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Kenes Rakishev, a prominent Kazakh entrepreneur and investor. He takes the top 5 spot out of 50 influential businessmen in Kazakhstan according to Forbes Kazakhstan annual ranking "The top 50 most influential businessmen in Kazakhstan" and the top 7 spot in Forbes Kazakhstan annual ranking "The 50 richest people in Kazakhstan". Kenges is one of the founders of the global venture fund SingulariTeam, a private investment fund that focuses on the development of technology based companies, by providing capital and additional supporting services all around the world. According to buzzsparks.org in 2012 he was considered among the world's top 10 private investors by the amount of the investments made. He serves as the chairman of the board of directors for several large companies including SAT & Company (KASE: SATC), a diversified industrial holding. Benefitting from Kenges’ leadership, SAT & Co., which has interests in mining, mechanical engineering, infrastructure projects and petrochemical operations as well as plants and projects in Turkey and China, has grown from its initial investment of $10K in 2000 to more than $500M today. He is the controlling shareholder of the largest Kazakh commercial bank - JSC "Kazkommertsbank" (LSE:KKB), as well as the bank's chairman of the board of Directors.
He also serves as the chairman of Net Element (NASDAQ:NETE) after acquiring $32 million in Net Element stock in 2012. The investment into Net Element is part of Kenges’ strategy to apply his expertise and access to capital to seize opportunities in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries by leveraging advanced technologies and partnerships abroad.
Kenges is the member of directors' board and the strategic partner of one of the biggest Russian venture funds Fastlane Ventures. He also is one of the significant shareholders of the Central Asia Metals PLC (LSE: CAML.L) mining company, holding 19,01% shares.
Throughout his career, Kenges has served in several top positions in both the public and private sector, ranging from head of marketing for KazTransGas and Intergas Central Asia to advisor for the Kazakhstan Interior Ministry and Department of Education.
- Rall.ee, $1 million, First Round, November 6, 2012
- Mobli, $20 million, Series B, September 9, 2012
- TriPlay, $5 million, Series C, August 22, 2012
- Net Element, $32 million in stock acquisition, February 23, 2012
- Fast Lane Ventures, $13 million, December 6, 2012
- Genesis Angels, $100 million fund, April 19, 2013
- Sprylogics International, Rakishev entered the Consultative Council of the company.
- IQcard.ru, $3,7 million investment in December, 2013
- Magnum Cash & Carry, large retail chain in Kazakhstan. In 2014 it was announced that Rakishev has non controlling stake in this company. The exact share size was not disclosed. Company's annual revenues exceed several hundred US dollars.
Kenges earned a diploma from the Oxford Saïd Business School in Advanced Management in 2007 and a certificate from the London Business School in Developing Strategy for Value Creation in 2007. He earned degrees in economics from the T. Ryskulov’ Kazakh Economic University in 2002 and law from the Kazakh National Law Academy in 2000.
Kenges was born in July 14, 1979 to a family of the prominent Kazakh statesman and public figure Khamit Rakishev, who, for many years was the Head of the Kazakhstan's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is the son-in-law of Imangali Tasmagambetov, the current Minister of Defence of Kazakhstan.
Since November 2006 Kenges Rakishev is the large shareholder and chairman of the board of SAT & Company (KASE: SATC), a diversified industrial holding combining more than 30 companies across different industrial sectors, such as mining, metallurgy, construction, mechanical engineering, oil trading, minerals exploration and recycling. From 2008 Sat & Company rapidly increased its international presence through acquisition of the new assets in China and Turkey (ferroalloy plants and mining companies exploring ferroalloys, chrome, nickel, zinc and coal). According to Bloomberg, by the beginning of 2013 market capitalization of Sat & Company made up $500 mln. By December 2015 Rakishev gained control over 75,61% of the company's shares.
In June 27, 2013 Central Asia Metals plc (LSE:CAML), an international producer of the cathode copper became the sole owner of Kounrad copper project in Kazakhstan by exchanging 20% of CAML shares into 40% of Kounrad stake owned by Kenges. Thus, Kenges was appointed as non-executive director of Central Asia Metals plc.
