Investment Team

Rustam Kurmakaev

1Rustam Kurmakaev

What is the most exciting opportunity right now in CEE?

We are seeing an accelerating pipeline of technology and technology-enabled businesses coming from our region. It’s bringing a lot of young companies and entrepreneurs on our investment radar and that’s exciting to see.

Some of them successfully serve local markets – like our recent investment in Pigu, a Baltic online marketplace which is similar to Allegro, our Polish investment which last year became one of Europe’s largest-ever e-commerce IPOs. And some of them go global – our recent investment in Displate being a good example of a CEE-born product on its way to conquer the world!

What drew you to join MidEuropa?

In the vast world of private equity, MidEuropa offered a unique opportunity to work with the best businesses and management teams from the part of the world I come from, daily!

Because of its reputation, MidEuropa has always been the go-to platform for exceptional companies to step up their game as well as for people passionate about investing and our region to realise their ambitions. And once I met with the team, it was MidEuropa’s people and culture that made them truly stand out.

How would you describe the culture at MidEuropa?

We are non-hierarchical, cooperative, and enabling. The last point is particularly important because it means you get every opportunity to assume responsibility for your work to learn and progress at MidEuropa.

Even as a fresh hire, you are trusted as a grown up from day one and are very involved across all areas of deal sourcing, execution, and portfolio management. Actually, we also like having fun – and you definitely don’t have to wait for another Christmas party to have some.

What is your ideal weekend / evening?

A good weekend starts with a morning run in Hampstead Heath with my friends followed by an afternoon spent with my family either outdoors or in a museum – anything that involves happily entertaining a young child! In the evening I’ll get comfortable with a good book. This is not new – since I was four, I’d sneak a flashlight into my bed to read late!

What is your favourite book and why?

Reading has always been one of my passions, so it’s way too difficult to name one book. Here are three recent highlights from my bookshelf:

No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention by Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer offers a fascinating perspective on how to build an organisation that delivers outstanding innovation and performance.

Shoe Dog by Phil Kight is an inspiring story of entrepreneurship behind the famous swoosh. It’s unbelievable how much hustle, tenacity and courage came together to make Nike a success as we know it.

Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari because it manages to provide a very vivid overview of seventy thousand years of our entire history as a humankind. A tricky bio to cover in one book, but author’s wit and eye for metaphor makes it a truly entertaining read from the first word to the last.

Q&As

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