The Microsoft Russia Seed Fund has recently invested a total of $160,000 in three Russian technology start-ups. MoosCool, an artist promotion platform enabling composers of electronic dance music to host, promote and earn money from their works, received $70,000 from Microsoft. Car-Fin, a future portal that its developers say will evolve into a fully automated online broker and vehicles-on-credit purchase platform, raised $50,000; and SportFort, a tool to create interactive websites for sports teams, attracted $40,000 from the Fund. In an exchange with the Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Nikolai Pryanishnikov, president of Microsoft Russia, expressed the hope that the latest investments will “help the start-ups move from ideas to solution prototypes and from there to both the Russian and international markets.” Set up in 2010, the corporate fund earlier this year unveiled plans to back about 100 Russian start-ups over the next decade. To date, more than 20 companies have benefited from the Fund, gaining just under $1 million worth of support, Pryanishnikov said. The US-based software giant has just announced its new three-year global initiative, Microsoft YouthSpark, aimed at lending a hand to an estimated 300 million young people from 100 countries as they pursue education, jobs and business start-ups. The initiative is expected to benefit about 10 million Russians in their job searches and career advancement. This article was first published in East West Digital News, our syndication partner for corporate news in Russia.

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