On March 13, 2014 Kenges Rakishev joined the board of directors of JSC "National Company "Kazakhstan Engineering" - large holding combining 27 enterprises of the defensive industry and munitions factories of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Kazakhstan. He left the board one year later, upon the appointment of Imangali Tasmagambetov as the new Minister of Defence.
In 2010 Kenges Rakishev had the status of the major participant of the "Otan" accumulative pension fund. In 2012 he became the shareholder of the "Respublika" accumulative pension fund. Currently, he is the major shareholder of the "Standard" insurance company - 22,34% shares. In March 2013 he has acquired the status of the major participant of JSC " Bank Astana-Finance" and in July 2015 he has left the register of the shareholders of this financial institution.
On February 6, 2014 JSC Kazkommertsbank and Kenes Rakishev reached a final agreement to acquire 46.5% of the shares of JSC BTA Bank each from JSC National Welfare Fund Samruk-Kazyna. The acquisition and subsequent merger of BTA and KKB were expected to create the largest universal bank in the region, creating a large-scale diversified institution with an assets more than 1.5x larger than the next competitor.
On February 14, 2014 Kenges has become the new chairman of Kazakhstan-based BTA Bank's Board of Directors. The decision was made during the extraordinary meeting of the bank shareholders.
On January 19, 2015 by the decision of the extraordinary meeting of JSC Kazkommertsbank shareholders, Kenges Rakishev was elected as the new member of the board of directors, representing the shareholders' interests.
In March 2015 he has become the large shareholder of JSC Kazkommertsbank, controlling the 16,02% of the shares by the acquiring 127 777 704 of the ordinary shares.
By the beginning of August 2015, Rakishev increased its stake in Kazkommertsbank to 28,67% and then announced the preliminary agreement with Alnair Capital Holding (another large shareholder of the bank, controlling 28,08% of its shares) to combine their respective shareholdings in Kazkommertsbank. As a result of the proposed transaction, Mr. Rakishev would acquire legal ownership over the parent entity of JSC Alnair Capital Holding, becoming its General Partner and, as such, would effectively acquire control over voting and other rights of Alnair’s shareholding in Kazkommertsbank (controlling 56.75% of bank's shares in total).
On December 29, 2015 the above-mentioned deal was closed. Rakishev became Alnair Capital Holding's General Partner. Thus, the amount of shares under his control grew to 56,75 %.
In April 2016 Mr. Rakishev significantly increased his stake in Kazkommertsbank by reaching agreement with Mr. Nurzhan Subkhanberdin and JSC Central Asian Investment Company (CAIC) on acquisition of common shares of the Bank owned by Mr. Subkhanberdin and CAIC. Under the terms of this transaction Mr. Kenges Rakishev acquired 115,486,789 common shares from CAIC. As a result, Mr. Rakishev’s direct holding in KKB increased from 28.67% to 43.15%, and he directly and indirectly (through JSC Qazaq Financial Group) controls 71.23% of KKB common shares. Soon after the deal announcement Kenges has been elected as the Kazkommertsbank's chairman of the Board of Directors.
In 2012 Rakishev has expanded the range of his business interests to venture investments in the perspective innovation startups in the USA, Canada, Israel and Russia. He started to position himself as an independent investor and entrepreneur. After the acquisition of the major stake in US based Net Element company he has got the honorable nickname "the first Kazakh at NASDAQ". In March 2015 Net Element has acquired one of the Russia's e-payment market leaders - PayOnline company.
On December 6, 2012 Kenges has acquired the share in the capital and joined the board of directors of the biggest Russian venture fund Fastlane Ventures. In 2011 Forbes magazine placed Fastlane Ventures second in its ranking of the largest investors in Russia, mostly due to its huge $100 million portfolio. The fund's key partners are VTB capital, Direct Group, e.ventures.
