The idea of launching copycats of U.S. internet ventures in Russia was proven last year when Russian copycat of Groupon called Darberry was taken over by Groupon. Last summer two Russian-American entrepreneurs Kirill Makharinsky and Serge Fauget launched tour sales online service Ostrovok.ru. The service is very similar to Gilt Groupe tour flash sales site Jetsetter.com.
Ostrovok.ru has attacted funding from General Catalyst Partners that backed travel services Kayak, ITA and Sabre. The other investors included Scott Banister (co-founder of IronPort Systems and Zivity), Naval Ravikant (co-founder of Epinions), Sam Shank (founder of TravelPost) and Moscow-based Kite Ventures. It is noticeable that Naval Ravikant co-maintains AngelList that helps startups raise money.
Ostrovok.ru offers tours outside of Russia to registered site members. The service could compete with Western business angel-funded HipClub.ru, which sells tours in and outside of Russia.
Kirill Makharinsky previously co-founded YouNoodle (Quid) that reportedly raised $5 million from Max Levchin, Peter Thiel and Founders Fund.
Serge Faguet dropped out from Stanford Business School in 2007 after he co-founded online video chat service TokBox and raised $4.3 million from Sequoia. When Bain Capital invested in TokBox in 2008 Serge left TokBox.