Kinnevik pumps more money into Avito, valuing the Russian online classifieds company at $1.8 billion

Swedish investment firm Kinnevik has increased its stake in online classifieds leader Avito, one of the top five websites in Russia, valuing the Moscow-based company at $1.8 billion.

Publicly-listed Swedish investment group Kinnevik this morning announced that it will increase its stake in Russian online classified platform Avito from 30.8% to 31.7% (fully diluted) by investing another SEK 110 million (roughly $17 million).

Kinnevik, which will announce its quarterly earnings next Friday, has participated in every single financing round for Avito since the latter's inception. Avito's founders are, coincidentally, Swedish.

More specifically, Kinnevik is exercising its pre-emption right to acquire its share of warrants being offered for sale by the founders of Avito. The transaction will be made at an equity value of SEK 11.7 billion (approximately $1.8 billion), Kinnevik said in a statement.

In Kinnevik's 'Net Asset Value', the equity value of Avito will be increased to $1.1 billion, and the value of Kinnevik's stake will be increased to $340 million.

One of the top five websites in Russia, Avito reported net revenues of $51.2 million for the first nine months of 2013, up 167 percent compared to the same period in 2012.

Avito also reported a positive operating result for the period.

Last year's deal with South Africa's Naspers - which resulted in the merger of classifieds sites and into the Avito brand - was a big contributor to the Russian company's growth.

Other Avito investors include Baring Vostok, Accel Partners and Northzone Ventures.

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