The award ceremony for the first-ever Venture Awards Russia was held in Moscow on December 5, 2013. The awards went to the Russian venture capital companies and investors as well as to Russia-based foregn venture capital companies. The award event was supported by the Russian Venture Company (RVC).
Venture Awards Russia 2013 were awarded in 9 nominations: New player of the year, Venture lady, Venture deal of the year, Venture syndicate, Action of the year, General partner of the year, Corporate fund of the year, Non IT venture of the year and Exit of the year.
Here are the winners for Venture Awards Russia 2013:
New Player of The Year – Maxfield Capital
Venture Lady - Elena Alekseeva (Softline Venture Partners)
Venture Deal of the Year – iTech Capital (Pult Group)
Venture Syndicate – Intel Capital, Runa Capital and Frontier Venture (Eruditor Group)
Action of the Year – IIDF (FRII) launch (Kirill Varlamov)
General Partners of the Year – Alexander Galitsky (Almaz Capital)
Corporate Fund of the Year - Intel Capital
Non IT Venture of the Year - Bright Capital
Exit of the Year - TMT Investment (Astrid)
The first-ever Russian venture capital awards Venture Awards Russia are to be held in Moscow on December 5, 2013.
The awards are intended for the ‘best‘ Russian venture capital companies and investors. The award event is supported by the Russian Venture Company (RVC).
Venture Awards Russia 2013 are to be presented in nine nominations: New player of the year, Venture lady, Venture deal of the year, Venture syndicate, Action of the year, General partner of the year, Corporate fund of the year, Non IT venture of the year and Exit of the year.
Here are 2013 nominees for Venture Awards Russia.
New Player of The Year
- QIWI Venture
- Maxfield Capital
- Impulse VC, Flint Management
- Guard Capital
- Marina Treschova (FLV)
- Lyubov Simonova (Almaz Capital)
- Marina Rossinskaya (Maxfield Capital)
- Svetlana Nikiforova (Startobaza)
- Elena Alekseeva (Softline Venture Partners)
Venture Deal of the Year
- iTech Capital – Pult Group
- Runa Capital – uBank
- Life.SREDA – Simple
- Runa Capital and Almaz Capital – Acumatica
- FLV, Prostor Capital and Runa Capital – Vita Portal
- Pavel Cherkashin, Igor Matsanyuk, Igor Ryabenkiy and Sergey Gribov – GdeSlon?
- Igor Ryabenkiy, Pavel Cherkashin, Konstantin Sinyushin and Moscow Seed Fund – GBooking
- Intel Capital, Runa Capital and Frontier Venture – Eruditor Group
- Venture Brothers and Phenomen Ventures – Coub
Action of the Year
- MIPT Technopark – Seguei Beloussov
- Generation S – Gulnara Bikulova (RVC), Екатерина Bulycheva (TsIR) and Maria Adamian (Digital October)
- API Moscow launch – Alexey Komissarov (Moscow Government Minister and Head of the Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship)
- The 2nd fund raising for accredited investors of Moscow Seed Fund – Alexey Kostrov
- Seed investor education program launch – NABA
- Development of the Fund of the Russian Economy – Oskar Hartmann
- IIDF (FRII) launch – Kirill Varlamov
General Partner of the Year
- Gleb Davydyuk (iTech Capital)
- Alexander Galitsky (Alma Capital)
- Mikhail Gurevich (101 startup)
- German Kaplun (TMT Investment)
- Igor Matsanyuk (IMI VC)
- Aleksey Soloviev (Prostor Capital)
- Alexander Turkot (Maxfield Capital)
- Dmitry Chikhachev (Runa Capital)
Corporate Fund of the Year
- Intel Capital
- LETA Capital
- Microsoft Seed Fund
- QIWI Venture
- SBT Venture
- Softline Venture Partners
Non IT Venture of the Year
- LETA Capital
- Bright Capital
Exit of the Year
- TMT Investment – Astrid
- Finam – Banki.ru
- Foresight Venture – Dealangel
The ceremony for the Venture Awards Russia 2013 is to be held in Moscow on December 5, 2013.
The project management and collaboration software provider Wrike has raised a $10 million Series A round from Bain Capital Ventures (BCV). The company serves over 4,000 customers worldwide on the premium version of its product. Headquartered in San Jose, CA, Wrike was first released by Russian software entrepreneur Andrew Filev in 2006. The company won the LeWeb start-up competition in December 2006. In June 2012, TMT Investments made a $1 million investment in Wrike.
