Lev Binzumovich Leviev

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Lev Binzumovich Leviev
Lev Leviev (crop).jpg
Lev Binzumovich Leviev

June 22, 1984 (1984-06-22) (age 35)
OccupationEntrepreneur, investor
Known forco-founder of the VK.com and Selectel
Net worthSteady US $ 218 million (est.)

Lev Binzumovich Leviev (born June 22, 1984, Volgograd) is an Israeli-Russian entrepreneur and investor, co-founder of Russia's largest social network VK.com (originally VKontakte) and the Selectel data center network.[2]


Lev Leviev grew up in the family of a Volgograd entrepreneur and went to an American school in Herzliya, Israel, where he met his future business partner Vyacheslav Mirilashvili. In 2006, he graduated with a bachelor of Commerce degree in Finance and Accounting at McGill University in Canada.[2][3]


Net worth[edit]

In 2012, a Hopes&Fears magazine established his net worth to be $218 mln.[1]

In 2014, he ranked 66th in the rating of the financial magazine “Delovoy Peterburg” with ₽11,4 bln,[4] in 2015 - 42nd with ₽20 bln[5] and in 2016 — 43rd with ₽25,2 bln.[6]



After graduating from university with honours in 2006, he moved to Saint Petersburg and co-founded VK.com with his friends, Yitzchak Mirilashvili and Pavel Durov.[7]

Lev and Vyacheslav invested tens of thousands of dollars in the project. The money was borrowed from Mirilashvili-Sr.[7] Leviev's share was 10%. From the moment of founding the company until 2012, he was the Chief Operating Officer of VK.com.[2]

Yuri Milner's Digital Sky Technologies fund was the company's first external investor. He bought a quarter of the network in 2007 and later merged DST's shareholdings into the Mail.Ru Group.[7] At the end of 2010, the holding increased its VK.com ownership stake by 7,5% - from 24,99% to 32,49%. In addition, the growing shareholder secured the option of buy another 7,5% of VK.com in 2011.

In July, 2011 Mail.ru exercised the option and increased its shareholding to 39,99% which reduced the total share of the partners from 55,5% to 48,01% making Lev's share between 6% or 8%, according to various sources.[8]

Having learned about negotiations between his fellow co-founders and Alisher Usmanov in March 2012, Durov deleted their profiles id3 and id4. Leviev and Mirilashvili were planning to exit VK.com via an IPO for $3 bln, but at the end of March, Durov announced that the social network would not IPO for an undefined period.[9]

In April 2013, It is estimated that - Ilya Sherbovich investment fund, United Capital Partners, paid $840 mln for the partner's share,[10] assuming the whole network's worth at $1,75 bln. Lev would receive between $105–140 mln.

During the conflict between UCP and Pavel Durov, the fund considered Lev as a potential CEO of VK.com.[11]


In 2007, Lev Leviev and Vyacheslav Mirilashvili founded the Selectel data center network to provide for VK.com’s needs in processing and storing servers.[12]

By 2009, VK.com’s full server capacity was being managed by Selectel. In 2012, VK.com opened its own data center, but it still remains a client of Selectel.[1]

After selling his VK.com shares in September 2014, Lev Leviev assumed the role of CEO at Selectel.

In May 2014 it was reported that Selectel was investing ₽1 bln in a technopark in Saint Petersburg that would include a data center, offices and warehouses.[13]

On December 17, 2015, in the presence of Saint Petersburg governor, Georgi Poltavchenko, Leviev opened the largest data-centre in the North-West of Russia, “Tsvetochnaya 2”.[14]

By the end of 2016, Selectel was ranked the fourth largest IaaS provider for public and hybrid cloud in Russia (based on revenue).[15]

By 2017, the company was one of the largest IaaS providers in Russia, with a market share of 7%.[16] At the end of 2017, Lev stepped down from the CEO position, while remaining the Chairman of the board of directors.


In 2014, Lev co-founded BlockTrail with his long time friend, Boaz Bechar. Lev set up the holding company BlockCorp which made an initial investment of €500,000 in the BlockTrail project. The company developed a blockchain explorer, bitcoin transaction analytics tools and multi-platform bitcoin wallets.[17]

In 2016, the project was bought by Bitmain, a Chinese producer of equipment for mining bitcoins, and renamed BTC Wallet (btc.com).


Russian investments[edit]

Since 2011, Lev Leviev has actively invested in the Russian technology sector, both as a private investor and as a Partner in the Vaizra Capital fund.[18][2]

Such investments include:

  • 2012 — Komitet, media holding company that operates three online media platforms - Tjournal.ru, Vc.ru, DTF.ru.
  • 2014 — Coub (a Russian platform for making looped videos),[19][20] Livetex (a service for online communication),[21] Ostrovok.ru (a Russian Online Travel Agency).[22]

International investments[edit]

Lev Leviev has also invested in international projects, such as:

In 2019, Lev Leviev's investment group, LVL1 Group, led a $19 million fundraising for Fnatic, a global eSports organization, joined by UK VC firm Beringea, Hong Kong based BlackPine, London based Unbound, and Joi Ito, Head of MIT Media Lab. Lev joined Fnatic's Board[29][30].

DST Global[edit]

Lev Leviev is an investor in several vintages of Yuri Milner's DST Global venture funds.

