Draper Still Eyeing Russia, Turkey

Draper Fisher Jurvetsons efforts to start a fund focused on Russia and Ukraine are still underway, managing director Tim Draper told attendees of the Stanford Global Technology Symposium Thursday in Palo Alto, Calif.

Weve had two false starts and we keep plowing ahead, Draper said. Were running as fast as we can.

DFJ is also considering investing in Turkey, Draper said, as part of its broader focus on emerging markets.

PE Week reported in 2005 that DFJ was working with Kiev-based TechInvest to raise $50 million to $80 million for a new fund called the DFJ-Nexus Fund to provide funding for Ukrainian and Russian startups. The fund did not close and has not made investments to date.

DFJs global activities are on the rise, however.The Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm is known for making bold moves into foreign markets. Its network of affiliated international funds includes DFJ DragonFund, specialized in China, DFJ ePlanet, which makes investments in Europe, Israel and Asia, and, most recently, DFJ VinaCapial, which invests in Vietnamese companies.

Turkey is also looking increasingly ripe for venture investment. Its GDP grew 5 percent in 2006, according to the CIA World Factbook. The Turkish-U.S. Business Council is upbeat on prospects. The council is hosting an investment conference in New York later this month headlined: Turkey: The New Destination for Direct Investment and Private Equity.