The following is a guest post from blog from GWC’s Global Mobile Internet Conference. Register now to receive 10% discount in March!
If one year ago you said you hadn’t heard of Russian Internet holding company Digital
Sky Technologies (DST), you wouldn’t be alone. But in May of 2009, DST took the tech industry by storm with a $200
million investment in Facebook (giving the company an unprecedented $10billion valuation) which was considered insane by the majority of investors at the time. But now with that investment reaping multifold returns, Yuri is looking increasingly prescient. Since then, he has followed up with other equally huge and successful investments in Zynga, Groupon, and another in Facebook, making DST one of the most powerful VC organizations in the world in just a short period of time.
Recently, Yuri dropped another bomb on the tech scene this past January. He announcement that he and Ron Conway will be investing $150,000 in every Y Combinator (YC) startup on a no-discount, no-cap convertible loan. This investment essentially provides YC startups money up-front, a move that is founded on the bet that the vetting process to enter YC will produce enough high quality companies to give him lucrative returns on at least a few of those investments. Accompanied by his “hands-off” approach, Yuri’s investment model has caught on rapidly and has seriously shaken up how seed-level investment is done in Silicon Valley.
Now, Yuri is taking initial steps in yet another arena, China. He will be attending the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing on April 27th to 28th and plans to share his thoughts and insights on his untraditional investment philosophy. This move will also put him face-to-face with Asia’s most powerful technology leaders such as Pony Ma, Yoshikazu Tanaka, Joe Chen, and Charles Chao. Part of the focus of the conference is a closed-door, invitation only, “G20” meeting where these CEOs and other key leaders of mobile technology will discuss the industry and where they should direct it. Milner’s influence on the Internet industry is unprecedented, and the ramifications of his presence at the conference may change the landscape of the mobile Internet industry in Asia as we currently understand it.
About the Author
An entrepreneur at heart with a passion for stimulating change for good. Proficient in Korean, and Mandarin, and currently working on Japanese, Nnamdi is positioning himself as a key liaison in the emergence of the worldwide market in East Asia.