$18 Million Investment to OZON.ru Led by Index Ventures
April 03 2007
Russian’s Leading e-Commerce Site Receives Expansion Capital from Index Ventures, Holtztbrinck and Cisco.
Moscow and London, April 3, 2007 – OZON.ru, Russia’s largest e-commerce store for books, audio and video, software, multimedia games, electronic and digital goods, today announced it has received $18 million in funding to help develop its logistics system, expand its product lines and establish new distribution centres in strategic locations across Russia. The investment round brings together an international syndicate of Western blue chip investors led by Index Ventures, a leading European venture capital firm, Holtzbrinck Ventures, the venture arm of one of Germany’s largest publishing companies and Cisco Systems Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. The investment round was initiated and managed by Baring Vostok Capital Partners, Russia’s leading private equity investor and controlling shareholder of Ozon.
Bernard Lukey, CEO of OZON.ru, said: 'With the support of our controlling shareholder BVCP, we at OZON.ru are extremely proud to have attracted top tier European investors such as Index Ventures. This investment round will allow us to pursue our ambitious growth strategy and further strengthen our logistical operations, with a particular emphasis on the fast growing Russian regions. We also look forward to benefiting from the extensive knowledge pool, expertise and international networks of our new shareholders'.
“The OZON.ru team have done a terrific job in building the leading e-commerce site in Russia, and we believe they have the assets to become one of the most important European companies in this space’ said Giuseppe Zocco, General Partner at Index Ventures, who will join OZON.ru’s board. ‘This investment in OZON.ru demonstrates our strong belief that Russia has the market, technology and entrepreneurs to create world-class startups and we aim to continue investing in this geography”.
Elena Ivashentseva, BVCP Partner, said: “We have always been very enthusiastic about OZON.ru since our first investment in 2000 and are proud that the company has been recognized by blue chip international investors in internet and e-commerce. We look forward to working together with them and the management team led by Bernard Lukey to build OZON.ru to the next level”.
According to The Public Opinion Foundation report, Russia maintains the third largest population of Internet users in Europe, with Internet and broadband penetration rates rising rapidly and retail spend per capita expected to double over the next four years. As the leader for selling Russian-language books and media online, OZON.ru is poised for tremendous growth.
OZON.ru today offers more than 260,000 items for sale divided into 12 product categories from more than 400 suppliers. More than 3,000 orders per day are delivered to its Russian-speaking internet audience worldwide from OZON.ru’s proprietary distribution center in Tver (160km North of Moscow).
Headquartered in Moscow, OZON.ru was founded in St Petersburg in 1998 originally as an online book community and shop. Following a period of strong expansion and investment by Baring Vostok, the ñompany has rapidly strengthened its branding as the first most popular e-commerce site in Russia with high-quality customer service and over 120,000 unique visitors per day. Led by Swiss-born CEO Bernard Lukey since 2005, OZON.ru is now well established as Russia’s leading online retailer.
About Index Ventures
Index Ventures is a leading European venture capital firm active in technology venture investing since 1996. The firm is dedicated to helping top entrepreneurial teams in the Information Technology and Life Science sectors build their companies into market defining global leaders. The firm has offices in Geneva, London and Jersey. Investments include Betfair (the world’s largest betting exchange); Ciao.com (acquired by Greenfield Online); Skype (recently acquired by eBay); MySQL (the world’s most popular open source database); Photoways (Europe’s largest online photo-processing service) and Lovefilm (Europe’s largest DVD rental business).
About Baring Vostok Capital Partners
Baring Vostok is one of the leading private equity firms operating in CIS, has managed over $600 million investments in nearly 50 companies since 1994. Baring Vostok has owned a broad range of companies within financial services, the oil and gas, branded consumer products, telecommunications, media and technology sectors, including Bank Caspian, Europlan, Center of Financial Technologies, Burren Energy, SladCo, Borjomi, Syktyvkar Forestry, Vimpelcom, CTC Media, Golden Telecom, Yandex and Ozon.ru. BVCP managed funds include a number of leading institutional investors including pension funds, governmental investment corporations, endowments and international financial institutions from North America, Western Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Baring Vostok is a member of Baring Private Equity International, a global private equity group with more than $3.5 bn of capital commitments under management by affiliates in CIS, Asia, India, Europe and Latin America.
For further information, please contact:
Tel. +1 415 962 8200
Tel. +44 207 154 2009