Bloomberg News

Facebook Holder Accel Leads Investment in Russian Website

May 02, 2012

Accel Partners, the top outside stakeholder in Facebook (FB:US) Inc., is investing $75 million with partners including Baring Vostok Capital Partners in Avito.ru, a Russian classified advertising website.

Palo Alto, California-based Accel is providing the funding along with the Baring Vostok Private Equity Fund IV and existing Avito investors Investment AB Kinnevik and Northzone Ventures, both based in Stockholm, according to a statement from Avito today.

Avito, started in 2008, runs Russia’s largest classifieds website and 40 percent of the nation’s Internet users visit the site every month, the company said, citing data from media researcher TNS Global. More than six million new items are added each month by about 3 million users, according to Avito.

“With the additional funds, Avito now has more resources to support small and medium-sized businesses using our service in addition to catering to individuals,” said Filip Engelbert, a co-founder and executive director at Avito, according to the statement.

Accel holds 11.3 percent of Facebook, the world’s dominant social networking site set to hold an initial public offering this year, according to an April 23 filing (FB:US) by Facebook. The venture firm has also invested in Groupon (GRPN:US), the largest daily coupon site, as well Dropbox Inc., the Web storage provider with more than 45 million users, Avito said in a statement.

Moscow-based Baring Vostok holds 5.9 percent of Yandex NV (YNDX:US), Russia’s most-used Internet search engine, according to company filings. Baring Vostok’s private equity funds have also led investment in Russian U.S.-listed television channel CTC Media Inc. (CTCM:US), according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Leon Lazaroff in New York llazaroff@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at Eobrien6@bloomberg.net


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  • GRPN
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