The web server software vendor Nginx raised a $10 million Series B round. The investment was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) with a participation from Series A investors: e.ventures, MSD Capital and Runa Capital. The founder and CEO of Box, Aaron Levie also joined the round. According to Netcraft, NGINX is used by 16% of all websites globally. Nginx, Inc. was launched in 2011 with a $3 million Series A round. Headquartered in San Francisco, Nginx open source software project was began by Russian software engineer Igor Sysoev in 2002 and went public in 2004. Nginx makes money from Nginx Plus, a version of Nginx with advanced functionality, support and services for commercial customers.
The mobile operator analytics provider Cinarra Systems raised a $4.5 million Series A round. The investment was led by Almaz Capital with a participation from Cisco and private investors. Founded in 2012, Cinarra is managed by CEO Alex Zinin, formerly at Cisco and Alcatel in Singapore. Headquartered in Menlo Park, CA, Cinarra has a team based in Singapore and Moscow & Kazan, Russia.
Flocktory, an online referral marketing company has obtained $1.5 million in venture capital from Digital Venture Partners, a new investment vehicle in Russia. The raised funds will be invested into market expansion. Flocktory claims to have more than 200 customers among online commerce companies in Russia.
Playtox, a multiplayer browser-based mobile gaming company has got an investment of $3 million from Runa Capital, a leading venture capital firm in Russia. Out of Novosibirsk, Playtox boasts some 1 million monthly active users of its published game titles. The company is headed by CEO Artem Zinoviev.
DEMO Europe has come to Moscow of Russia for the first time.
Produced by Erick Schonfeld, DEMO Europe was hosted by Digital October in Moscow on June 3-4.
DEMO Gods have been selected among presenters such as Realtimeboard.com, Amplifr.com, WeStudy.in and RuTuner.fm.
The leading Russian search engine company Yandex has announced that it will open a new search platform called Yandex Ostrova in summer, according to its blog. The information about the new platform “Острова” (or Islands in Russian) can be found at beta.yandex.ru
Instead of search links on search engine result pages (SERPs), Yandex aims to offer ‘interactive’ answers to users’ search queries on SERPs.
Yandex asks web masters to build ‘interactive’ blocks (“islands”) with information from the web-sites that Yandex users will get as search results.
Quintura‘s kids-friendly search engine Quintura Kids is gaining momentum because of various factors. One reason is an increasing usage of an universal iOS app of the web service. The other could be the fact that Yahoo! has terminated its kids directory Yahoo! Kids for good.
The Quintura search engine for kids has made it easier for children to tap a search word instead of typing it into a search box of a regular search engine. Besides, a search query can be easily refined with a tap after a search is made.
Quintura Kids gets 83 percent of its web-site visitors from secondary schools in the US, according to web analytics. The other site visitors come mostly from the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong. The search engine for kids is based on a web index of kids-friendly web-sites.
Noteworthy, Quintura Kids has a Russian version at kids.quintura.ru
Yuri Milner has become the first Russian to be named to the Forbes Midas List for the third year in a row. Forbes named Yuri Milner #35 at the Midas List 2013.
Yuri Milner‘s firm DST Global has invested in social media companies Facebook, Zynga, Twitter and Groupon as well as in Spotify, Airbnb, Klarna, ZocDoc, 360buy.com and others.
Yuri Milner, along with Sergey Brin and Mark Zuckerberg, is also a backer of the Breakthough Prize, which aims to reward researchers and doctors who make discoveries in the life sciences.
2013′s top 10 tech investors in Forbes Midas List are Jim Breyer of Accel Partners, Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, Peter Thiel of Founders Fund, Douglas Leone of Sequoia Capital, Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners, Peter Fenton of Benchmark Capital, Jim Goetz of Sequoia Capital, Scott Sandell of New Enterprise Associates, Jeremy Levine of Bessemer Venture Partners and Daviz Sze of Greylock Partners.
LiveJournal owner SUP Media and Rambler owner Afisha-Rambler have agreed to a merger of equals. As a result, Afisha Rambler and SUP Media will create a 50/50 company that will become #3 online media company in Russia with a total audience of 35 million unique visitors per month. According to Forbes’ Internet top 30 in Russia, the combined company will become a top 10 Internet company in Russia with total revenues of $153 million.
