Oleg Jelesko: International Investor, Founder of Da Vinci Capital Management

Oleg Jelesko boasts a remarkable career spanning 30 years in the financial industry. Before embarking on the journey of founding his own investment company, he was an esteemed member of several leading international financial organizations, where he established himself as an experienced investment manager.

Oleg Jelesko, Da Vinci Capital

Oleg Jelesko, Da Vinci Capital


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Oleg Jelesko: The Investor’s Background

Oleg Jelesko was born in Kazakhstan in 1969. The future investor embarked on his educational journey and graduated from the Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technology in Moscow, where he gained his expertise in cybernetics. Further expanding his horizons, he continued his studies in the United States (Pennsylvania) to enhance his skills through an exchange program.

In the vibrant landscape of the 1990s, Oleg Jelesko started building his career at Andersen Consulting, a notable division of an American holding conglomerate. This experience laid the groundwork for his future endeavors. Following this start in the business world, Oleg Jelesko expanded his professional angle by serving in various capacities within other international foreign corporations, including the prestigious McKinsey & Company and the New York division of the Swiss finance giant Credit Suisse First Boston. This phase of his career was instrumental in developing his skills and deepening his understanding of global financial systems.

With the start of the new millennium, Oleg Jelesko moved to the RF, a move that would mark a significant chapter in his career. He was entrusted with the leadership of the complex structured financial products department at Renaissance Capital. There, Oleg Jelesko helped create a conducive platform for alternative investments, which demonstrated his capability to blend creativity with financial acumen. This endeavor not only showcased his ability to navigate and lead in the turbulent world of finance but also set the stage for his future goals.

Emboldened by years of experience and success, Oleg Jelesko founded Da Vinci Capital, a decisive step that showcased his transition from an influential participant in established companies to a pioneering figure in the investment world. Under the astute leadership of Oleg Jelesko, Da Vinci Capital carved a niche for itself in the realm of direct investments. Through this journey, the founder demonstrated a capacity for leadership and innovation, significantly impacting the direct investment market and setting a high standard for excellence.

Oleg Jelesko: Da Vinci Capital Management as an International Business Venture

Oleg Jelesko

Oleg Jelesko

It was in 2007, amidst the brewing storm of a global economic crisis, that Oleg Jelesko established Da Vinci Capital. This venture was distinctively focused on alternative investments, reflecting the founder’s long-held ambition to nurture and develop a business entity that was entirely his own. From the outset, Oleg Jelesko was not alone in this endeavor, but was joined by a core team of colleagues from Renaissance Capital. These individuals, having shared numerous professional milestones with Oleg Jelesko, placed their trust in the potential of this new venture, believing in its future success.

From its inception, under the leadership of Oleg Jelesko, Da Vinci Capital set its sights on direct investments into mature businesses that exhibited strong potential for scalability. The firm’s investment strategy was accurately crafted to focus on projects that had already established themselves as robust and sustainable entities within promising sectors of the economy. Specifically, the team, driven by a keen financial sense, was particularly drawn to opportunities within the IT, fintech, digital transformation, and consumer services sectors. This strategic focus from Oleg Jelesko was guided by the understanding that these areas not only represented the forefront of economic innovation but also offered substantial potential for growth and value creation in the evolving global market landscape.

Meanwhile, Oleg Jelesko himself played a dual role within the financial organization he founded. He was not just the managing partner but was also directly engaged in strategic management and development. This hands-on approach ensured that the strategic direction and operational excellence of Da Vinci Capital was consistently aligned with the vision and standards of excellence of Oleg Jelesko

In addition to his leadership responsibilities, Oleg Jelesko actively participated in the selection of investment projects. His involvement goes beyond mere oversight; he, along with his team of investment managers, precisely assesses potential companies for investment. This process involves a thorough evaluation of both the financial metrics of these candidates and the professional caliber of their teams. By scrutinizing these aspects, Oleg Jelesko and his team aim to identify businesses that not only show promise in terms of financial performance but also possess a team capable of driving the company to new heights.

According to Oleg Jelesko, Da Vinci Capital has a competitive edge in the market largely because of the extensive and relevant experience of its investment experts. Their skill in identifying compelling projects and structuring deals sets them apart in the competitive landscape. This unique combination of experience, acumen, and strategic deal structuring capabilities enables Da Vinci Capital to navigate the complexities of the investment world effectively, securing its position as a leading force in the field of direct investments.

Under the direct guidance of Oleg Jelesko, Da Vinci Capital achieved a significant milestone by listing its first fund on the London Stock Exchange. By the year 2022, Jelesko’s company had taken its success to impressive heights, managing over half a billion dollars. This substantial sum included investments from institutional investors such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the German financial institution DEG, and 57 Stars, highlighting the firm’s ability to attract significant capital from reputable sources.

The offices of the investment company founded by Oleg Jelesko are strategically located in the key financial hubs of the island of Guernsey, London, and Almaty. This geographical spread underscores Da Vinci Capital’s international footprint and positions the firm advantageously to tap into diverse markets and investment opportunities across different regions.

Oleg Jelesko: Da Vinci Capital Funds

Oleg Jelesko

Oleg Jelesko

The investment company led by Oleg Jelesko operates in the vibrant market of investments in rapidly growing private companies. The structure of Da Vinci Capital comprises several funds, each tailored to specific investment themes. These include Fund I, Da Vinci Private Equity Fund II, the Pre-IPO Fund, and the Da Vinci Pre-IPO Tech Fund, illustrating the company’s diversified approach to investment. Each fund is designed with a predefined investment horizon, ranging from 2 to 5 years, allowing for strategic planning and targeted investment objectives. This multifaceted structure enables Da Vinci Capital to cater to a wide array of investment opportunities, fostering growth and innovation in the sectors it invests in.