DST Global II acquired shares of Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Spotify, Alibaba and Xiaomi.[31]

Among the most publicized investments of DST Global IV are Ola Cabs, an Indian car-hailing service,[32] Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce platform,[33] and Slack, a corporate communication platform.[34]


  1. ^ a b c d "Rating the Best Russian Young Entrepreneurs" (in Russian). Hopes&Fears. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  2. ^ a b c d "Lev Leviev runs Selectel as CEO" (in Russian). CNews.ru. 2014-09-24. Archived from the original on 2014-09-25. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  3. ^ Joshua Yaffa (2013-08-01). "Is Pavel Durov, Russia's Zuckerberg, a Kremlin Target?". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  4. ^ "The richest people of St. Petersburg". dp.ru (in Russian). JSC "DP Business Press". 2014-09-17. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  5. ^ "The ranking of billionaires. The richest people of St. Petersburg". dp.ru (in Russian). JSC "DP Business Press". 2015-09-21. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  6. ^ ""DP" has prepared a new rating of billionaires " the richest people of St. Petersburg"". dp.ru (in Russian). JSC "DP Business Press". 2016-09-29. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  7. ^ a b c Anna Bessonova (2011-07-18). "The Story And Plans Of Vkontakte Told By Founder And CEO". Arctic Startup. Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
  8. ^ Yevgeny Trifonov (2014-07-12). "Russia's Zuckerberg loses his Facebook". Russia Beyond The Headlines. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  9. ^ Kevin Rothrock (2013-04-30). "Pavel Durov, Russia's Zuckerberg, Fights for Control of His Creation". Global Voices. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  10. ^ Irina Reznik. Ilya Khrennikov (2013-04-18). "Usmanov Plan to Control VKontakte Said to Be Rebuffed by UCP". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  11. ^ James Bradshaw (2014-07-12). "A Russian social network tale: Censorship and a CEO on the run". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  12. ^ "VKontakte's annual revenue rises, but profits fall". Rusbase.com. 2013-04-29. Archived from the original on 2015-04-20. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
  13. ^ "Vkontakte cofounders building technopark in St. Petersburg". East-West Digital News. 2014-06-13. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  14. ^ "The largest data center in the North-West began its work in St. Petersburg" (in Russian). The Administration Of St. Petersburg. 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  15. ^ Nosov, Nicholay (2018-04-17). "OpenStack: life after the hype". iksmedia.ru (in Russian). JSC «IKS-media». Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  16. ^ Zhuravleva, Alena (2018-06-20). "Clouds grow due to SaaS". MSKIT (in Russian). Publishing house «Regional PR group». Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  17. ^ Butcher, Mike (2014-07-29). "BlockTrail Secures Cash For Its Bitcoin Transactions Analysis Platform". Oath Tech Network. Oath Inc. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  18. ^ "Vaizra Investments". Techcrunch. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
  19. ^ Nadia Beard (2014-07-29). "Russian video app Coub raises $2.5m investment". The Calvert Journal. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  20. ^ O'Hear, Steve (2014-07-29). "Video Re-Mix Startup Coub Raises $2.5 Million From VC Fund Headed Up By VK.com Founders". Oath Tech Network. Oath Inc. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  21. ^ "Online communication tool developer Livetex obtains $4 million from Vaizra Capital". East-West Digital News. 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  22. ^ Mike Butcher (2018-11-15). "Ostrovok Raises New $12M Series C Round To Expand Outside Russia". Techcrunch. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  23. ^ "Mirilashvili and Leviev have sold 48% of Vkontakte, the Fund United Capital Partners". Roem.ru. JSC «Roem». 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  24. ^ "Aristocrat Leisure to acquire 100% of Plarium Global Ltd". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  25. ^ "Co-founders of VK Leviev and Mirilashvili invested in the development of protection against film piracy". Roem.ru. JSC «Roem». 2015-05-06. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  26. ^ Butcher, Mike (2015-01-14). "Moovit Raises $50M To Scale Its Public Transit App, Goes Up Against CityMapper". Oath Tech Network. Oath Inc. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  27. ^ "Moovit Raises $50 Million Led by Intel Capital to Expand its Global Urban Mobility Operating System". Moovit. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  28. ^ Фонд Цукерберга купил поисковик Meta у Льва Левиева и других инвесторов [Zuckerberg Foundation bought Meta search engine from Lev Leviev and other investors]. Inc. (in Russian). LLC Publishing Company Board of Directors. 2017-01-24. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
  29. ^ Russ, Hilary (2019-05-01). "Esports organization Fnatic raises $19 million for big expansion". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  30. ^ Symcox, Jonathan (2019-05-01). "UK esports start-up Fnatic raises $19M". BusinessCloud Media. HarperJames. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  31. ^ "The former shareholders of VK.com became the shareholders of the two funds of Yuri Milner". Roem.ru (in Russian). JSC «Roem». 2015-04-28. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  32. ^ Sharma, Samidha (2015-02-26). "DST may invest up to $500m in Ola at $2.5bn valuation". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  33. ^ Sharma, Samidha (2018-09-03). "Udaan raises $225 million at $1 billion from Yuri Milner's DST, Lightspeed". The Times of India. Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  34. ^ Lunden, Ingrid (2015-04-16). "Used Daily By 750K Workers, Slack Raises $160M, Valuing Collaboration Startup At $2.8B". Oath Tech Network. Oath Inc. Retrieved 2018-11-15.