Afisha Rambler is owned by Interros of Vladimir Potanin. SUP Media is owned by Alexander Mamut (A&NN).
Alexander Mamut will be Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afisha Rambler SUP Media. The new company is going to focus on online information services and become a platform for user-related services.
The Russian internet advertising market was valued at almost $2 billion in 2012.
The leading Russian telecom operator Rostelecom is going to launch a new search engine at Sputnik.ru. Sputnik means a satellite in Russian. The domain name sputnik.ru is registered to RTComm.ru, a Rostelecom company. The news was reported by Cnews.
This can be supported by the fact that Rostelecom recently appointed Alexey Basov as Vice President in charge of internet projects. Basov used to work at Begun, a contextual advertising service that Google failed to purchase back in 2008, and then at Mail.ru Group. In addition, last summer Rostelecom acquired a 75% stake in KM Media, an internet company, for $5.75 million. The purchase was made to get a software engineering team to develop a search engine, according to Cnews.
The Russian hotel booking site Ostrovok raised $25 million from General Catalyst, Accel Partners, Yuri Milner and others. Two weeks ago its local competitor Oktogo.ru raised $11 million. The pair have got a total venture capital funding of some $65 million over tha past two years. The Russian online travel market is valued at $10 billion, according to PhoCusWright, of which hotel bookings are accounted for some $2 billion per year.
The group of venture capital firms VTB Capital, Mangrove Capital Partners, Ventech and Victor Sazhin Group has invested $11 million in Oktogo.ru, a leading hotel booking site in Russia. Founded in 2010, Oktogo.ru is headed by CEO Marina Kolesnik. Focused on Russian travelers, Oktogo.ru offers more than 5,000 hotels in Russia and 250,000 hotels worldwide.
Two leading Russian region city portals NGS.ru in Novosibirsk and E1.ru in Yekaterinburg have been acquired by Hearst Shkulev Media. In 2012, HSM bought out PRM.ru in Perm, Samara24.ru in Samara and NN.ru in Nizhny Novgorod. The Russian regional city portals are now Regional Network of Hearst Shkulev Digital with a total monthly audience of 12 million.
The shareholders of Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX), Russia’s leading search engine company, including CEO Arkady Volozh and CTO Ilya Segalovich agreed to sell a total of ca. 26.7 million shares (or ca. 8% shares in the company) at $22.75 per share through a secondary offering for a total of ca. $607 million. Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are joint bookrunners for the offering.
The largest Russian free online classifieds site AVITO.ru, which raised $75 million at pre-money value of $300 million in May 2012, has agreed to merge with its two major Russian rivals, OLX.ru and Slando.ru, both owned by Naspers of South Africa. Naspers also agreed to invest $50 million into AVITO.ru as a part of the deal. As a result of the investment and asset contribution, Naspers will obtain a 18.6% stake in AVITO, according to newspaper Kommersant. The new investments values AVITO at ca. $570 million.
Launched in 2007, Avito.ru has 33 million unique monthly visitors. The site reported revenues of $30 million last year. Avito expanded its operations to Morocco and Egypt in 2012. The investors of Avito.ru include Baring Vostok Capital Partners, Accel Partners, Investment AB Kinnevik, Vostok Nafta and Northzone Partners. In total, Avito raised $166 million from investors.
MIH, part of Naspers, owns 29% in Mail.ru Group, the leading internet company in Russia.
ru-Net of Leonid Boguslavsky has agreed to invest $6 million for a 25% stake in Esky.ru, online retailer of baby products in Russia. The investment was reported by newspaper Kommersant. The Russian baby product e-commerce market is valued at between $600 million and $800 million per year.
Founded in 2009, Esky.ru sells baby products online. Its sales revenues were estimated at $30 million in 2012. Based in Moscow, Esky is headed by Alexander Piskunov.
The new investment should help Esky expand beyond Moscow into Russian regions.
Previously, ru-Net invested in online shopping mall OZON.ru and coupon site Biglion.
The Russian online advertising market reached almost $2 billion in 2012. The online ad spendings exceeded both print and outdoor ad spendings. One ranking of the Russian internet companies has been done by Forbes in Russia. Today it released a list of top 30 Russian internet companies. The online site Forbes.ru ranked the Russian internet companies by their revenues in 2012. Here are the top 10.