The first fund focuses on rapidly growing companies whose shares may be initially listed on the New York Stock Exchange or other trading platforms. The projects targeted for investment specialize in financial services, the consumer sector, and IT.

Under the second fund, funds are invested in companies in European countries with emerging market economies, explains Oleg Jelesko. The sector focus includes financial services, financial infrastructure, payment processing, outsourcing, and consumer services.

The Pre-IPO Fund was interested in seeking medium and large businesses from the financial sector (brokers, payment systems), IT sphere, and consumer services. The total volume of transactions was expected to exceed 5 billion rubles.

Under the close scrutiny of the experts of the second fund of the investment company founded by Oleg Jelesko (Da Vinci Capital Pre-IPO Tech Fund) are companies engaged in information technology projects for business, fintech, blockchain, “smart” transportation, IoT and Big Data technologies, AR/VR, and cybersecurity. Plans for an IPO are a must for these companies. The target size of the fund is 6 billion rubles.

Oleg Jelesko notes that in the process of selecting successful investment projects, his team focuses on creativity and diversification to minimize potential risks.

Mosbirzha as an Oleg Jelesko Project

Oleg Jelesko

Oleg Jelesko

The portfolio of the financier’s investment company includes well-established businesses from various fields. Some projects were selected directly at the suggestion of Oleg Jelesko. Da Vinci Capital played a pivotal role in numerous projects, one example being the creation of the Mosbirzha Exchange in December 2011.

The issue of forming a single exchange platform in the RF by merging two exchanges, RTS and MICEX, was raised back in 2007. However, it was only when the investment company founded by Oleg Jelesko became a 14.9% shareholder of the former platform that progress was made. Through a friendly integration of MICEX and RTS throughout Eastern Europe, the largest exchange holding (PJSC Moskovskaya Birzha) emerged, combining markets and depository services. Thus, a unified trading organizer and listing platform was created.

In the winter of 2013, the exchange listed its shares for public trading on its own platform. The company was valued at $4.2 billion.

Oleg Jelesko added the dynamically growing platform to his portfolio of investments. Today, the total trading volume on the exchange’s markets exceeds 90.3 trillion rubles.

Oleg Jelesko: Other Projects

Oleg Jelesko

Oleg Jelesko

A notable deal in the market was the investment in the U.S.-based IT company EPAM Systems. At the initiative of Oleg Jelesko himself, in 2008, more than $18.5 million was invested in this promising outsourcing corporation, which develops software for businesses. This led EPAM to begin preparations for an IPO.

Oleg Jelesko developed a strategy for entering the American trading platform and led its implementation.

The initial placement of EPAM shares took place on the NYSE in 2012. On the day of the IPO, the shares of the tech giant were valued at $14, and 10 years later, the company was trading at $700 per share.

In 2016, Oleg Jelesko became interested in Softline, a global provider of IT solutions involved in the digital transformation of its partners’ businesses. Analyzing the potential of the promising tech giant (its employees work in more than 50 countries, with the head office in the United Kingdom), with the management of Oleg Jelesko, Da Vinci Capital funds and co-investors invested about $40 million in it.

In the fall of 2021, Softline went on an IPO on the London Stock Exchange with a market value of $1.5 billion. During the initial public offering of Softline shares, $400 million was raised.

Softline continues to develop rapidly in information security and digital transformation.

In 2018, Oleg Jelesko and the investment company added the international project DataArt to its portfolio. This software developer has been in the market for over 25 years, specializing in outsourcing software in the fields of mobile applications, Internet of Things technologies, corporate databases, and industrial automation tools.

The company founded by Oleg Jelesko took an interest in an innovative online museum offering breakthrough technologies in the realm of cultural activities. The project, IT museum DataArt, is dedicated to the history of IT in Eastern European countries. The project’s website features six sections complete with photographs and descriptions of numerous exhibits, stories of computer developers, and their first user-programmers.

The transaction amount was not disclosed. However, in 2021, Da Vinci Capital increased its investments in DataArt. In 2020, the tech company achieved an annual revenue of $181 million – a record for the company, which increased its revenue by more than 15% compared to the previous year.

The team under Oleg Jelesko entered the online education field in 2021. The new reality, spurred by the spread of the coronavirus, forced millions of people to stay in prolonged quarantine. As a result, global corporations massively transitioned to remote work, and there was a boom in interest in online education. The financier’s investment company placed its bet on this sector and collected $109 million to invest in the distance-learning platform Coursera.

Coursera represents an academic initiative founded by scholars from Stanford University, which, since 2012, has opened up opportunities for individuals around the globe to study at the world’s premier universities and companies from the comfort of their own homes, subsequently earning official educational credentials. The online platform boasts an extensive array of over 5,000 diverse courses, covering a wide range of subjects and disciplines, thereby catering to an array of interests and professional development needs.

In 2021, the educational venture, which received financial backing from the investment company founded by Oleg Jelesko, successfully made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The Initial Public Offering (IPO) managed to attract approximately $500 million in investment, marking a significant milestone in the project’s history and underscoring the growing value and potential of online educational platforms in the contemporary educational landscape.

In March of the same year, Da Vinci Capital invested in the British developer of a digital advertising platform, LoopMe – a company at the forefront of creating and implementing cutting-edge technologies that aim to eliminate the pervasive “noise” of advertising messages in mobile apps by aggregating all such content into so-called inbound advertising messages. These messages are easily accessible to the user with just a single tap. LoopMe offers a variety of digital solutions to organizations and events, streamlining advertising strategies and enhancing user engagement. Early in 2022, Oleg Jelesko and his team of specialists recorded a substantial profit from their investment in this project, highlighting the effectiveness of their strategic investment choices and the innovative potential of digital advertising solutions.

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