The WiFi telecom operator FON raised EUR 6 million (US$ 9.5 million) in Series C round, reported TechCrunch. We discovered via Quintura search engine that the new round of financing was
likely led by Coral SISTEMA Strategic Fund, a $75 million venture capital fund established by SISTEMA and managed by Coral Capital Management. The raised funds will help launch the FON operations in Russia shortly.
FON strives to create a global community of people (called “Foneros”) who share WiFi connections. The company was founded by the entrepreneur and investor Martin Varsavsky and launched in November 2005. FON, which lists Google, Skype, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Excite, and Digital Garage among its investors, previously raised EUR 18 million in February 2006 and EUR 10 million in March 2007.
Update: Martin Varsavsky confirmed the deal on his blog.
The investors into Coral SISTEMA Strategic Fund include Russia’s largest public diversified corporation SISTEMA and its majority-owned telecom companies: the leading Russian mobile telecom operator Mobile TeleSystems, fixed-line telecom operator COMSTAR – UnitedTelesystems, and telecom solutions provider and equipment manufacturer SITRONICS. Coral Capital Management was hired to provide the management of the fund and contributed 1% of the fund’s capital. Yuval Almog, the founder and Senior Managing Director of Coral Capital Management serves as Non-Executive Director of SITRONICS.
When SITRONICS was announcing its new product strategy at The Mobile World Congress 2008 in Barcelona in February, Mikhail Minkovsky, CTO of SITRONICS commented that the company’s product portfolio would be based on its own products and the acquisition of perspective projects through the Coral SISTEMA Strategic Fund.
The deal follows the recent investments of Finam in Badoo and Playfon in Wappy.to that bring Western web services into the Russian market.
We recently pointed out that the Russian wireless broadband market is getting hot after Volga River One Capital Partners invested iin Metromax, Quadriga invested in Tascom and Bessemer invested in Enforta.