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Russian venture fund Life.SREDA has made its first foreign investment in the form of backing for New York-based startup Moven, Kommersant reports. The American money-management service was founded in April 2011 and has reportedly obtained $2 million (1,51 million Euro) from the Moscow-based venture fund and its partners. Even after this investment, it is reported that the founders of Moven will retain a controlling interest in the company. Moven previously obtained $2,41 million (1,82 million Euro) in August 2012 from Anthemis Group and Raptor Ventures.
Moven is a service which helps users to manage their money by offering an account for storing money. Users can transfer money into their Moven account from their bank account and then make payments by tapping their phones or swiping their Moven (Mastercard) credit card. They provided with a virtual receipt, which shows how much they’ve spent, how much they’ve spent in that category during that month, and how much they typically spend in that category. According to their site, users are offered the option of paying not only through the Moven iOS app, but also by email and Facebook. Moven monetizes its service by charging a subscription fee (free for the first year and $5,95 (4,5 Euro) per month after that), loyalty programs and rewards, currency exchange, charging interest, and change on credit and savings products.
In reading about the deal, what strikes me is that we have previously done a post about LifePay, a money-transfer service developed by Life.SREDA themselves, so this is not an unusual investment from them. In recent months, we have done posts about their crowdfunding platform SmartMarket (in which Kommersant reports that they invested roughly 982,000 Euro) and about their pre-paid tablet program called LifePAD, so it’s nice to have a change of pace and to report on their other activities. Moven does not have an obvious connection to Russia, but the service they provide certainly falls in line with Life.SREDA’s stated interest in investing in financial, mobile, and internet services and perhaps this is the beginning of a more global approach for the Moscow-based venture fund.
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