Digital Sky Technologies
|Key people||Yuri Milner, Founder;
John Lindfors, Partner;
Alexander Tamas, Partner;
Rahul Mehta, Partner;
Tom Stafford, Principal;
Shou Zi Chew, Executive Director;
Saurabh Gupta, Executive Director;
Digital Sky Technologies (DST) is an international investment firm focused solely on the Internet sector. The firm was founded by Yuri Milner and emerged from Mail.ru Group. Today, DST is fully independent of Mail.ru Group and its investments include Facebook, Zynga and Groupon.
May 2009. The firm became known globally after leading an investment of $200 million in Facebook at a $10 billion valuation in May 2009 and launching a tender offer of $100 million to the employees of Facebook in July 2009. Subsequently the firm continued to buy shares in the company and is now one of the largest institutional shareholders in Facebook.
In April 2011, DST led $1.5B investments in 360buy.com 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
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
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”. 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.
Relationship with Mail.ru Group
Yuri Milner is the founder of both Mail.ru Group and DST. In case of Mail.ru group another co-founder was current company's CEO Dmitry Grishin. In March 2012, Yuri Milner has stepped down from the role of Chairman of Mail.ru and from the Board of Directors. 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. Mail.ru Group was originally called Digital Sky Technologies and started making international investments from its balance sheet. As part of Mail.ru Group’s IPO the company renamed itself to its current name. DST was formed as a separate entity, initially called DST Global to co-invest with Mail.ru Group. Post Mail.ru Group’s IPO, DST is the sole vehicle for further international investments. The company is now fully independent of Mail.ru Group.
Relationship with Goldman Sachs
DST has strong ties to Goldman Sachs. 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. Other ex-Goldman Sachs employees include Rahul Mehta and Shou Zi Chew. In January 2011, DST has orchestrated an investment into Facebook and brought Goldman Sachs into the deal.
- Mail.ru Group prospectus November 2010
- Facebook press release May 2009
- Zynga press release December 2009
- Businesswire article on DST Groupon investment April 2010
- Techcrunch article July 2009
- Business Insider article
- "AOL sells ICQ to Russian internet company". Financial Times. April 28, 2010.
- Facebook Press Release Jan 2011
- Businesswire article on Groupon investment round January 2011
- Airbnb Press Release http://assets.airbnb.com/press/press-releases/Airbnb_PressRelease_SeriesB_07252011.pdf
- Business Wire: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20110922006234/en/DST-Global-Silver-Lake-Announce-Commitment-Invest
- Techcrunch article January 2010
- Businessweek article February 2010
- "Mail.ru group corporate governance". mail.ru group. 2012-03-18. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- "Yuri Milner Is Freed From Mail.ru Board To Take Care Of Business". TechCrunch. 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- "Mail.ru group limited: Appointment of new Chairman". mail.ru group. 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2012-03-18.
- Mail.ru Group prospectus November 2010 page F-100
- Forbes blog article January 2011
- Techcrunch article June 2010
- Business Insider article January 2011
- LinkedIn Profile
- Businessweek article January 2011