VEB.RF’s project “Developing the Architecture of the Green Finance Market in Russia” has been selected to be officially showcased in Paris at the Paris Peace Forum, the 2020 edition of which is scheduled for 10–12 November. The organisers recognised VEB.RF’s efforts to draw up recommended guidelines on green financing, create a national taxonomy for green projects and integrate them into the international green finance system.
The Call for Projects received a total of 850 applications from 113 countries on subjects congruent with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (environmental sustainability, culture and education, peace and security, new technology, inclusive economic growth, sustainability). The VEB.RF project is among the top 30 initiatives selected to be showcased at the forum on-site in Paris. The other selected projects (about 70) are to be pitched online.
The first version of the recommended guidelines and taxonomy were made available late in the summer for discussion by all interested professionals, businesspeople and public officials. VEB.RF received several hundreds of comments before considering them and announcing plans to present the second version by the end of the year. Based on the released methodology, Expert RA has already certified the first financial instrument. This is perpetual bonds issued by Russian Railways, also compliant with the ICMA Green Bond Principles.
The Paris Peace Forum is an initiative to promote international cooperation and address global challenges through collective action among countries. The forum is organised under the auspices of António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and Emmanuel Macron, President of the French Republic. The event in 2020 is the third edition of the forum, whose previous guests include Russian President Vladimir Putin, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and IMF Managing Director and ECB President Christine Lagarde.
VEB Ventures and Orbita Capital to Invest RUB260mn in Alphaopen’s Smart City Solutions
Russia’s leading venture capital funds, VEB Ventures and Orbita Capital, have closed a deal to acquire stakes in Alphaopen, a smart city technology developer. In the first phase, the funds will each invest 130 million roubles with the possibility of further financing in the future. The partnership will enable the company to expand its high-technology operations and bring new unique innovative solutions to market.
The investments will be used to develop the company’s core product, Alphalogic, which is Russia’s first integrated management software platform designed for buildings and urban environments. The solution is a “single point of access” to the entire utility infrastructure and can be applied to residential buildings, community facilities, shopping and business centres, cities etc.
The investments will also help the company to create new products. The coronavirus pandemic is increasing the demand for command centres and technologies for community infrastructure. Alphaopen is to develop IT solutions tailored for the hardest-hit sectors, such as education, healthcare, office property and hospitality. In addition, the involvement of institutional investors will make the company’s projects scalable to nationwide level, which will considerably improve the quality of the urban environment and houses, including in single-industry towns
As estimated by experts, the global smart home technology market will increase by 160% in money terms by 2024 on 2019 to reach 39 billion US dollars. The annual average growth rate will be 21%. Market growth is driven by rapid urbanisation as well as a need for efficient city management and a comfortable and safe environment. At the same time, this is not a mature market: a huge number of players offer their own solutions while their expensive, unlocalised integrated Western equivalents drive away customers.
“Alphaopen is Russia’s largest developer of IT solutions for smart houses and smart cities and the first project in the VEB Ventures portfolio of assets in this niche. The development of UrbanTech services is one of our priorities, and it’s important for us to invest not only in a supplier of advanced technology in a high-potential market, but also in the possibility of using these solutions to improve the quality and safety of the urban environment,” VEB Ventures CEO Oleg Teplov said.
“Digital technology is developing rapidly across the world, and Russian companies rival leaders in designing modern products and solutions. We see Alphaopen’s great potential not only in Russia, but also in the global smart house and smart city market. Their product gives a lot of opportunities to improve quality of life and, as a result, is in high demand. I’ve been following the company’s progress for a long time and I’m very pleased with their growth, which proves not only the quality of their product, but also the strength of the team able to create an efficient business process and scale up their operations,” Orbita Capital Partners CEO Evgeny Kuznetsov said.
“We view Alphaopen as an important partner, and I’d like to congratulate them on the successful results of raising capital. Now we are jointly involved in several large digitalisation projects for the management of buildings and urban areas. I’m sure that Alphaopen’s strong growth will make it possible to increase our cooperation and create new integration solutions that will be in demand in the market and key sectors,” Rusatom Infrastructure Solutions CEO Ksenia Sukhotina said.
“Cooperation with leading funds enables us to create and scale up our operations. We have plans to strengthen our team, consolidate our position as a leader in designing software products for smart houses and city infrastructure digitalisation, and expand our portfolio of products for high-potential areas of energy, transport, engineering and smart city solutions,” Alphaopen’s founder Alexey Kucheruk said, describing the company’s plans.