VTB Capital Venture Business (VTB), a leading institutional investment firm in the Russian and CIS markets, has partnered with and invested in Fast Lane Ventures, the prolific Internet Russian startup incubator and accelerator.

In an email, VTB confirmed that it has led a $18 million Series C round for Fast Lane Ventures and announced that the companies will start tapping the Russian Internet market together through a joint-venture partnership.

The proceeds of the new funding round will be used to develop the current portfolio of companies Fast Lane Ventures has, including online dating site Teamo.ru, Pinternet clone Pinme.ru and location-based shopping service Locata, strengthen the incubator’s team and provide finance for new investments.

VTB, which says it aims to partner with Fast Lane for the long haul, says it is also considering investing in its portfolio of startups directly in the future.

Fast Lane Ventures recently sold its stake in the TV and online teleshopping company Shopping Live to Germany’s Home Shopping Europe for an undisclosed amount, and sold portfolio company Sapato.ru to Internet retail giant OZON.ru.

The total volume of investments in Fast Lane Ventures, which was founded only 2 years ago, and its 18 portfolio companies, has amounted to more than $60 million.

Its list of backers includes Direct Group, eVenture Capital Partners, Kinnevik, Russia Partners, Intel Capital, UMJ (Russia) and others.

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