After purchasing close to 2 percent of Facebook almost a year ago, DST, the Russian investment firm which has become one of the most dominant players in the internet startup space, has increased its stake in Facebook to 10 percent. Through an employee stock purchase agreement and the purchase of stock in private markets, DST has effectively become a Facebook fund.
While Facebook stock liquidity has decreased in recent months due to reported employee stock sale restrictions, the stock has continued to soar in price, already providing DST with a health profit. DST has also invested large amounts in Groupon, one of the hottest internet startups right now, as well as Zynga, the leading social gaming company. The company was also behind the $188 million ICQ acquisition which took place last week.
In the past year DST has become one of the premier investment firms among Silicon Valley startups despite being based in Russia. As Business Week points out, much of that is a result of the hard work of Yuri Milner, the head of the DST fund. Despite the association of some questionable individuals with DST, the startups have nothing but positive things to say about Yuri Milner and the DST team.
With $1 billion left to invest, there’s no doubt we’ll be hearing significantly more from the company.