A new fund launched by Russian private equity firm Elbrus Capital has secured initial backing from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development as it works towards a $500m (€403.8m) goal.
The EBRD has committed up to $50m but said that it won't put up any more than 25 per cent of the entire fund.
As well as investing in Russia, the new fund will back SMEs in the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Elbrus has one other fund under its belt, which raised $324m in 2007 after the firm emerged from investment group Renaissance.
The private equity firm owns Media-One, Strela Telecom, Blesk InCare and in November 2010 sold its one per cent stake in Mail.ru Group for 55x Ebitda after its London IPO. The float is its only exit so far.