Recently, the number of Russian startups has increased in our “sales funnel”. This is understandable. The Russian economy is experiencing a crisis due to the war, the threat of mobilization has driven many businessmen and startups out of the country, including quite adequate, talented entrepreneurs. They are trying to find a use for their powers in a more predictable and non-aggressive environment.
But what about us, Kazakhstan venture investors, in relation to them?
We discussed this issue in our company and recorded the following theses.
First. Obviously, while Russia is at war, its economic condition will only worsen, because any investment in this country is unpromising from an economic point of view.
Second. Our money should in no way get into the Russian treasury, so as not to go from there to finance the war with Ukraine. The money should not get into the budget either through the salaries of startup employees, or through the purchase of materials, goods or services by a startup in Russia.
The third. Not every Russian and not every Russian is an imperial and a supporter of war. No one deserves to be condemned and boycotted a priori only because of their nationality or the fact of being born in an aggressor country.
Based on these theses, we made the following decision:
1. If a startup is based in Russia and is aimed at development within this country, then we do not cooperate with such a project, and it will not receive investments from us.
2. If the startup is aimed at foreign markets, but the team is located in Russia, and they are tax residents of Russia, we also do not cooperate with such a startup.
3. If a startup is aimed at foreign markets, and the team has already moved or is preparing for relocation in the near future to become a tax resident of another country, then we take such a startup for consideration, and it can potentially receive investment and support from us.