Lev Binzumovich Leviev
Lev Binzumovich Leviev
Lev Binzumovich Leviev
June 22, 1984 (age 35)
|Known for||co-founder of the VK.com and Selectel|
|Net worth|| 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.
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.
In 2012, a Hopes&Fears magazine established his net worth to be $218 mln.
Lev and Vyacheslav invested tens of thousands of dollars in the project. The money was borrowed from Mirilashvili-Sr. Leviev's share was 10%. From the moment of founding the company until 2012, he was the Chief Operating Officer of VK.com.
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. 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.
Having learned about negotiations between his fellow co-founders and Alisher Usmanov in March 2012, Durov deleted their profiles
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.
In April 2013, It is estimated that - Ilya Sherbovich investment fund, United Capital Partners, paid $840 mln for the partner's share, 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.
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.
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.
After selling his VK.com shares in September 2014, Lev Leviev assumed the role of CEO at Selectel.
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”.
By the end of 2016, Selectel was ranked the fourth largest IaaS provider for public and hybrid cloud in Russia (based on revenue).
By 2017, the company was one of the largest IaaS providers in Russia, with a market share of 7%. 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.
In 2016, the project was bought by Bitmain, a Chinese producer of equipment for mining bitcoins, and renamed BTC Wallet (btc.com).
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), Livetex (a service for online communication), Ostrovok.ru (a Russian Online Travel Agency).
Lev Leviev has also invested in international projects, such as:
- 2013 - Plarium, a game developer (acquired in 2017 by Aristocrat Leisure, an Australian producer of slot machines, for $500 mln);
- 2015 – Optishell, a developer of a technology for identifying illegal filming in cinemas, Moovit, an urban mobility data analytics company and free public transportation app, Meta, an AI-powered research search engine (acquired in 2017 by Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, for $25 million).
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.
- "Rating the Best Russian Young Entrepreneurs" (in Russian). Hopes&Fears. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- "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.
- Joshua Yaffa (2013-08-01). "Is Pavel Durov, Russia's Zuckerberg, a Kremlin Target?". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2018-11-09.
- "The richest people of St. Petersburg". dp.ru (in Russian). JSC "DP Business Press". 2014-09-17. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "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.
- ""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.
- 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.
- Yevgeny Trifonov (2014-07-12). "Russia's Zuckerberg loses his Facebook". Russia Beyond The Headlines. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Kevin Rothrock (2013-04-30). "Pavel Durov, Russia's Zuckerberg, Fights for Control of His Creation". Global Voices. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Irina Reznik. Ilya Khrennikov (2013-04-18). "Usmanov Plan to Control VKontakte Said to Be Rebuffed by UCP". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2015-04-21.
- 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.
- "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.
- "Vkontakte cofounders building technopark in St. Petersburg". East-West Digital News. 2014-06-13. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "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.
- Nosov, Nicholay (2018-04-17). "OpenStack: life after the hype". iksmedia.ru (in Russian). JSC «IKS-media». Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Zhuravleva, Alena (2018-06-20). "Clouds grow due to SaaS". MSKIT (in Russian). Publishing house «Regional PR group». Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Butcher, Mike (2014-07-29). "BlockTrail Secures Cash For Its Bitcoin Transactions Analysis Platform". Oath Tech Network. Oath Inc. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Vaizra Investments". Techcrunch. Retrieved 2015-11-15.
- Nadia Beard (2014-07-29). "Russian video app Coub raises $2.5m investment". The Calvert Journal. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- 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.
- "Online communication tool developer Livetex obtains $4 million from Vaizra Capital". East-West Digital News. 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- Mike Butcher (2018-11-15). "Ostrovok Raises New $12M Series C Round To Expand Outside Russia". Techcrunch. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Mirilashvili and Leviev have sold 48% of Vkontakte, the Fund United Capital Partners". Roem.ru. JSC «Roem». 2013-04-17. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "Aristocrat Leisure to acquire 100% of Plarium Global Ltd". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- "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.
- 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.
- "Moovit Raises $50 Million Led by Intel Capital to Expand its Global Urban Mobility Operating System". Moovit. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
- 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.
- Russ, Hilary (2019-05-01). "Esports organization Fnatic raises $19 million for big expansion". Reuters. Thomson Reuters. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
- Symcox, Jonathan (2019-05-01). "UK esports start-up Fnatic raises $19M". BusinessCloud Media. HarperJames. Retrieved 2019-06-26.
- "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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.