Navigine, a resident company of the Skolkovo Foundation that makes indoor navigation and tracking systems, has attracted $400,000 in investment from a syndicate led by Finnish fintech company Innovestor.
The deal with Navigine is Innovestor’s first investment on the Russian market. The funding round includes participants from the Nordic area, Russia and the U.S., Innovestor said in a statement, adding that one of the U.S. investors is John Ason, a business angel and Navigine’s current mentor at the Starta Accelerator programme in New York.
“In Russia we want to invest in innovations developed by local top talents that can be commercialized on the global markets,” said Wilhelm Lindholm, the Innovestor partner responsible for the company's investment in Russia.
Navigine's phone app for airports.
Navigine, a resident of the Skolkovo Foundation’s IT cluster, creates systems for indoor tracking and navigation that work regardless of the external environment. Its products can be used in industry, such as to track goods in warehouses and factories, as well as in transport hubs, malls and museums to track and analyse visitor behaviour.
“We plan to use the investment mainly for business development in the U.S., as well as for the further improvement of our technology platform,” said Alexey Panyov, CEO of Navigine, which opened offices in the U.S. and Germany this year.
“With the help of Innovestor we are already starting our first project in the area of smart offices, with the largest Finnish system integrator,” he said, adding that Navigine is also negotiating projects with more than 10 European companies.
“This round of investment is extremely important for the company’s international expansion,” said Vasily Ryzhonkov, director of the Skolkovo Foundation’s Mobile Tech Centre.
“A company of this level has the potential to reach capitalization of $200-300 million, and entering the international market is an important step,” he said. “We’re certain that Navigine will become a key player in this field on the global market.”
Innovestor said in its statement that Navigine’s “unique technology” enables customers to reduce costs on positioning infrastructure, and added that the depreciation of the Russian ruble has given Navigine a cost advantage over its Western competitors.
In 2015, Navigine’s revenue was $100,000, Innovestor said, adding that its system is in use at 70 locations around the world, including a pilot project in Dubai airport. Navigine previously raised $350,000 in funding, according to Innovestor.
Innovestor, which invests in the Nordic area and Russia and has offices in Helsinki, Stockholm and Moscow, is a sponsor of the Skolkovo Foundation’s Startup Village, the biggest startup conference in Eastern Europe, which this year takes place on June 2-3.