As we reported earlier, Russia is now the largest Internet economy in Europe, and a fast-growing one at that. No wonder investors from all over Europe (and increasingly, other continents) are keener than ever to make regular trips to Moscow and get a shot at backing the most promising startups in the country.
Today, ‘Russia’s craiglist’, free online classifieds portal AVITO.ru (Avito), is announcing that it has secured a whopping $75 million in new funding from private equity firm Baring Vostok and venture capital firm Accel Partners.
Existing investors Kinnevik and Northzone also participated in the round.
Launched in October 2008, Avito claims to be the ‘absolute leader’ in Russian when it comes to general classifieds websites. The company cites research from TNS Index, which claims no less than 40% of Russia’s Internet users visit the site at least once a month.
That translates to roughly 30 million unique visitors per month, who Avito says visit more 2 billion pages and spend, on average, one hour a month on the site. Every month, more than 6 million new items are added by over 3 million users.
Overall, in excess of 10 million people have listed items for sale on AVITO.ru.
Baring Vostok Private Equity Funds have already led investments in some of Russia’s leading Internet companies, including Ozon and Yandex. For Accel, this is the third investment in Russia after KupiVIP and Ostrovok.