VTB Capital Venture Business, a Moscow-based venture firm, has led an $18 million Series C round in Fast Lane Ventures, an Internet media company in Russia that has launched 18 properties over its two-year history, two of which have been purchased by strategic investors.
Fast Lane has raised more than $60 million to date, including from Direct Group, eVenture Capital Partners, Kinnevik, Russia Partners, Intel Capital, UMJ (Russia) and many others.
VTB Capital Venture Business, leading venture capital in the Russian and CIS venture capital market, and Fast Lane Ventures, the leading developer of internet companies, announce the start of their collaboration to tap into the Russian internet market, through a joint venture partnership.
In accordance with the terms of the transaction, VTB Capital Venture Business led series C investment into Fast Lane Ventures with a total value of US$18 million. The funds will be used to develop the current portfolio of companies Fast Lane Ventures has, as well as provide finance for new investments. It will also be used to further strengthen Fast Lane Venture’s team and expertise.
Aidar Kaliev, Global Head of Venture Business at VTB Capital, said: “The Russian internet market is placed number one in Europe, however, the level of competition is still rather low in many segments. This shortfall means we can initiate new trends and establish leadership in new areas. Fast Lane Ventures opens a window of opportunity for us into the world of internet consumption. The Fast Lane Venture team is one of the most professional teams in the Russian internet market, with proven capabilities to build online businesses fast and effectively, bringing them up to market leading standards.”
Within its two years of operation, Fast Lane Ventures has launched eighteen fast growing companies online, two of which have been successfully purchased by strategic investors. The total volume of investments in Fast Lane Ventures and its portfolio companies has amounted to more than $60 million. The investors list includes Direct Group, eVenture Capital Partners, Kinnevik, Russia Partners, Intel Capital, UMJ (Russia) and many others.
Marina Treshchova,CEO of Fast Lane Ventures, said:“Demand far exceeds supply in the area of high quality online services and internet audience numbers are increasing all the time. This defines the key trend of the Russian internet market where the consumer is at the forefront of the industry. Within just two years, Fast Lane Ventures has achieved leadership in the development, launch and promotion of new online businesses because we have the expertise needed to carry out these transactions quickly and efficiently. We have always aspired to grow our companies into segment leaders and with VTB Capital as a partner, I am confident we will achieve this much faster.”
The partnership with VTB Capital will unveil new opportunities for Fast Lane Ventures. Apart from the evident financial support to help expand its portfolio and strengthen the market positions of its operating businesses, this partnership also provides a considerable reputational boost. In collaborating with the leading investment bank, this acts as a symbol of trust for the Russian and international community.