Sberbank quietly shuttered their $100 million corporate venture arm this week having invested $47 million into 11 startups. According to the principals "They didn't realize that it takes time for startups to get to the level of maturity where they have more than one or two customers,"
Along with many established players becoming larger, new startups are launched monthly, if not weekly. While some have expanded quickly, others have taken longer to evolve—much to the disappointment of their backers and potential partners. Russia's Sberbank recently discontinued its three-year-old SBT Venture Capital after failing to see the results it wanted, said Mircea Mihaescu, who led that initiative until early December. The bank committed $100 million in late 2012 to the venture arm, which has invested $47 million of that in 11 startups, before deciding to change strategies. "They didn't realize that it takes time for startups to get to the level of maturity where they have more than one or two customers," Mihaescu said. Sberbank declined to comment.