Forbes.ru has recently published a list of 30 most notable web players in Russia. Judging by the results, the most influential people in Runet have been in the business for decades. There are some young talents there too, though very few. Internet market is clearly dominated by local businesses: the only person working in a foreign company, placed 25th, was Vladimir Dolgov, the head of Google Russia. One-quarter of all the people on the list belonged to Mail.ru Group, clearly the most prominent player of all. Investors ranked much higher than founders of recent services and unsurprisingly the list included only two women. In the first part of presenting the list, we looked at the latter half of the top 10 movers and shakers of Runet.
The tenth position on the list is taken by a female entrepreneur Elena Masolova. Elena founded her first company as a student and in 2008 created a venture fund AddVenture. In 2009 she left the fund and created a group discount site Chip&Daily, which was later rebraned into Darberry and in August 2010 sold to Groupon.
Efim and Semen Voynovi shared the ninth slot. The two brothers first exercise their talent in US where Efim was developing games for Reaxion Corp and Semen was art director at Digital Chocolate. Efim and Semen founded Zeptolab, a small game-developing company targeted for the global market. Their first iPhone app (Parachute Ninja) was downloaded 300 000 times and their second game (Cut the Rope), released last year, was downloaded 1M times in 10 days. By now that game has sold 6M copies.
Andrey Andreev (not a real name), being a real enigma of Russian Internet business, follows the list. Andrey founded his first company - a web analytics tool called SpyLog - in 1999. His second venture was a contextual advertising company Begun that he sold to Finam for $900 000. Andreev's latest company is a dating site Badoo (Finam has 20% shares) that has over 100M users and is considering filing for an IPO.
Pavel Dyrov, founder of Vkontakte, was not only placed seventh on the list but also quoted to be the figure-head in Russian start-up scene. Vkontakte was founded by Pavel and his brother when they were students at the St.Petersburg State University in the end of 2006. By summer 2007 the website had 1M registered users. Now it is the biggest social network in the Russian-speaking market and Mai.ru Group owns 32,5% shares at $1,5 billion valuation.
Alisher Usmanov, one of the big shots from DST, was placed sixth on the list. Alisher has deep pockets: Forbes quoted him to be among 100 world's richest men. He made his fortune in steel industry and started investing in online businesses only in 2009 when he joined DST. After DST has been divided into Mail.ru Group (Russian assets) and DST Global (foreign assets), Usmanov retained 45,5% share in the first and allegedly majority shares in the second.
To be continued...
Image from Omgblog