Net Element to Invest in Mobile Payments Technologies
Multi-Year Agreement and Multimillion Dollar Investment Allocation Provides Exclusive Access to Early Stage Mobile Payments and Transactional Services Technology
MOSCOW--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Net Element International (NAS: NETE) , a technology-driven group specializing in electronic commerce and mobile payment processing is pleased to announce today that they have entered into an investor accreditation agreement to develop new technology with The Skolkovo Foundation, a government funded research and development center in Moscow. This multi-year and multimillion dollar investment allocation by Net Element provides exclusive access to early stage mobile payments and transactional services technology.
Pursuant to the agreement, Net Element will set aside up to $12 million (370 mln Rub) over the next three years with Skolkovo for investment in companies and technologies that meet NETE's investment criteria and strategic initiatives. The role of The Skolkovo Foundation is to oversee the creation of the Skolkovo Innovation Center comprising five R&D clusters (IT, Space, Biomed, Energy Efficiency and Nuclear Technology), Technopark, the Skolkovo Institute of Technology (a new graduate research university established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Skolkovo City. Net Element's interests are specifically focused on mobile payments and transactional services technology projects.
"The decision to direct investments to mobile commerce development was not made by coincidence, as Net Element provides financial solutions in the mobile technologies field as well. And, of course, as a market insider we are interested in further development of the industry," said Net Element Development Director and TOT Group Russia CEO Konstantin Zaripov.
The agreement with "Skolkovo" is not Net Element's first experience investing in innovative projects. Net Element International Chairman Kenges Rakishev is a founder of Genesis Angels, a venture capital fund targeting investments in start-ups that focus in robotics and artificial intelligence. The Chairman of the fund, which has a current budget of more than $100 million, is the ex-prime minister of Israel, Ehud Olmert. Located in Israel, the fund supports research and development of innovative technologies all over the world.
"We are committed to developing technologies in Russia for use in the region and globally," said Oleg Firer, Net Element CEO. "In particular, we see a clear nexus between the goals of Skolkovo and our company's need to have additional R&D capabilities so that we may accelerate the incubation of new products and develop breakthrough platforms to feed our pipeline of innovation."
Net Element is making this announcement within days of stating their intent to acquire Aptito, a next generation, cloud-based point of sale platform for restaurants. The Aptito press release is available by clicking here. Net Element's agreement with Skolkovo puts them in good company as just two years ago IBM - the world leader in the number of registered patents in the U.S. - joined with Skolkovo to drive innovation in Russia and beyond. Skolkovo's other noteworthy corporate partnerships include Cisco, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia Siemens Networks, SAP and Siemens.
The agreement was signed in Russia by the Head of the Investment Office of the Skolkovo fund Eduard Kanalosh and Net Element Russia General Director Sergey Khabarov.
About Net Element International (Nasdaq: NETE)
Net Element International (NAS: NETE) is a global technology-driven group specializing in electronic commerce, mobile payments and transactional services. The company owns and operates a global mobile payments and transaction processing provider, TOT Group, as well as several popular content monetization verticals. Together with its subsidiaries, Net Element International enables ecommerce and content-management companies to monetize their assets in ecommerce and mobile commerce environments. Its global development centers and high-level business relationships in the United States, Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States strategically position the company for continued growth. The company has U.S. headquarters in Miami and international headquarters in Moscow. More information is available at www.netelement.com.
About The Skolkovo Foundation
The Skolkovo Foundation has the mandate from the Russian Government to help accelerate the transformation of Russia from a resource-intensive to an innovation-based economy through strategic partnerships with leading scientists and corporations (currently numbering almost 1,000 companies and startups). The Foundation aims to strengthen the links between Russian and International science, technology, education, entrepreneurship and investment communities. To achieve this objective it is overseeing the creation of the Skolkovo Innovation Center composed of five R&D clusters, Technopark, the Skolkovo Institute of Technology (a new graduate research university established in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) and Skolkovo City, located near Moscow. Together these entities will establish a vibrant eco-system of technological innovation and entrepreneurship. The Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in May 2010 by the Russian Government with a grant of $5 billion.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Words such as "proposed," "will," "may," "would," "could," "should," "expect," "expected," "contemplated," "plan," "project," "intend," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "continue," and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, the extent that Net Element International's agreement with The Skolkovo Foundation provides Net Element International access to early stage mobile payments and transactional services technologies. All forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements, many of which are generally outside the control of Net Element International and are difficult to predict. Examples of such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to: (i) Net Element International's ability (or inability) to obtain additional financing in sufficient amounts or on acceptable terms when needed; (ii) Net Element International's ability to maintain existing, and secure additional, contracts with users of its payment processing services; (iii) Net Element International's ability to successfully expand in existing markets and enter new markets; (iv) Net Element International's ability to successfully manage and integrate any acquisitions of businesses, solutions or technologies, including Unified Payments; (v) unanticipated operating costs, transaction costs and actual or contingent liabilities; (vi) the ability to attract and retain qualified employees and key personnel; (vii) adverse effects of increased competition on Net Element International's business; (viii) changes in government licensing and regulation that may adversely affect Net Element International's business; (ix) the risk that changes in consumer behavior could adversely affect Net Element International's business; (x) Net Element International's ability to protect its intellectual property; and (xi) local, industry and general business and economic conditions. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements can be found in the most recent annual report on Form 10-K and the subsequently filed quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and current reports on Form 8-K filed by Net Element International with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Net Element International anticipates that subsequent events and developments may cause its plans, intentions and expectations to change. Net Element International assumes no obligation, and it specifically disclaims any intention or obligation, to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as expressly required by law.
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