First it was Bessemer Venture Partners and Cisco Systems signing on. Now Wermuth Asset Management says it signed a memorandum of understanding to become a venture partner of the Skolkovo Foundation. Under the agreement, Wermuth will consider investing in projects approved for financing by the Skolkovo Foundation, the non-profit foundation established by the Russian government in 2010 to foster scientific research and development.
WERMUTH ASSET MANAGEMENT INVESTS IN RUSSIA’S HIGH-TECH FUTURE WITH THE SKOLKOVO FOUNDATION
Moscow. April 3, 2012 – Wermuth Asset Management (“WAM”), the Moscow-based alternative asset advisory firm, announces that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to become a venture partner of the Skolkovo Foundation investing in high-tech start-up companies.
Under the agreement, funds advised by WAM will consider investing in projects approved for financing by the Skolkovo Foundation, the non-profit foundation established by the Russian government in 2010 to foster scientific research and development. Joining other venture partners including Pangaea Ventures, Bright Capital and I2BF Venture Capital, WAM will be given access to the Skolkovo Foundation’s deal-flow and information about projects looking for investment.
Polina Burnos, Principal for the Tatarstan Clean Tech Fund, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Skolkovo Foundation to invest in the future of Russia’s high-tech industries. The Skolkovo Innovation Centre is an important incubator that is helping to develop the brightest and best talent in Russia across industries from biotech to space technologies. Wermuth is a long-term believer and investor in Russia, and this agreement offers a fantastic opportunity to be involved at the very early stages of tomorrow’s most exciting companies and help them to shape their country and the wider world.”
Skolkovo’s pipeline may be of particular interest to WAM’s recently launched Tatarstan Clean Tech Fund (“TCTF”), which can invest opportunistically in start-up projects despite its late-stage focus. WAM anticipates that it may recommend the TCTF to invest about USD 5 million in aggregate into Skolkovo resident companies.
Wermuth Asset Management was founded in 1998, and today advises funds with $300 million in assets in Russia-listed debt and equity, private equity, real estate and forestry. The firm is headquartered in Wiesbaden, Germany, and has its research and trading operations in Moscow.
The Skolkovo Foundation oversees the Skolkovo Innovation Centre, a development centre for high-tech companies near Moscow. More than 300 companies are currently active at the Skolkovo Innovation Centre in fields including energy, IT, biomedicine and nuclear technology.