LINT features hi tech applications for the Russia of today and tomorrow
A range of internationally recognized entrepreneurs and experts gathered to discuss the future of hi technologies and Russian start-ups. Among the speakers were the founders s eRepublic Labs, Crane.Tv, goodypass.com, with representatives from corporate heavyweights Microsoft, TNS Russia, Ford Motor Company, and MTS Telecommunications Russia, also in attendance.
Speakers presented business models and concepts they believe will hit the ground soon. ERepublik Labs founder, Alexis Bonte, said the Russian public is fostering increasing demand for modern services and devices, with the economic rebound underpinning the outlook.
“Russian market for online games was about 286 million $ in 2009 according to J'son & Partners consulting for 12.1 million regular players. The same consultancy estimates that the market will reach 748 million $ by 2015. So it’s booming. MMO games represent and will continue to represent the majority of the market but social games will see the fastest growth. The popularity of social media and social apps in the world is growing at an incredible rate, creating amazing new opportunities in particular in mature markets. The Russian market is slightly different and needs locally adapted concepts with globally recognized technological platforms that can serve as a base for domestic products. In Russia, more and more people are getting involved in online entertainment such as online games through social networks and mobile applications. I think people here enjoy being mobile and communicable like everywhere else but also have a real affinity with PC Gaming. That is why I reckon that the Russian market is a perfect opportunity for companies like eRepublik Labs to grow a base of players and customersfor browser and social games such as eRepublik.com”
Constantin Bjerke, Crane.tv CEO and founder, said his project has already attracted interest from Russian businesses.
“Our media project Crane.tv has already become one of the most successful and leading innovations premium brands and storytelling online. Crane.tv is an online video magazine which creates a unique value proposition for Russia’s media industry and premium brands alike. We have received a number of offers from Russian companies and the Russian audience is our biggest targeted market. We have built a successful partnership model of outsourcing team members from all over the world. That means we provide latest news on worldwide events. Our videos are aimed at a style conscious, influential, global audience, and reach millions of monthly viewers.”
Bjerke added that it has become easier to establish partnerships in Russia with conferences and meetings such as LINT underpinning business links.
“These types of events where venture capitalists meet start up initiators are now more frequent in Russia. Internet technology has a high level of penetration in metropolises and will soon reach good levels in the regions.”
Kirill Makharinsky, one of the co-founders of Ostrovok.ru – the internet hotel booking service for Russians – said this is the best ever time to be working on internet business in Russia. He originally moved first to London, and then to San Francisco while participating in the development of several leading US startups such as Slide and Quid.
"Since graduation from Oxford I gained invaluable experience in building companies from the ground up and have had the chance to work on some of the most exciting new internet projects and with some of the best people in Silicon Valley. I came up with the idea to establish my own start-up company in Russia because of the growth of the market and scale of opportunities here. It was not hard to initiate the project and quickly learn the latest trends on the travel market. The number of internet bookings by Russian citizens has increased massively recently as well as the frequency of traveling. However, the market lacks a booking service with an experience that works from start to finish and is specific to Russians customers."
Co-partner Serge Faguet said he can't wait the web site to start fully operating, noting that there has been a tremendous demand for this service already.
"Our internet hotel booking service founded together with Kirill will launch in 4 weeks. Ostrovok.ru is already live and growing quickly, which for now just offers visitors the best latest offers from hotels and tour packages; nonetheless the original version will be upgraded to allow for hotel booking at any time from over 200 hotels around the world, with content specific to Russians, and payment options that are optimal for Russians. We have used a customer approach in building our service, which unfortunately most other companies here lack. After analyzing and scrutinizing the local data and trends we created a business plan which has been very attractive to investors. This service may look familiar to other international analogs, but the only common feature is the business model – hotels will pay Ostrovok.ru a fixed percentage only for bookings made. On the user side however, we are including plenty of features with the Russian customer specifically in mind. We guarantee customers the lowest room price relative to anywhere else, and won't ask them to pay any extra fees for booking through us."
Arman Gukasyan CEO of VIZERRA (www.vizerra.com) interactive 3D modeling, said his project broke down stereotypes and brought architecture design to a new level.
“ Our solution in virtual 3D planning and modeling has taken construction to a new level. It provides everyone from builders to inventors and developers with an entire view of the object, the way it will look and the internal engineering solutions. This visualization tool prevents construction and engineering mistakes, enables investors to estimate the value and provides developers with useful information for project development and product marketing. Each project done in 3D will add value for a client. This technology can be used for effective city planning and Sochi development will be the largest scale project proving the use of this technology.”