Index Ventures leads Russian investment(2)

Index Ventures has led a consortium investing in the internet retailer, Ozon.ru, in partnership with Russia’s biggest private equity firm, Baring Vostok.

Venture capital firm Index Ventures has led an $18 million (€13 million) spending round into Russia’s largest internet retailer Ozon.ru, which is currently owned by Russian investor Baring Vostok.

Ozon.ru is Russia’s largest e-commerce store for books, audio and video, software, multimedia games, electronic and digital goods.  The extra investment will help the company develop its logistics system, expand its product lines and open new distribution centres.

Baring Vostok initiated the fundraising round, bringing in additional capital from Holtzbrinck Ventures, the venture arm of the German publishing company, and Cisco Systems, a computer networking provider. Index, which will take the largest stake, was invited to join the fundraising when it sent a team out to visit Russia in November.

Index believes that the site, which currently has 120,000 unique visitors per day, will continue to grow since Russia already has the third largest population of Internet users in Europe and retail spending is expected to double over the next four years.

Previous Index successes include Betfair, the betting exchange, MySQL, the world’s most popular open source database, and Lovefilm, Europe’s largest DVD rental business. The firm closed a €350 million fund in February.

Last week Baring Vostok closed a $1 billion Russian fund, the biggest ever raised to target the region.