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Index Ventures invests £9.1 million in Russian Amazon

E-consultancy reports that Index Ventures, Holtzbrinck Ventures and Cisco Systems have invested £9.1m (approx. $18m) into Ozon.ru, the Russian “Amazon”.

Ozon.ru intends to use the capital to develop its logistics, expand product lines and establish new distribution centres across Russia. Founded in 1998, Ozon.ru is the most popular e-commerce site in Russia, with over 120,000 unique visitors daily. Much like Amazon, they sell books, games, DVD and even household items.

Giuseppe Zocco of Index believes Russian e-commerce is ripe for investment:

The OZON.ru team has done a terrific job in building the leading e-commerce site in Russia, and we believe it has the assets to become one of the most important European companies in this space. This investment in OZON.ru demonstrates our strong belief that Russia has the market, technology and entrepreneurs to create world-class startups and we aim to continue investing in this geography.

According to a recent Point Topic survey, broadband connections in the region grew by 14.2% in Q4 2006, the highest increase of anywhere in the world. Russia, Poland and Romania added a combined 2.8m new broadband subscribers in the three months.

The Russian e-commerce market is also growing fast, a recent report by Russian search portal Yandex showed that the market grew by 42% last year (compared to 25% growth in the EU zone).

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Nick Wilsdon

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