Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday met with U.S. venture funds to seek capital for Russia's planned “Silicon Valley” high-tech hub near Moscow.
“The venture capital market in Russia is poorly developed,” Mr. Medvedev said at a meeting outside Moscow. “Twenty funds are operating in the country with a volume of about $2 billion. That's almost nothing. And we'd like to do whatever we can to facilitate the development of this business.”
Mr. Medvedev in March asked billionaire Viktor Vekselberg to oversee efforts to create a Russian version of Silicon Valley in the Moscow suburb of Skolkovo, where tax breaks and other incentives will be offered to lure investment to spur innovation and production of high-technology products. Cisco Systems and Nokia plan to join the project.
At Tuesday's meeting was Drew Guff, co-founder of Siguler Guff, and David Kronfeld, chairman of JK&B Capital. The fund leaders met earlier with Mr. Vekselberg.
Siguler Guff, which says it has more than $8.5 billion of assets under management, plans to invest $250 million to build digital infrastructure in Russia, Mr. Guff said at the meeting. Mr. Guff said he hoped the Skolkovo project becomes “a true bridge between Russian technology and Russian ideas and global commercialization.”