DST Global

DST Global
TypePrivate
IndustryVenture capital
Private equity
Founded2009; 14 years ago (2009)
FounderYuri Milner
Saurabh Gupta
John Lindfors
Rahul Mehta
Tom Stafford
ProductsInvestments
AUMUS$50 billion
Websitewww.dst-global.com

DST Global is a venture capital and private equity firm that primarily invests in late-stage internet companies. DST Global has been described as one of the largest and most influential venture firms in the world, with an estimated $50 billion in assets under management.[1] DST Global’s founder is Yuri Milner and its co-founders are Saurabh Gupta, John Lindfors, Rahul Mehta and Tom Stafford.[2]

Background

Yuri Milner founded Digital Sky Technologies (now known as VK) in 1999[3] that through acquisitions has become a leading Russian language website in terms of users.[4] In 2010, Digital Sky Technologies changed its name to Mail.ru Group and successfully completed an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.[5] Although initial investments in American Internet companies were done by Mail.ru, it became clear that a dedicated fund management operation was required to continue investing at scale. As a result, DST Global was set up in 2009 by Yuri Milner as a separate fund management company for international investments.[6] In 2012, Milner stepped down from his role as Mail.ru Chairman to fully focus on DST Global.[citation needed] In the capital of the third fund, Milner and Usmanov, as in the case of the second fund, contributed $50 million worth of Facebook shares. Special conditions were offered for investors of the first two funds. They could buy Facebook shares at a 12% discount to the “internal valuation” calculated using the DST method: at that time, the entire Facebook company was valued at $ 74 billion, for investors - $ 9 billion less. In addition, these investors paid fund managers 25% less than everyone else.[7]

In July 2015, the formation of the DST Global V fund began; by August, it had raised $1.7 billion. The composition of shareholders, as well as the final size of the fund, are unknown. The main capital was attracted from private sovereign funds and private individual investors.[8]

Since the Mail.ru Group's IPO, DST Global is the sole vehicle for further international investments. The company is now fully independent of Mail.ru Group.[9]

DST Global has offices in Menlo Park, New York, London, Beijing, and Hong Kong.[10] The registered office of the DST Global funds is in the Cayman Islands.

Funds

Fund[11] Vintage Year Committed Capital (US$m)
DST Global I 2008 N/A
DST Global II 2011 1,000
DST Global III 2012 N/A
DST Global IV 2014 1,000
DST Global V 2015 1,700
DST Global VI 2018 N/A
DST Global VII 2019 N/A
DST Global VIII 2021 N/A
DST Global IX 2021 4,000[12]

Notable investments

Relationship with Russia

A Kremlin-owned firm, VTB Bank, put $191 million into DST Global, which used it to buy a large share of Twitter in 2011. A subsidiary of the Kremlin-controlled Gazprom funded an investment company that partnered with DST Global to buy shares in Facebook, reaping millions when the social media giant went public in 2012. Twitter similarly went public in 2013. The US government sanctioned VTB in 2014 because of the Russian military intervention in Crimea, but DST Global had sold its stake in Twitter by then. Four days after the Facebook IPO, a DST Global subsidiary sold more than 27 million shares of Facebook for roughly $1 billion.[31] In November 2017, DST Global issued the statement in response to this accusation: “Since 2009, DST Global has invested $7 billion in the consumer internet sector, with a majority being invested in non-U.S. companies — and with less than 5% coming from VTB Bank. VTB Bank was the only Russian government institution that invested in any DST Global funds... Moreover, there were dozens of DST Global investors making up the funds that invested in Facebook and Twitter — ....50 passive investors that invested in Facebook..., and VTB Bank was one of 40 passive investors... that invested in Twitter” [32] Yuri Milner published his own open letter in ReCode magazine stated that “DST Global's investments in Silicon Valley were motivated by pure business logic, based on a decade of experience in Internet technology... when we negotiated the Facebook and Twitter deals we asked for no board seats, and assigned all our votes to their founders, figuring they knew best how to run their companies. At the time, this structure was unusual, but it is core to DST Global's philosophy."[33] DST Global funds have invested in over 80 companies, none of which are based in Russia.[34]

In 2018 the Wall Street Journal confirmed that it is incorrectly named DST Global a Russian firm. DST said it closed its office in Russia and moved its headquarters to Hong Kong in April 2012. WSJ has corrected thirteen additional articles containing the same error.[35]

In 2022, due to additional sanctions being placed on Russia resulting from the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, DST Global became a subject of scrutiny due to its ties to Russia.[36][37] A DST Global representative stated that the firm had not raised capital from Russian limited partners since 2011.[36][37] Less than 3% of capital it had raised from inception was from VTB Bank and all such capital was returned by 2014.[36][37] On DST Global's website, the firm announced it condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine.[12] In addition the firm announced it would donate $3.5 million to Stand With Ukraine, a GoFundMe initiative launched by Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher to help the refugee and humanitarian relief efforts.[citation needed]

Milner said, "The great irony is that we are the least Russian fund right now and have been because we made a consistent effort." He told Bloomberg News that DST hasn't taken money from Russia since a $900 million fund in 2011, and most Western banks were in business with Russia until years after he stopped.[38]

