The Skolkovo Foundation investment service was ranked fourth in a rating of M&A consultants working on the Russian market in 2016 that was released on Monday.

The first place went to ALTHAUS Group, followed by Sberbank CIB and RB Partners, in a list of 10 investment services compiled by, a website devoted to Russia’s M&A market.

Vladimir Sakovich, the Skolkovo Foundation's investment director. Photo:

“Since 2016, the Skolkovo Foundation’s investment service has moved over to a working model that corresponds to the principles of classic investment boutiques,” said Vladimir Sakovich, Skolkovo’s investment director.

“We work with our resident companies in an end-to-end process: we develop an investment strategy, prepare materials such as a teaser, investment memo and financial model, introduce the company to investors and then take part in the negotiations until the deal is concluded,” he said, adding that Skolkovo’s database of investors includes Russian venture capital funds, business angels and high net worth individuals, corporations and financial and industrial holdings.

“In 2016, the first deals were successfully closed, which is reflected in the rating,” said Sakovich.

“However, since the average time to close a deal is nine months, much of the progress made in 2016 will only be reflected in the 2017 ratings, in which we expect our position to improve significantly.”

Sakovich also noted that the details of many private investment deals are not disclosed to the public.

“A number of deals involving the Skolkovo Foundation’s investment service are not made public either; we cannot disclose information about them, and so they are not reflected in the rating,” he said.

The rating assesses the active participation of consultants on the Russian M&A market based on information provided by those involved in the deals and from the media. Only deals that have been completed and where full information is disclosed are counted in the compilation of the list.

In terms of the number of deals, Skolkovo was ranked third, with eight deals under its belt in 2016. The investment service helped four of the foundation’s startups – ComfortWay, GeoSteering Technologies, DataMatrix and Brain4Net – to raise external investment last year. The largest number of deals in 2016 – 12 – was closed by ALTHAUS Group.

GeoSteering Technologies, which develops software for designing and managing the development of hydrocarbon deposits, raised $2 million in December from a group of companies including Phystech Ventures and North Energy Ventures to develop its software and expand to the U.S. and Middle East.

ComfortWay raised 6 million euros from a pool of European telecoms companies and private investors early last year for its SIM card that allows travelers to select a local data package that best suits their needs.

Brain4Net raised about 100 million rubles ($1.7 million) from Rostelecom’s venture fund KommIT Capital in exchange for 20.3 percent in the company in March 2016. The company develops network and services management systems based on software defined networks and network function virtualisation.

Data Matrix, a system for managing the data obtained from clinical trials, raised 160 million rubles from the Internet Initiatives Development Foundation (FRII) and Primer Capital venture fund in December.

The biggest volume of investment in the rating was raised by Sberbank CIB, which was listed for a single megadeal worth $18.6 billion.

The Skolkovo Foundation announced last year that it is setting up a new venture fund, Skolkovo Ventures, in partnership with Russian Venture Capital, a state investment vehicle.