Finam to Launch German Mobile IM app in Russia

By Silicon Allee |

Finam Capital, the venture arm of the largest Russian brokerage and investment holding, will invest $10 million to deploy a special version IM+ in Russia. IM+ is a popular instant messenger made by German mobile app publisher Shape.

Shape and Finam will create a joint venture in which the latter will own a minority, non-blocking stake, said Dmitry Smirnov, CEO of the Finam Private Equity Fund, in an exchange with East-West Digital News.

IM+ users can connect to MSN/Windows Live, Facebook, Skype, Google Talk, Yahoo!, AIM/iChat, ICQ, Jabber, MySpace, Twitter, VKontakte, Mail.Ru Agent and Yandex IM at the same time, Shape claims. The application, which works on all popular mobile platforms, currently attracts 17.5 million users and generates 800 million mobile ad impressions per month. It is already available on the Russian market.

“Our fund’s new strategy is geared towards investing in global players in the TMT sector worldwide,” said Smirnov. “We have a deep understanding of the mobile applications market, and IM+ is one of the best and most popular universal communications platforms being used by young people.”

Finam is one of the largest investment groups in Russia, with a strong track record of private equity investments. Since 2003, the group has invested in more than 20 Internet, telecom and media projects. Among them are Begun, Russia’s largest independent context advertising service, Mamba, the leading online dating service in Russian speaking countries, and Badoo, the international social network with over 137 million subscribers worldwide.

Last August, Finam invested $1 million in, a portal that aggregates credit card offerings from various banks and offers an online card application procedure.

This article was first posted on East-West Digital News, the international information source on Russian IT and innovation.