Russia has launched a Fund to invest in virtual reality

Girl with a virtual reality headset

The founder of the center Digital October Georgy Tushinskiy and former Director of marketing communications of “Yandex”, the founder of advertising Agency BBDO Moscow, Igor Lutz has launched a venture Fund VRTech for investment in projects of virtual reality. About RBC said the representative of the Fund.

The total investment VRTech will be more than RUB 300 million Additional funds will be raised depending on the size and number of projects, told RBC Tushino. Look for the projects the Fund will be in Russia, USA, Europe and Asia. In 2016, its founders plan to invest in three to five startups, each with 10-30 mln. Agreement on the first deal has already been achieved, VRTech is investing in the project is 25 million rubles, said Tushin. The name and details of the project, he refused to disclose, noting that we are talking about the Russian development.

VRTech will choose to investment projects aimed at improving the effectiveness of business entertainment and technology, says about the launch of the Fund. Projects virtual reality can help the developers to demonstrate to customers the housing, the oil — to build simulators for drilling, tourists — to appreciate the advantages of travel by a particular route examples of representative VRTech. A company that uses virtual reality technology can increase profit by 30% due to the failure against the costs of developing a real product, evaluates Tushino, whose words are given in the report of the Fund.

Who founded VRTech

Tushino is the Creator of the site Allofmp3.com blocked in 2007 after the trade mission of the USA called the portal “the largest pirate music resource in the world”, as well as streaming radio performances Moskva.fm and Piter.fm, which sued the copyright holders from illegal use of their content, wrote “Vedomosti”. In 2010, together with the Minister for open government Mikhail Abyzov, he opened a center for conferences Digital October. “As a business it [Digital October] is worth nothing, this is a set of people, relationships and image,” said a familiar Tushino Forbes magazine. In 2011, the centre hosted one of the sessions of the Commission on modernization under the President (the post at that time was occupied by Dmitry Medvedev). In March 2012, the company Tushinskaya “Telemarker” organized surveillance of the presidential election.

Igor Lutz founded the advertising Agency BBDO Moscow in 1989 and resigned as its leader in 2007 to work on his own projects. In January 2015 he joined Yandex, where he was responsible for creative and production in advertising and marketing, but six months later left the company. VRTech is not the first Fund of Lutz. In 2015, together with a venture investor Konstantin Shinyshiny he founded the Untitled Retail Lab. This Fund has invested in projects in the field of retail (the declared volume of investment was $2 million).

The declared volume of the Fund is insufficient for high-quality investments in the early stages, say the head of the investors club at the business school “SKOLKOVO” Vitaly Polekhin and managing partner of VC Fund Impulce (invests Roman Abramovich) Kirill Belov. In the US, assessing startups in the field of virtual reality at an early stage of $5-6 million for VRTech investments in such projects from $200-300 million up to $1 million will be difficult. If the Foundation wants to focus on the expansion of Russian projects, he will have to invest in the team’s relocation abroad — it will cost you $300-400 thousand, that is, funds will be enough for a dozen projects, says Belov. According to him, “you need to understand what the founders goal”: if this investment in Russian projects, the market is quite limited. The country will gain the strength of ten projects worthy of investment: helmet virtual reality Fibrum several game projects and software developers, lists Belov. Viable of them one or two, so that the local market will not, it is a global international story,” he says.

In Russia there are 150-200 projects in the field of technology in the field of VR (virtual reality) and IR (augmented reality), estimates the head of the center for mobile technologies of Fund “SKOLKOVO” Vasily Ryzhonkov. The global volume of deals in the sector last year when it reached $3.4 billion and continues to grow, he appreciates. According to experts, an important impetus for the development of the market was the release of retail consumer devices — augmented reality glasses Oculus (owned by Facebook), HTC and Sony. VRTech is hardly enough money to develop the stated number of projects, according to Ryzhenkov. “In Russia, some startups are raising rounds for $600-700 thousand, and this money is barely enough for development,” he says.