Fort Ross Ventures looks like a typical venture capital firm. It was created about seven years ago in Silicon Valley with a focus on funding young companies. The founders named it after the first Russian settlement in the U.S., a nod to their heritage and to one of the firm's largest backers, Moscow-based Sberbank PJSC.

Today, Russia is waging an unpopular war against Ukraine, and Sberbank is subject to crippling sanctions by Western nations. The other investors whose money is tied up in Fort Ross Ventures are, naturally, "very concerned,” said Victor Orlovski, a founder and managing partner at the firm.

Investors "are calling and asking, ‘Victor, what do we do?’” Orlovski said. "My answer is simple: If an investor becomes toxic, we will immediately isolate them from the other pool of investors.”