Russian business daily Kommersant reported from unnamed sources on Friday that VTB Capital has invested $10 million in Oktogo.ru, a leading Russian online hotel booking startup, in exchange for a stake of 30 to 35 percent in a capital increase operation. VTB Capital declined to confirm or comment.
Founded in 2010, Oktogo now shows daily traffic reaching 18,000 users on average and up to 25,000 on peak days, project founder Maria Kolesnik told Kommersant. Oktogo’s revenues reached $10 million in 2011 and Kolesnik expects them to triple in 2012.
In November 2010, Oktogo closed its first round of financing with the so-called “SuperAngels” Toivo Annus (founding engineer of Skype), Fabrice Grinda (co-founder of OLX), Jose Marin and Javier Perez-Tenessa. In April 2011 the startup closed a $5 million round with Western funds Ventech and Mangrove Capital Partners and Russian fund ABRT.
A competitor of Oktogo, Ostrovok.ru, attracted a whopping $13.6 million from Western investors in its Series A round in July 2011, then an undisclosed amount in its latest round last month. Another strong player, Ozon Travel, is the specialized arm of leading Russian e-commerce player Ozon.ru.
VTB Capital is the investment arm of VTB Group, a leading Russian state controlled financial group with offices in Moscow, London, Singapore and Dubai. The fund focuses on IT, Internet projects, industrial innovations, nanotechnology, and energy-efficient technology, mainly at startup stages.
VTB Capital owns stakes in Russian as well as foreign companies, including: Russian Navigation Technologies (RNT), the largest manufacturer and integrator of telematics systems in Russia;Questora, a company with offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Saratov that operates worldwide in the field of highly scalable software platforms; Returnil, an international provider of security solutions; and Beau Laboratories, a developer of innovative 3D software.
Last year, VTB Capital invested in COMDI, a leading player on the Russian video conference market, and AiHit, a London based provider of company data to the business information, market research and lead generation industries.
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