Mail.Ru Group

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Digital Sky Technologies
Type Private
Industry Internet
Founded 2005
Headquarters Moscow, Russia
Key people Yuri Milner, Founder

Mail.Ru Group is an international investment firm focused solely on the Internet sector. The firm was founded by Yuri Milner and emerged from Group. Today, DST is fully independent of Group and its investments include Facebook, Zynga and Groupon.[1][2][3][4]


May 2009. The firm became known globally after leading an investment of $200 million in Facebook at a $10 billion valuation in May 2009[2] and launching a tender offer of $100 million to the employees of Facebook in July 2009.[5] Subsequently the firm continued to buy shares in the company and is now one of the largest institutional shareholders in Facebook.[6]

In December 2009, DST led the $180 million investment in Zynga which had a primary and a secondary component.[3]

In April 2010 DST led a $135 million investment in Groupon at a rumored $1.35 billion valuation.[4] It further purchased ICQ from AOL for $187.5 million.[7]

In January 2011, DST and Goldman Sachs co-led a $500 million investment round in Facebook, valuing the company at $50 billion.[8]

January 2011 Subsequently, DST invested again as part of Groupon’s $950 million round in January 2011.[9]

In April 2011, DST led $1.5B investments in the largest 3C online retailer of the B2C market in China and it is one of the most popular and powerful E-Business websites with around 10,000,000 registered users in Chinese E-Business field[10]

In July 2011, Airbnb, the leading community marketplace that lets anyone discover and book unique spaces from people around the world, raises $112 million in Series B financing from DST Global, Andreessen Horowitz, and General Catalyst[11]

In September 2011, DST Global announced commitment to invest in Alibaba Group[12]

DST’s way of structuring deals, where they buy both preferred stock from the company and common stock from employees, is becoming a new way to invest in startups. In fact, some industry people recognise these deal structures as “DST deals”.[13] Yuri Milner, in an interview in February 2010, mentioned that DST monitors close to 50 companies globally and that these companies can be investment opportunities. DST plans to invest more than $1 billion in social web companies around the world over the next five years.[14]

Relationship with Group[edit]

Yuri Milner is the founder of both Group and DST. In case of group another co-founder was current company's CEO Dmitry Grishin.[15] In March 2012, Yuri Milner has stepped down from the role of Chairman of and from the Board of Directors.[16] Dmitry Grishin was elected to the Board of Directors and appointed as Chairman of the Board while retaining his CEO position. There were no other changes to management or to the Board.[17] Group was originally called Digital Sky Technologies and started making international investments from its balance sheet. As part of Group’s IPO the company renamed itself to its current name.[18] DST was formed as a separate entity, initially called DST Global to co-invest with Group. Post Group’s IPO, DST is the sole vehicle for further international investments. The company is now fully independent of Group.[1]

Relationship with Goldman Sachs[edit]

DST has strong ties to Goldman Sachs.[19] The majority of DST’s partners and employees have previously worked at Goldman Sachs. Alexander Tamas joined DST from Goldman Sachs in 2008 and John Lindfors, a previous partner at Goldman Sachs, joined DST in 2010.[20] Other ex-Goldman Sachs employees include Rahul Mehta[21] and Shou Zi Chew.[22] In January 2011, DST has orchestrated an investment into Facebook and brought Goldman Sachs into the deal.[23]


  1. ^ a b " Group prospectus November 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  2. ^ a b "Facebook press release May 2009". Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  3. ^ a b Zynga press release December 2009[dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Businesswire article on DST Groupon investment April 2010". 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  5. ^ "Techcrunch article July 2009". 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  6. ^ Nicholas Carlson Jan. 4, 2011, 12:11 PM 1,036,667 11 (2011-01-04). "Business Insider article". Business Insider article. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  7. ^ "AOL sells ICQ to Russian internet company". Financial Times. April 28, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Facebook Press Release Jan 2011". Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  9. ^ "Businesswire article on Groupon investment round January 2011". 2011-01-10. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  10. ^ "Chinese e-Commerce Site 360buy Grabs $1.5B From DST And Others". TechCrunch. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  11. ^ Airbnb Press Release
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Techcrunch article January 2010". 2010-01-27. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  14. ^ February 19, 2010 (2010-02-19). "Businessweek article February 2010". Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  15. ^ " group corporate governance". group. 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  16. ^ "Yuri Milner Is Freed From Board To Take Care Of Business". TechCrunch. 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  17. ^ " group limited: Appointment of new Chairman". group. 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  18. ^ " Group prospectus November 2010 page F-100" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  19. ^ "Forbes blog article January 2011". Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  20. ^ "Techcrunch article June 2010". 2010-06-03. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  21. ^ "Business Insider article January 2011". 2011-01-04. Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  22. ^ "LinkedIn Profile". Retrieved 2014-03-10. 
  23. ^ Businessweek article January 2011