DFJ targets Russian nanotechnology

US venture capital titan Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ) has teamed up with a Russian government-backed nanotechnology investment vehicle and a Russian investment bank to launch a US$100m fund.

Together with DFJ, RUSNANO, the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, and VTB Group, the fund will focus on domestic early-stage companies specializing in nanotechnology

RUSNANO will invest US$50m and VTB the rest. VTB Capital, investment arm of VTB, and DFJ will act as managing partners of the fund, with VTB managing the fund on a day-to-day basis.

Dionis Gordin, managing director of RUSNANO, said: “DFJ-VTB Aurora is the first international venture project in Russia with participation of RUSNANO Corporation. Cooperation with such giants as VTB Group, the second largest Russian financial institution in Russia, and the leading venture fund DFJ, offers unique opportunities for project success.”

RUSNANO was set up in 2007 by the Russian government to support the country’s nanotechnology industry. It co-invests in projects alongside private partners, and provides both capital and scientific and educational programs. It was only in June this year however that the supervisory council of RUSNANO approved its participation in investment funds, specifically domestic seed funds and international funds with a global investor partner.