There is a saying that by aiming for the stars you might miss but still hit the moon.

However, if the people connected to Russia-based internet services group Mail.ru ever thought about this they would regard it as unduly pessimistic.

Their own development in creating a business that dominates the Russian-language internet market has also led to some of the most high-profile corporate venturing deals ever made.

The history of Mail.ru has been dominated for much of the past decade by Yuri Milner who was born, appropriately enough, just seven months after another Yuri, Gagarin, became the first person in space in April 1961.

In 1999, Milner had created an internet investment vehicle, Netbridge, to clone US online business models for the Russian market before merging it with shares in Port.ru, a holding company for the Mail.ru operations.

Milner had reportedly personally provided $750,000 of the capital behind…

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