-UBS in Russia and the CIS and Alexander Katalov, investor in Begun, Softkey, Alawar and ElcomSoft.

Founded by Serguei Beloussov, chairman of Parallels and Acronis, and advised by Alexander Galitsky of Almaz Capital Partners, Runa Capital’s list of existing VC partners include Andreas Gauger and Achim Weiss, co-founders of hosting provider 1&1; Ilya Zubarev, co-founder of Rolsen and Acronis; Igor Borovikov, founder of the largest Russian software distributor Softline; Charles Ryan, chairman of UFG Asset Management; and Igor Daniloff, founder of the ‘Doctor Web’ antivirus company.

Runa Capital says it plans to announce another “eight to ten transactions” in 2011.