Sergey Tokarev: Curiosity drives investments in ITNovember 29, 2021
On October 8-9, 2021, Limassol hosted the Cyprus IT forum, and one of the discussions was attended by Sergey Tokarev, the founder of Ukrainian technology company Roosh. Tokarev has investments in many IT startups and companies along with Andreessen Horowitz and Twitter and several charitable and educational projects. The investor told the audience about his career and what affected his decisions in the investment activities.
As Tokarev recalls, it all once started with a magazine. He saw a paper magazine with a code in it and simply copied it to a notepad, renamed it from ‘.txt’ to ‘.htm’, and this way, he got a home page of a simple website. Tokarev was curious about technology, and coding seemed to him appealing.
“I combined different blocks of codes and watched what happened,” recalled Tokarev. He explained that he was copying codes, changing their blocks, and this way, figuring out what block was for. It is how I started my activity. Everything that falls into my hands, everything that I see, arouses a childish interest in me,” recalled Sergey Tokarev. “Simple curiosity led to the development of such mindset.”
During the beginning of his career, Tokarev was both a usual employee and at a managing position but kept focused on the IT industry. Such an approach helped him deeply examine the field and later, when he turned to creating his own projects and investing, that experience became a base for his expertise.
Talking about his own approach towards investing, Tokarev stressed out that he prefers not just funding projects but investing in developing specialists, companies, and people in general. “I want such people to grow in number and share their successes, failures, and experiences. As an entrepreneur, I consider it my mission,” notes Tokarev.
According to the investor, there are two phrases told by rocket construction engineer Igor Khanin that can underline his philosophy: “The cell lives while it divides” and “What will remain in history after you when you die? Money? Who needs them!” These words made Tokarev realize that it is not money that changes the world but the desire to share everything with others.
Such attitude also reflects on Tokarev’s way of interacting with the startups he invests in. He considers that being an angel investor means being a guardian angel for a project, helping founders, and solving their problems.
The same approach Tokarev applies in the social initiative AI HOUSE. It is a community dedicated to artificial intelligence and machine learning. The initiative allows investors, scientists, entrepreneurs, developers, and even students to share their knowledge about AI and ML and this way, to increase each other’s expertise.