To the team at Sistema Asia Capital, Russia’s unique position at the intersection of Europe and Asia allowed its executives to enter this region smoothly. “[Soviet] Russia used to be a multinational country with several Central Asian republics. So we have always been cosmopolitan,” says Sergey Savchenko, CEO of Sistema Asia, in an interview with The Edge Singapore.

Born in the former Soviet Union, Savchenko himself has Chinese and Korean ancestry. “Russia can best be described as ‘Eurasia’. We’re kind of a blend of the two.”

But what does a Russian venture capital (VC) fund see in the Asian countries so far south from them? For one, with a population of some 600 million, Southeast Asia is indeed a significant market. Furthermore, not that many large economic regions are still above to chalk up GDP growth of above 5%. “We couldn’t find any other place in the world who actually grew with the speed,” he adds.

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