Andrei Baronov graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in the early 1990s. In the hostel of the university in the 1980s, Baronov met with Ratmir Timashev, who was destined for many years to become his friend and business partner. Both students were transferred to MIPT from other universities – the Barons from the Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology, and Timashev from the Ufa Aviation Institute. During their studies, they worked first in student construction teams of the Soviet model, and then – in one of the country’s first construction cooperatives. It was there that they received the first lessons of doing business.
After receiving the diploma Timashev went to study in the US, and Timashev continued to study at MIPT and in 1995 defended his thesis, receiving a Ph.D. degree in physics and mathematics. In the same year, friends decided to do business. They began to supply computer components from the US to Russia, using the new online store format for those times. The development of software for the store was handled by the Barons, who played the role of “technical genius”. Soon he was so adept at programming that he and Timashev made a conclusion – the development of utilities for administrators of Windows NT is a more profitable business than trading.
In 1997, Baronov and Timashev registered in the US the company Aelita Software, which was engaged in the development of software. The Aelita Software development center was located in Russia. In 2004, the company bought $ 115 million for Quest Software, the main American competitor to Aelita Software.
Barons and Timashev worked for some time in Quest, but soon decided to invest the money received from the sale of Aelita Software in the creation of their own new business. In 2005 they founded the company Veeam Software. The name of the new project was formed from the English-speaking abbreviation VM – virtual machine. Veeam Software started developing software for virtual infrastructure, which turned out to be a promising direction against the backdrop of widespread virtualization.
In 2016, Veeam Software’s revenue was $ 607.4 million, up 28 percent from 2015. According to Forbes magazine, 70% of Fortune 500 companies are clients of Baronov and Timashev. Veeam Software started with a very small staff, but later the number of employees of the company exceeded 1300 people. The firm has 17 offices in different countries of the world.
Baronov himself currently resides in Switzerland. His personal fortune in 2016 was estimated at 900 million rubles. In Veeam Software, he until recently served as technical director, and in May 2017 was appointed co-managing director. He retained all the powers that he performed as a technical director, but at the same time, the company’s development strategy, product management and the research and development process were transferred to its management. Baronov is considered one of the best specialists in system management in the world. At the same time, he practically never speaks publicly and does not communicate with journalists. “The face of the company” has always been and remains Timashev, who willingly gives interviews and talks a lot about his accomplishments and plans.
Barons and Timashev not only successfully work on the IT market, but also actively invest in the development of other IT start-ups. Initially, successfully selling Aelita Software, they helped novice IT-businessmen at a private level. But then it was decided to formalize and expand the investment process.
In 2005, Baronov and Timashev created the venture fund ABRT (the name was compiled according to the initials of the founders). The Fund invests in IT projects, which are at an early stage of implementation. The chances for grants are companies from Russia and CIS countries, oriented to Western markets – that is, in fact, businessmen who repeat the way of Baronov and Timashev themselves. In 2007, ABRT and the largest European venture fund Mangrove Capital Partners founded a joint program for investing in technological start-ups in Russia and other countries in Eastern and Central Europe. Later, ABRT also began to cooperate with US Venture Funds Insight Venture Partners and OpenView Venture Partners.
ABRT helps novice businessmen not only with money – the fund regularly conducts training seminars. And on the first day of training entrepreneurs in detail tell the story of the success of Baronov and Timashev.