Nobody in the US is feeling the brunt of the hacking allegations by the US against Russia as the Russians in Silicon Valley. These number of Russians immigrants in the Silicon Valley’s community adds up to tens of thousands. They are now facing a new and strange position. Some Russian venture capitalists in the valley are wary of losing the funding that they secured for their tech start-ups. Those who have not secured funding yet are worried that they will not be able to get funding as the hacking allegations against Russia are heating up.
The allegations are affecting Russian investors too. One of the partners of GVA Capital is Russian, Mr. Cherkashin. The company is incorporated in the US and is seeking to invest $120 million in startups. However, the companies making pitches to the financing firm are becoming skeptical on taking investments from it. Some even think the money that the firm is seeking to invest in their start-ups is not clean. Many think that by getting the funding from a company being run by a Russian, they would be mistakenly starting to do business with the Government of Russia. Mr. Cherkashin compares the experience now as that of a politician who fell into a sex scandal and it went public.
It is not the entrepreneurs only that are feeling the change in the business environment. Tech engineers from Russia said they are starting to feel a change in how their colleagues are treating them at work. Some lawyers agreed to this observation stating that even some companies are putting in place stricter security measures for coders born in the foreign land.
However, the steam from hacking allegations is not bringing only losses to the Russians. They are benefiting from this free advertisement of their skills. Some years ago many people in America never knew of the tech talent that Russia had. Most of them were only aware of the oil, oligarchs, and Putin, the country president. Some US employees have seen or heard this ‘advertisement’ and are looking for Russian tech talent to hire. However, they are also putting measures in place to ensure that they don’t lose their data.
Even before the allegations, there is evidence that the tech talent in the country is top notch. Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, and Yuri Milner, an early investor in Facebook were born in Russia.