Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has reportedly invested $63 million in European start-ups through London-based venture capital firm Target Global. Leaked documents from Cyprus Confidential reveal Abramovich's association with Target Global as a "co-investor and partner" from 2015 to 2021. Target Global, having raised over $3.2 billion, has invested in notable companies like Revolut and Cazoo. Abramovich's investments, made through limited partnerships or specific companies used by Target Global, were primarily between 2015 and 2021, as shown in leaked documents.
The leaked records indicate that Abramovich invested $25 million as a limited partner in Target Global Mobility 2.0 in 2018. This investment accounted for about a fifth of the fund's total assets. Abramovich's funds were used to invest in companies like Circ in 2019 and Auto1 in 2015. Auto1, now listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange with a value of $2.2 billion as of February 2021, is considered one of Germany's prominent startups.
Documents also reveal that Abramovich and his companies provided Target Global with loans totaling tens of millions of dollars, indirectly buying stakes in various startups. For instance, between 2020 and 2021, Abramovich loaned $23.5 million for Target Global to invest in the women's interest app Flo. Additional loans were provided for investments in companies like Delivery Hero and London-based semiconductor firm Compound Photonics.
While some concerns have been raised regarding potential penalties on shareholders due to sanctions, Auto1 confirmed that Target and Abramovich's investments were made before the imposition of sanctions. Target Global clarified that Abramovich's investments represented 2% of its assets under management and were made before Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The London-based venture capital firm also emphasized its compliance with applicable laws and sanctions controls.
Target Global is not the sole VC fund with ties to Abramovich, as he has also invested in Russian firm Impulse VC and the San Francisco-based Altair Capital Fund. Impulse VC did not respond to requests for comment, while Altair Capital stated that Abramovich ceased to be an investor or shareholder after March 2022.
Abramovich, with an estimated fortune of $21 billion in 2021, faced challenges in overturning European Union sanctions in court, which accused him of supporting Russian President Vladimir Putin. The leaked documents shed light on Abramovich's involvement in European start-ups through Target Global, raising questions about the intricate web of investments made by Russian oligarchs.
By fLEXI tEAM