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Russian seed capital fund Runa Capital and one of the world’s leading hosting and cloud services enablers Parallels are inextricably linked. Serguei Beloussov, the Russian founder of Parallels is a founding partner of Runa Capital, that’s why.
Despite Runa’s investment in a number of companies which could not be further away from Parallel’s business – such as Travelmenu (online travel booking service) or Telefir (location- and voice-based mobile app and social radio), businesses such as Jelastic (cloud-based Java hosting platform) or ThinkGrid (cloud platform for IT services) have a good fit.
From now on Runa, which invests globally and Parallels will co-invest in the APS-certified cloud software and services companies targeting SMEs. The benefit of APS (Application Packaging Standard) is a simplified distribution and deployment of hosted applications.
As announced at Parallels Summit 2012, the new accelerator will provide financial and marketing support, promising its investee companies “an enormous head-start for building their sales channel”, according to Beloussov. Parallels will offer the participants access to over 5000 Parallels’ service providers and resellers, who in turn serve more than 12 million SMEs.
Throwing a balanced tone aside, I must say that I find this very exciting. This is exactly the right approach for investment and acceleration as many startups in the cloud space simply lack marketing muscle to get their product known to SME sector, especially those from Eastern Europe, where the capital is lacking.
It would definitely cost participants a big chunk of equity to get access to Parallels’ distribution channels, but I feel that if the program is done right, and will not get drowned in the bureaucracy of a large organization that Parallels has become (800 employees in 2011), the participation is certainly worth it.
For those looking to explore this opportunity, get in touch with Runa Capital by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org before applying for APS certification.
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vita at goaleurope dot com