In April, 2013 Kenges Rakishev together with Moshe Hogeg (prominent serial technology entrepreneur) co-founded SingulariTeam venture fund with the capital of $10 mln. The fund was founded with the aim of searching and financing breakthrough startups in such a disruptive industries as robotics, AI, VR, augmented reality, commercial space, etc.
In 2013, Mobli - the visual social platform application in which Kenges has a major stake, attracted the then most richest person in the world Carlos Slim as the new investor. He put $60 mln. in Mobli and it is worth mentioning that Mobli became the only second investment of Carlos Slim in the hi-tech market after Shazam. Mobli and Slim's America Movil reached an agreement to preinstall the application on all the new smartphones sold by this mobile operator.
In December 2013 Rakishev took part in the Russian IQCard financing round, putting $3,7 mln. in to its capital. Created in 2012 IQCard specializes in developing and servicing various loyalty programs for retail chains on the basis of prepaid bank cards. In 2013 the company started collaboration with Visa, by releasing the first Russian gold prepaid card and realized partnership with world's biggest tourist operator TUI Russia & CIS as well as Russian bookstores chain "Respublika". Thanks to agreement with Samsung, IQCard will also be featured in Samsung Wallet app.
In December 2015 mr. Rakishev announced a deal of acquiring 100% shares of "Sedmoy Kanal", national TV channel. The amount of transaction was not disclosed. According to comments from Rakishev's advisor, the deal should be closed by the end of the year.
Kenges is the member of presidium of the National Economic Chamber "Atameken Union" and member of Youth Policy Council "Zhas Kenes" working under the auspices of the President of Kazakhstan. In November 2013 he became the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Enactus Kazakhstan non-commercial organization. In December 2014 he became the Head of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Council at the National Chamber for Entrepreneurship.
Kenges Rakishev is known as big Maecenas: he actively supports all the initiatives of "Sabi" charity fund. He takes active part in the development of Kazakh sports. His Sat & Company holding was the official sponsor of Kazakh Football Federation and Kazakh Federation for Professional Boxing. In 2012 by the initiative of Kenges, Sat & Company became the General Sponsor of Rapid Chess World Championship and FIDE 2012 Blitz, held in Astana city.
- in 2004 - Kenges is elected as the vice-president of National Sports Association of Kazakhstan. He is the co-author of "Kazanat" book, dedicated to the history and the development of horse-breeding in Kazakhstan, and "Berkut" book, dedicated to the history and traditions of Kazakh national falcon hunting.
- in 2009 - Kenges heads the Almaty city branch of Kazakhstan Boxing Federation.
- in 2010 - Kenges is elected as vice-president of Kazakhstan Boxing Federation.
- in 2011 - Kenges is elected as vice-president of the (ASBC) Asian Boxing Confederation.
- in 2012 Kenges is elected as the new President of Kazakhstan Judo Federation
Honors & Awards
Kenges was designated by Forbes as one of the 50 most influential people in Kazakhstan, was awarded the medal of "20 years of independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan", the medal of "10 years of the city of Astana", and was awarded a special appreciation letter from the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev. He owns the highest award of the Chechen Republic - the Order of Akhmat Kadyrov. In December 15, 2015 he was awarded "Kurmet" Order.
- SAT & Co. 
- Net Element 
- "Kazakhstan Business Leader Kenges Rakishev Buys $32M in Net Element" 
- "Jewels of Central Asia: The Discover Kazakhstan Benefit at the New York Public Library" 
- Forbes 
- Market Watch 
- InsideView 
- Saby Foundation 
- Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan 
- Shalkiya Zinc 
- Asian Boxing Confederation 
- "TriPlay Rakes In $5M And A New Oligarch Investor To Take Its Consumer Cloud To Europe + Asia" 
- Photo- And Video-Sharing App Mobli Raises $22M From Kazakhstan Investor Kenges Rakishev And Others 
- Fastlane Ventures Raises 13 Mln USD from the Leading CIS Entrepreneur and Investor Kenges Rakishev