Is the Russian Oligarch Oleg Boyko Withdrawing From German Fintech Companies?
Apr 4, 2022
The Russian-born entrepreneur Oleg Boyko, who has indirectly invested in several credit startups in Germany, is apparently reorganizing his holdings – with consequences for the ownership structure of the German fintech companies Vexcash, Cashcape, and Spotcap. In essence, the transactions seem to amount to a “de-investment”, at least on the surface. Nevertheless, it remains unclear for the time being whether the oligarch Boyko will really completely relinquish control over his holdings. Oleg Boyko does not appear in connection with the current Western sanctions. However, Oleg Boyko can be found on the so-called “Putin List,” which the U.S. Treasury Department published at the beginning of 2018. There, managers of Russian state-owned companies as well as “oligarchs” are listed, who at the time allegedly had a “closeness” to the Russian president. Officially called the “Caatsa Report,” the document is not a sanctions list. Read more about Oleg Boyko and its investments in several German fintech companies and find the most important business headlines of the day with the Born2Invest mobile app. One of the umbrella companies, behind which de facto Oleg Boyko stands, is “4finance Holding”
Among other things, the Berlin-based fintech Vexcash belongs to this company, as its CEO Vladimir Kudryashov confirmed when asked by Finanz-Szene.de. Vexcash AG reports revenues of $10.7 million (€9.7 million) and net income of $1.87 million (€1.7 million) for 2020. This makes the startup, which was founded in 2010 and grants short-term loans via the Internet, not only one of the larger fintech companies in Germany- but also one of the few profitable ones. Around half of the “4finance” shares (and thus indirectly around half of the Vexcash shares) have so far officially been held by Vera Boyko, Viktor Boyko’s mother. According to a recent company announcement, the Boyko mother is said to have reduced her 49% stake in “4finance” to an initial 27% in mid-March. In the coming weeks, it said, further “de-investments” are planned, eventually bringing the stake down to zero. Just under 10% of shares go to relatives who are “Ukrainian citizens”
The “de-investments” of the Boyko mother are declared to be related to the war in Ukraine. The official statement of “4finance Holding” says that the transactions were “initiated” last year. However, the “events in Ukraine” had “accelerated” the transactions. According to the press release, 3.3% of the shares were transferred to three relatives named Taras Boiko, Denys Boiko, and Kateryna Boiko. All three are “Ukrainian citizens,” the statement said. A further 9.9% of the shares were also to be transferred to a charity fund for the promotion of sports for the disabled – although it was not disclosed who, in turn, was behind this (Boyko himself had repeatedly attracted attention as a promoter of sports for the disabled in the past). It also remains unclear for the time being who is to receive the remaining 29% of the Vera Boyko shares. The announcement merely states that the management will receive part of the shares. A bit more difficult to trace are Oleg Boyko’s connections to Cashcape (a provider doing more or less the same as Vexcash) as well as Spotcap (a whitelabel provider for credit software, see our piece -> Only B2B: Spotcap sells credit business to Ferratum). According to consistent media reports, Boyko had already joined Rocket Internet fintech Spotcap in 2016 – but unlike Vexcash, only as a minority shareholder. After various management changes in recent years, the above-mentioned Vexcash board member Kudryashov now also operates as Spotcap’s managing director. In this capacity, he recently told us that the majority in Spotcap is still held by Rocket Internet, as well as Holtzbrink Ventures and Access Industries, with more than 60% of the shares. “4finance” is accordingly said to continue to hold only a minority stake. However, the “changes in the UBO structure” (UBO stands for “Ultimate Beneficial Owner”) would also apply to the minority share at Spotcap. In other words, there is to be some form of “de-investment” on the part of Boykos here as well. Cashcape, in turn, is backed by Quantic Finance GmbH, which emerged a few years ago from the environment of the banking advisor zeb*. In 2019, Tirona Limited, a company registered in Cyprus, initially became a minority shareholder in Quantic Finance GmbH. According to an excerpt from the Luxembourg commercial register, Tirona Limited is linked to “4finance Holding” and is therefore also likely to belong to the Boyko clan. As can now be seen from German commercial register excerpts, Tirona Limited had increased its shares in Quantic Finance GmbH last year and subsequently held two-thirds of the shares. On inquiry of Finanz-Szene.de Quantic Finance managing director Jan Weitzel communicated, in the “UBO” of Cashcape “similar restructuring” proceeded as in the case Vexcash/4finance. In other words: According to this, the Boyko clan would also reorganize the ownership structure here. A speaker of “4finance” was in the Mail, with which Kudryashov answered our questions, “Cc.” set – it supports the information to Vexcash, Spotcap, Cashcape and “4finance” accordingly. As far as we can see, the events have not yet had any impact on the operating business of the three fintech companies. __
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