1. Yandex ($947 million revenues in 2012) – search engine and search engine advertising
2. Mail.ru Group ($745 million) – display and contextual advertising, online games and social services
3. Utkonos ($300 million) – grocery online retailer
4. Wildberries ($290 million) – online fashion retailer
5. OZON.ru ($270 million) – online shopping mall
6. Holodilnik.ru ($262 million) – online retailer of white goods
7. KupiVIP.ru ($256 milion) – online shopping club, fashion retailer and e-commerce platform for Russian retailers
8. RBC ($186 million) – online media display advertising and social services
9. Biglion ($175 million) – daily deal (coupon) services
10. Vkontakte ($150 million) – social network services
The other top Russian internet companies include Sotmarket ($134m), VseInstrumenty.ru ($127m), Afisha Rambler ($110m), Wikimart ($110m), Utinet.ru ($92m), Vasko.ru ($90m), Notik ($90m), Game Insight ($90m), Enter ($84m), Softkey ($67m), Player.ru ($60m), Boutique.ru ($53m), Innova ($50m), SuperJob.ru ($50m), SUP Media ($43 million), NMG ($41m), Vigoda.ru ($41m), WebMediaGroup ($40m), Zeptolab ($40m), Mamba ($35 million).
The Russian venture capital firm Runa Capital has invested $8 million in uBank, a Russian mobile payment provider.
uBank offers a mobile app for smartphones that helps pay utility bills. Released last December, uBank free app for Android has been downloaded more than 250K times from Google Play. In addition, the app is pre-installed on Fly smartphones. Based in Moscow, uBank is headed by CEO Laura Ashizheva. The company plans to release iOS app shortly.
The Russian search engine company Yandex (NASDAQ: YNDX), which has recently become the world’s 4th largest search engine ahead of Bing, has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter and the full year ended December 31, 2012. Yandex completed $1.4 billion IPO on NASDAQ in May 2011.
In Q4 2012, Yandex reported revenues of RUR 8.8 billion ($290 million), up 37% from Q4 2011, operating income of RUR 3.1 billion ($102 million), up 19% from Q4 2011, and net income of RUR 2.7 billion ($89 million), up 27% from Q4 2011. Yandex operating margin was 35% and net income margin was 31% in Q4 2012.
The Yandex revenue split in Q4 2012 was:
- 70%: text-based advertising on Yandex websites,
- 17%: text-based advertising on Yandex ad network,
- 11%: display advertising,
- 2%: online payments comissions.
For the full year ended December 31, 2012, Yandex reported revenues of RUR 28.8 billion ($947 million), up 44% from FY 2011, operating income of RUR 9.5 billion ($311 million), up 34% from FY 2011, and net income of RUR 8.2 billion ($271 million), up 42% from FY 2011.
Yandex search market share in Russia was 60.5% for Q4 2012 (according to LiveInternet). Yandex number of advertisers was more than 213,000, up 22% from Q4 2011 and up 5% from Q3 2012.
As of December 31, 2012, Yandex had cash and cash equivalents, term deposits (including long-term deposits) and long-term debt securities of RUR 27.2 billion ($895 million).
Fast Company has named The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Russia.
Why? For bringing online travel booking to a distrustful country.
Only 10% of business in Russia is handled online, and yet this online travel-booking company made $30 million last year, up from $6 million in 2011. It’s done so by catering its services to a wary public and a tech-resistant local travel industry–creating ways to complete transactions in person, and providing hotels with software to track billing and reservations.
Why? For being the server to web stars.
Between WordPress, Hulu, Netflix, Pinterest and Wikipedia, Nginx hosts about 12% of the world’s more than 630 millon websites and gained about 2 million new hostnames in December 2012. With a total of 76 million websites under its belt, Igor Syosev’s Nginx is one of the premier online servers.
3. Skolkovo Foundation
Why? For encouraging a burgeoning Russian tech scene.
Since its inauguration in 2009, the Skolkovo Foundation has pushed to develop Russia’s tech sector. With nearly 800 companies under its incubation lamp, plans of a university partnership with MIT, continued and hosting the 2014 G8 Summit, it appears to be succeeding.
Why? For taking phone calls to the internet.
In 2012, Zingaya surpassed two impressive milestones: 250,000 calls made per month, and more than 1 million minutes of talk time routing through its service. By using WebRTC over Flash, Zingaya has high call and video quality and can embed a “call” button on any website.
Why? For committing to safer oil.
