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Getir rethinks investment linked to “Putin crony” Potanin

The company says it will reassess links to Winter Capital should Vladimir Potanin, an oligarch linked to the investment firm, face sanctions. 

By Freya Pratty

In busy times, a driver can make about four deliveries and receives a 50p bonus for each. Credit: Katja Staple

Turkish speedy grocery company Getir says it will reassess its links to Russian VC firm Winter Capital should Vladimir Potanin, an oligarch linked to the investment firm, face sanctions. 

Russian VC Winter Capital participated in Getir’s Series D round in June last year. Getir confirmed to Sifted that the firm has a 0.45% stake in the $7.7bn-valued company. The Grocer first reported Getir’s links to Winter Capital.

A Getir spokesperson tells Sifted that, if countries were to sanction the firm, they will make “necessary adjustments”.

“If any sanctions are imposed involving Winter Capital we will do the necessary adjustments. In the meanwhile our legal teams are evaluating the matter and we will act in the appropriate manner,” the company says.

A source at Winter Capital previously told Sifted that the firm intended to take part in Getir’s next round. 

Winter Capital was financed by Interros, an investment fund founded and run by Vladimir Potanin. On Interros’s profile on the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce group (RBCC), it previously stated that “Interros Group is a major investor in Winter Capital Partners”.

Winter Capital, however, told Sifted that Interros is not an LP in the fund “at the moment”. The mention of Winter Capital was removed from Interros’s RBCC profile this week. The firm said it could not comment on who its current LPs were.

Who is Vladimir Potanin?

Potanin is one of Russia’s richest men, with an estimated fortune of $22bn. He served as president of one of the world’s largest metal producers, Norilsk Nickel, and was Russia’s deputy prime minister in the 1990s. 

Last week, he resigned from his position on the board of the Guggenheim museum in New York, and Oxford University has also faced scrutiny for receiving investment from the oligarch. 

Earlier this week, a British opposition MP named Potanin in a list of Russian oligarchs in Parliament, calling on the government to sever ties with them and describing the men as  “cronies of Putin”.

Winter Capital has invested in several other European companies, including DocPlanner, Arrival and Auto1. 

Russian money plays a very small role in financing European startups and VCs. There is very little direct data on the exact figure, but industry body Invest Europe told Sifted that the amount of direct investment into European VC is “far less than 2%”.

However, there are signs that Getir could face scrutiny over its links to Russian money. Flyers handed out in Berlin last week called on Getir customers to boycott the company based on its alleged links to Potanin.

“Getir firmly stands with the Ukrainian people and we sent five truckloads of essential supplies that have already arrived in Ukraine,” the company told Sifted. 

The flyer handed out in Berlin last week. Photo: Miriam Partington

Freya Pratty is Sifted’s news reporter. She tweets from @FPratty 

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