Start of QIWI Universe!

MOSCOW, July 14, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- QIWI plc (Nasdaq:QIWI) (MOEX:QIWI) and MSU Business-incubator announced today the start of QIWI Universe acceleration program organized by the corporate venture department of QIWI Group and MSU Business Incubator. The program includes 12 startup projects that jointly received over $700,000 investments.

Projects were chosen through two application channels: region hackathons that were held in Moscow, Minsk, Kazan and Novosibirsk or direct screening for projects with complete teams and prototypes. We received over 500 applications out of which 8 pre-seed stage and 4 more mature projects were chosen. Among the finalists are projects in e-commerce, telecom and financial service sectors as well as Big Data and CRM. Some projects are complimentary to QIWI`s main business while others represent technological solutions that can help enhance and develop IT infrastructure in the future.

In the next four months teams will participate in a special intensive course that combines best theoretical programs of Silicon Valley and Russian business practice. Top-managers and shareholders of QIWI, as well as leading entrepreneurs and IT market experts will be among the teachers and mentors of the program. The final step of the program will be a special DemoDay event where graduates will present their projects to Russian and foreign investors.

"During these two months we've met many of the teams and founders in person. Through hackathons we got directly involved in all stages of the project development from building the team to prototype development and business model. We hope that each participant of QIWI Universe program will be able to repeat QIWI`s success and work their way up from a small startup to an international company. Our main goal is to provide these projects with infrastructure and resources necessary for efficient and balanced development," – says Alexey Barinskiy, Chief Investment Officer of QIWI Group.

QIWI Universe program has one global goal - to develop and support technologies that are able to qualitatively change our environment and will be sought-after in future.

For more information on QIWI Universe program please visit website

About QIWI Venture

QIWI Venture is a corporate venture department of QIWI Group. Its main purpose is to find and develop innovative projects in different business segments. QIWI Venture investment focus includes financial services, CBM, Mobile – and E-commerce, client relation management services, Hard'n'Soft solutions for business optimization, virtual reality. Main attention will be focused on projects that can create synergy with the ongoing business of QIWI Group.

About QIWI

QIWI is a leading provider of next generation payment services in Russia and the CIS. It has an integrated proprietary network that enables payment services across physical, online and mobile channels. It has deployed over 15.5 million virtual wallets, over 167,000 kiosks and terminals, and enabled merchants to accept over RUB 49 billion cash and electronic payments monthly from over 70 million consumers using its network at least once a month. QIWI's consumers can use cash, stored value and other electronic payment methods to order and pay for goods and services across physical or online environments interchangeably.

About MSU Business-Incubator

MSU Business-Incubator is an infrastructure branch of Moscow State University. We are the leading business incubator in terms of overall resident and graduate projects capitalization, and are ranked among TOP 5 best Russian business-incubators according to Hopes&Fears. Since 2013 MSU Business-Incubator runs the Universe Labs acceleration program that helps its participants to get seed investments, mentors support, professional educational programs and allover support from market experts.

CONTACT: Yakov Barinskiy Head of Investor Relations +7 499 709 0192 Varvara Kiseleva Investor Relations +7 499 709 0192 ir@qiwi.comSource:QIWI plc