Bessemer Venture Partners leads a $40 million investment in Enforta in its first direct investment in Russia and the largest Western private equity investment in a Russian infrastructure-based telecom operator.
The recent research from Maravedis found that Russia is among the top five global wireless broadband and WiMAX market opportunities.
Enforta, a broadband telecom operator in regional Russian cities using WiMAX and other technologies, has announced that it raised $40 million in C round of financing led by Bessemer Venture Partners, the oldest venture capital practice in the U.S. The previous investors Baring Vostok Capital Partners (BVCP), Sumitomo Corporation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) also participated in the round.
Enforta was formed in October 2003 with the objective to provide broadband services using WiMAX and other advanced technologies in Russia’s regional capitals. The company grew through acquisitions and expansions of its services to 25 cities across Russia. Enforta previously raised several rounds of financings from Sumitomo Corporation in October 2003, which were joined by BVCP in October 2005 and the EBRD in December 2006.
Enforta plans to expand its services to 65 Russian cities by the end of 2008. The other wireless Internet service providers in Russia include Synterra and Quantum as well as Golden Telecom, which is being currently acquired by VimpelCom (Beeline).