At SXSW in Austin, Texas, last week, I caught up with one of the most successful Internet entrepreneurs in Russia, Dmitry Grishin. Having founded one of the most-used online services in his homeland, Mail.ru, he’s now pushing into the West with international subsidiary My.com. However, you may not know that he has a personal passion for robotics.

That passion has manifested itself in his investment vehicle, Grishin Robotics. His portfolio includes telepresence firm Double Robotics, quantified pet-feeder startup Petnet (don’t miss our recent feature about them) and ‘robots for education’ firm RobotsLAB.

While Grishin is keen to point out that he is only investing in the consumer side of robotics, there’s no doubt that public interest in Google’s recent activity in the wider field through its purchase of companies like Boston Dynamics has helped other investors take him seriously. Two years ago, starting a robotics investment fund seemed a bit of a crazy idea to many.

You can listen to the full interview below.

Don’t miss: Artificial Intelligence could kill us all. Meet the man who takes that risk seriously

Image credit: Mail.ru / Wikimedia Commons