MOSCOW, Nov. 10, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- QIWI plc, (Nasdaq:QIWI) (MOEX: QIWI) ("QIWI" or the "Company") today announced the results of its acceleration program QIWI Universe organized by its corporate venture department and MSU Business-Incubator. Nine venture project teams presented their results and told investors and Russian media representatives about their pilot projects with QIWI and future development strategies.
In the course of QIWI Universe program four startups – PINbonus, POSFinance, Centrobit Agora and Bunch – agreed on the launch of pilot projects with QIWI. Some details were disclosed at the event: a project with PinBonus that will allow users to gather all their loyalty cards and bonuses in the smartphone app, leave physical cards at home and carry around only a multipurpose QIWI Bonus card is planned to go live before the end of the year. Partnership with Centrobit Agora will improve QIWI positions in e-commerce market, while collaboration with POSFinance will extend the range of QIWI's financial services by offering a mechanism of optimization of credit offers from different banks for the end users. Project with Bunch will allow QIWI to communicate with users more efficiently and offer them useful goods and services.
QIWI's representatives promised to disclose all the details of partnerships with portfolio companies immediately after a successful completion of pilot projects.
Other QIWI Universe's projects such as Easy Wallet, Your Audioguide, PrimeGate, Tutt.ru and CheckIt are in the stage of negotiating partnership programs. Currently most projects are discussing next investment round with QIWI Venture and other external investors.
«We are happy with the QIWI Universe results. Our main goal is to find projects that would create synergies with our core business rather than simply invest in the promising ones. From this perspective the accelerator became a great platform for communication between QIWI stuff and startup teams and helped us to find interaction points and develop profitable partnership strategies. Consequently we are currently running several pilot projects that we believe will be able to grow into a profitable stand-alone business inside or outside QIWI.» - said Olga Turzhanskaya, Head of QIWI Venture.
Alexey Zhestkov, Partner at Universe Ventures commented: «It is great that all project teams have a high level of presentation skills and well-developed business-models. The teams presented their results in a detailed manner. It is also worth mentioning that almost all projects show significant business growth illustrating their high potential. We hope that we will have long-term profitable relationships with QIWI Universe graduates.»
Acceleration program for IT startups QIWI Universe was established in June, 2014. More than 500 teams competed to participate in the accelerator. Besides receiving investments of 20 to 150 thousand dollars finalists were engaged in intensive education program, meetings with Russian and foreign experts and mentors and were provided with all facilities in a stand-alone co-working for testing their business ideas and developing their products.
The success of the first program proved the demand for similar programs on Russian venture market. Currently organizers are preparing second QIWI Universe program, which selection process will start in May, 2015.
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.
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.