References

  1. ^ "DST Global: The Quiet Conqueror | The Generalist". www.readthegeneralist.com. Retrieved 2022-01-05.
  2. ^ "DST Global". dst-global.com. Retrieved 2022-01-10.
  3. ^ Olson, Parmy. "A Q&A With Internet Guru Yuri Milner: Moving On From Russia And The Future Of E-Commerce". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  4. ^ VCCircle.com (2011-11-21). "Facebook investor DST Global eyeing Indian Internet firms". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  5. ^ "Mail.ru prices IPO at US$27.70 per GDR - London Stock Exchange". archive.vn. 2012-09-09. Archived from the original on 2012-09-09. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  6. ^ Olson, Parmy. "A Q&A With Internet Guru Yuri Milner: Moving On From Russia And The Future Of E-Commerce". Forbes. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  7. ^ "Фонд на миллиард". Ведомости (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  8. ^ "Юрий Мильнер привлек $1,7 млрд в новый фонд DST Global". Ведомости (in Russian). Retrieved 2022-06-08.
  9. ^ Mail.ru Group prospectus "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Yuri Milner: Remote will be the new normal". Globes. 2020-03-25. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  11. ^ News, East-West Digital (2015-08-04). "DST Global raises $1.7 billion to launch fifth fund – without Russian money". Retrieved 2021-03-05. {{cite web}}: |last= has generic name (help)
  12. ^ a b McBride, Sarah (March 21, 2022). "Silicon Valley's Wealthiest Russian Is Carefully—Very Carefully—Distancing Himself From Putin". www.bloomberg.com. Retrieved 2022-03-21.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Yuri Milner's schedule for Bloomberg Tech Conference 2016". bloombergtechconference2016.sched.com. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  14. ^ a b c "Facebook, Groupon And Zynga Investor Mail.ru (aka, DST) Shoots For $5.7B Valuation In IPO". TechCrunch. 25 October 2010. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  15. ^ Olson, Parmy. "Yuri Milner's Unparalleled Global Tech Gold-Mining Machine". Forbes.
  16. ^ Rusli, Evelyn M. (22 September 2011). "Silver Lake and DST Begin Tender Offer for Alibaba Shares". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Chinese video-sharing app Kuaishou raises US$350M from Tencent, reportedly valued at about US$3B now". YahoNews.
  18. ^ "Forbes India Magazine - DST Global pumps $210 million into Flipkart". forbesindia.com.
  19. ^ "Robinhood stock trading app valued at $1.3 billion with big raise from DST". TechCrunch. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  20. ^ Munford, Monty. "More Big News For FinTech London As Revolut Raises $250 Million At $1.7 Billion Valuation". Forbes.
  21. ^ "Root Insurance valuation hits $3.65 billion in latest round led by DST Global and Coatue". TechCrunch. 9 September 2019.
  22. ^ Reuters Staff (26 June 2019). "Sneaker site StockX raises funds, hires eBay executive". Reuters. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  23. ^ "Tencent Lead A $115 Million Funding Round For Challenger Bank Qonto". Finbold. 21 January 2020.
  24. ^ "Online fashion company Farfetch raises $86 million from DST Global, others". Reuters. 4 March 2015.
  25. ^ "Ola Cabs raises fresh funds as it seeks to outrun Uber". Financial Times. 9 April 2015.
  26. ^ DraftKings. "DraftKings Secures $300MM In Funding From All-Star Lineup". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  27. ^ "Communication software maker Slack raises $160 million". Reuters. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  28. ^ "Russian Firm DST Quietly Bet on Snapchat at $7 Billion Price". WSJ.
  29. ^ "KLARNA RECEIVES $155 MILLION FINANCING FROM DST GLOBAL AND GENERAL ATLANTIC". Arctic Startup.
  30. ^ Burroughs, Callum. "French social media startup BeReal set to quadruple valuation to over $600 million as Yuri Milner's DST Global leads new round, sources say". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-08-21.
  31. ^ Spencer Woodman (5 November 2017). "Kremlin-Owned Firms Linked To Major Investments in Twitter And Facebook: The Russian government quietly held a financial interest in U.S. social media". ICIJ. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Statement from DST Global". New York Times. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  33. ^ "Yuri Milner says he was not working for Russia to turn social media against U.S. democracy". ReCode. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  34. ^ "DST Global letter to LP". Techcrunch. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  35. ^ "Corrections & Amplifications". WSJ. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  36. ^ a b c "The tight web of lawyers and PR firms who oil the wheels for billionaires". the Guardian. 2022-03-06. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  37. ^ a b c Chowdhury, Hasan. "Sanctions on Russian oligarchs and banks raise questions for deep-pocketed venture capital investors powering the growth of the tech industry". Business Insider. Retrieved 2022-03-14.
  38. ^ "Silicon Valley's Wealthiest Russian Is Carefully—Very Carefully—Distancing Himself From Putin". Bloomberg.com. 2022-03-21. Retrieved 2022-08-21.

External links

  • www.dst-global.com (Company Website)
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