Yuri Milner's Companies Eager to Invest in Facebook

By Ed Silverstein January 06, 2011

With recent attention paid to Goldman Sachs’ new investment in Facebook, there has been less notice paid to the second eager investor in the social media giant: Digital Sky Technologies.

The company which includes DST Global – is led by Yuri Milner of Russia.

Milner’s Mail.Ru Group owns 2.38 percent of Facebook, while DST Global also owns part of Facebook, and reportedly the investments so far could put the total holding at 10 percent, according to the AFP news agency and reports from The New York Times.

The New York Times reported that DST has invested $50 million more in Facebook, so now its combined total with Mail.ru would be approximately $500 million, the AFP reports.

Milner told Vedomosti in a December interview, said that Mail.Ru is following "a strategy to have a global expertise in a very narrow sector," according to the AFP.

Milner added that “On the Internet [market] there is a tendency for 'winner takes all' and a leader emerges in every niche with surprising consistency," according to the AFP.

In addition, it appears that Milner has concluded that Facebook is dominant in “English-language social networking.”

TechZone360 reported that Milner also believes that Facebook could be one of the early platforms for artificial intelligence sometime in the next 10 years.

The AFP adds that the Mail.Ru Group is the largest Internet company in Russia.

In a related matter, The Times reported earlier this week that Goldman Sachs made a $450 million investment in Facebook. The Goldman Sachs investment caused concern because of a possible investment vehicle that allows the bank’s customers to take part, according to a report from TechZone360.

Goldman Sachs set up a "special purpose vehicle" to allow its clients to invest in Facebook, TechZone360 adds, with the investments pooled as a single investment for the purposes of meeting government regulations.

Goldman Sachs will reportedly get as much as $1.5 billion from investors, many of whom appear quite eager to take part in the scheme.

Facebook has been valued at $50 billion.

In addition, under U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requirements, companies with 499 investors or more have to disclose their financial results and Facebook has never had an initial public offering.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

TechZone360 Contributor

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