Georgyi Vekhov '20 Launches Moscow-Based Search Fund Milestone Capital
Georgyi Vekhov has recently closed a pool of committed capital for his search fund, Milestone Capital. Vekhov, a Silver Scholar MBA while at Yale, is credited with launching the first-ever search fund in Russia. Originally from Moscow, Vekhov has worked and studied in the U.S. for several years and is looking forward to returning to his native Moscow in order to use and apply the skills he has acquired academically and professionally while overseas. Vekhov assembled an international investor group, which reflects his broad professional network and his ambitions. The investors hail from Europe, Africa, North America, and the Middle East. Through Milestone, Vekhov will identify, acquire, build, and lead a lower middle market business as its CEO.
“I am absolutely elated. I know I am still young, but closing my fund is a huge professional highlight for me. I am on my path to being an entrepreneur and CEO, and I will get there before 30. I am flattered by my investors’ confidence in me and appreciate their support and guidance. What is so great about the search fund model is that I get my investors’ intellectual and emotional support in addition to their financial support. This is truly a dream come true. When I entered my MBA program at Yale, I did not expect to leave with funds raised and a framework to build my entrepreneurial journey. It is hard to describe just how enthusiastic and excited I am right now,” explained Vekhov.
Vekhov will perform an industry-driven search seeking a business with an enterprise value between $5 million and $25 million. The industry focus is designed to enhance market insights, generate deal opportunity higher volume, and improve deal flow quality. Vekhov has developed a list of industries and segments that will serve as a starting point for the search. The industry selection was performed by analyzing past successful companies acquired by search funds in Europe and the U.S. and applying Vekhov’s local knowledge to determine the Russian market’s specific industry attractiveness. Specifically, Vekhov seeks to acquire and operate a business in B2B services, B2B SaaS, or security solutions.
Before launching Milestone, Vekhov worked in professional services and entrepreneurial organizations. He most recently worked at SPUR Acquisitions, a Denver-based search fund incubator. He also spent time at Boston Consulting Group, an international consulting firm. His other entrepreneurial experiences include a stint at Blade, a Moscow B2B importer and distributor of 20+ brands of consumer electronics employing approximately 300 people. Additionally, Vekhov started and exited an online business that sold bedsheets. “I have tried a few professional paths and knew that being an entrepreneur was for me. When I started my bedsheet business, I was just raw energy. I did not have the academic and professional experience to scale and professionalize the business. I also did not have the right people around me to provide support and guidance. I believe I am now ready to buy and build a business. I have the right professional experience. Yale was fantastic for focusing my thinking and strategy. Additionally, I have the right mentorship in my investors,” commented Vekhov.
Vekhov states that he has assembled a top-tier group of investors that will be helpful in his project. “I have a wonderful group of investors. My largest investor is a European-based search fund-focused firm, A.I. Global. They have made many search fund investments and know the drill and process. I also have successful former search fund entrepreneurs, such as Alex Kirn. Alex has run the entire race from raising capital to finding a niche SaaS business, operating, and growing it. He is a very successful searcher. Rob Johnson is also an investor; he is a professor at IESE in Barcelona and has been in the search fund market for decades. He is truly a thought leader in the space. Two of my classmates from Yale—Artem Shuvaev, and Dmitry Aksakov—became so excited about my project that they wound up investing, too.”
“Georgyi is off to a great start. He is thoughtful and deliberate, and I am totally committed to his project,” said Jose-Maria Clotet, CEO and owner of the middle market Barcelona-based company called PROMAX PARTNERS. We are excited to be part of his search fund, and we are looking forward to watching him develop and be a strong CEO. He has the right professional and academic experiences and the right personal characteristics to succeed. Russia provides an exciting and compelling market opportunity to deploy the search fund model, and Georgyi is the right entrepreneur to make it happen.”
Yale was a transformational experience for Vekhov. “I cannot begin to describe how Yale changed my life. I entered Yale thinking I would work somewhere in tech or consulting for five to seven years before doing something entrepreneurial. I always knew that I wanted a robust entrepreneurial experience, but I thought it would come later in my career. It was not until I discovered the search fund model in one of Professor A. J. Wasserstein’s classes that I realized I could be an entrepreneur and CEO now. I loaded up on many entrepreneurial and small business courses. I had several assumptions when I entered Yale, and many of them were proven wrong through my academic work and faculty interactions. I have a fresh and new perspective on what I can do and what entrepreneurship can be,” shared Vekhov. “I loved all the case readings and learned so much. Beyond the classroom experience, faculty members provided truly meaningful mentorship and guidance. I made lifelong friends and learned from my classmates. The Yale community is truly a special place. I had fun, I learned, I built relationships, and Yale made me ready to launch my post-MBA journey. Yale did more for me than I could have ever imagined. I cannot fully express my gratitude.” He also added, “I am truly grateful to A. J. Wasserstein for introducing me to the entrepreneurship through acquisition model and for helping me in my journey.”