YURI MILNER, trained as a physicist, is a Russian-born entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He founded investment firms Digital Sky Technologies (DST), now called Mail.ru Group and DST Global. Through the Mail.ru Group and DST Global, Milner is an investor in Facebook, Zynga, Twitter, Spotify, ZocDoc, Groupon, 360Buy.com, and Alibaba.
In July 2012, Milner established the Fundamental Physics Prize and chose the first nine winners of this $3 million award that became the most financially lucrative academic prize in the world, beating both the Nobel Prize as well as the Templeton Prize combined. In following years, one winner chosen by the previous winners will join the club. In February 2013, Yuri Milner along with Art Levinson, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan created the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation that will give the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences to recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life.