Kazakhstan investor puts US$20 million in New York-based startup

Nicholas Aaron Khoo, CNET Asia, Sept 27, 2012

What do Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire, Serena Williams, Lance Armstrong and Kenges Rakishev have in common? They all invested millions in New York-based startup Mobli, a photo and video sharing app.

Mobli just announced the completion of its Series B round of financing with a US$20 million

million investment provided by Rakishev, and an additional US$2 million from previous investors. This brings its total investment to US$28 million.

Kenges Rakishev who? You may ask.

Kenges Rakishev, viewed by Forbes as one of the 50 most influential people in Kazakhstan, is not new to the tech investment scene as he made a series of strategic investments in the mobile and multimedia space. Late last month, Rakishev invested US$5 million in cross-platform cloud services startup TriPlay.

“Mobli has tremendous potential because it enables people to do something very powerful–to see the world through other people’s eyes-in a simple, easy to use, and highly engaging format,” according to Rakishev.

Rakishev also serves on the board of directors of mobile commerce and payment processing company Net Element (OTCQB:NETE) after acquiring US$32 million in Net Element stock. Apparently, the investment into Net Element was part of Kenges’ strategy to “seize opportunities in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries by leveraging advanced technologies and partnerships abroad”.

To this geek, it looks like Rakishev’s tech investment engine just got started and we should be expecting more from this Asian investor in the near future.

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