Corrosion is the leading cause of oil pipeline failures. So in 2012, Bashneft committed more than $366 million over the next five years to improve pipeline reliability. The plan is to repair and replace nearly 800 miles of pipe and funnel more than 110,000 barrels of oil.
Why? For being the Russian Rovio.
Its smash hit, Cut The Rope, was downloaded more than 250 million times. Now the company is rallying behind its most recent game, Pudding Monsters, which features 75 levels of “easy to play, tough to master” puzzles.
7. Russian Venture Company
Why? For instituting a collaborative innovation lab.
This government-formed coalition–including seven Russian funds and some of the biggest name Russian VCs–now represents 139 companies, with investment capital totaling $400 million.
Why? For beating Facebook in Russia.
Tallying more than 195 million users and the no. 27 website in the world, following Facebook’s model seems to be good business for Vkontakte, which brought in more than $150 million in 2011. Though it wisely knew when to change course: When it saw Facebook’s stock troubles, it scrapped plans for its own IPO.
Why? For leading the nano-tech charge.
Rusnano is charged with leading the Russian nano-tech sales to $30 billion by 2015. With 78 companies valued at more than $5 billion, the firm opened up 16 factories in 2012.
Why? For championing a local, online dating scene.
For the more than 45 million users on Topface, it’s arguably the most popular way to date. The platform has big plans for 2013: expanding into China, opening a London office and partnering with the largest social network in the country, Vkontakte.
According to the Russian Association of Communication Agencies (AKAR), the Russian internet advertising market was valued at 56.3 billion Roubles ($1,877 million) in 2012, up 35 percent from 2011. The contextual advertising spendings were up 45 percent year-on-year to 38.4 billion Roubles ($1280 million) in 2012 and accounted for 68 percent (vs. 63 percent in 2011) of total internet advertising spendings in Russia. The display (banner) advertising spendings were up 17 percent year-on-year to 17.9 billion Roubles ($597 million) in 2012 and accounted for 32 percent of total internet advertising spendings in Russia.
In 2011, the Russian online advertising market accounted for 19 percent of total advertising market in Russia of 297.8 billion Roubles ($9,926 million).
In 2012, the Russian internet advertising spend of 56.3 billion Roubles ($1,877 million) was above the print advertising spend of 41.2 billion Roubles ($1,373 million) and outdoor advertising spend of 37.7 billion Roubles ($1,257 million) for the first time.
TV advertising market in Russia was valued at 143.2 billion Roubles ($4,773 million) in 2012, up 9% from 2011.
The French venture capital firm Ventech has invested $3 million in TrendsBrands, a Russian online retailer of designer clothes. TrendsBrands existing Russian investors Kite and ru-Net put $1 million more into the round that valued the business at some $8 million to $10 million post-money, according to newspaper Kommersant. In 2011, the two firms invested $1 million in TrendsBrands that generated sales turnover of some $10 million last year.
Launched in June 2011, TrendsBrands.ru sells both Russian and western designer clothes using concept of “high fashion, low price”. It also operates two stores in Tsvetnoy Central Market, a shopping center in Moscow downtown. Referred by some as a copycat of ASOS, a British fashion online retailer, TrendsBrands is headed by CEO Anastasia Sartan.
According to a recent report from Morgan Stanley, the Russian e-commerce market will increase from $12 billion in 2012 to $36 billion in 2015.
In Russia, Ventech has invested in online hotel booking service Oktogo.ru, social games publisher Pixonic and women-centric online portal WomanJournal.
According to new research from Nielsen, 37 percent of mobile subscribers in Russia owned a smartphone as of the first half of 2012.
China was the only country among BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) markets where smartphones were predominant, owned by 66 percent of Chinese mobile subscribers as of the first half of 2012. That would help explain that iPhone 5 was sold much more times in China than in Russia over the first weekend in stores.
The mobile devices with no touchscreen, QWERTY keypad or operating system (so called ‘feature phones’) were dominant in both India and Russia, owned by 80 percent and 51 percent of mobile subscribers, respectively.
In Russia, an Android-based smartphone currently costs $100 and up.
The global networking hardware and software company Cisco has acquired one percent stake in Parallels, a virtualization and cloud service software vendor. Cisco and Parallels plan to increase collaboration for Cisco’s cloud and data center infrastructure solutions.
Parallels, which has software development centers in Russia, was founded in 1999.
IMI.VC of Igor Matsanyuk invested in online travel planning service Agenda.travel. Launched last month, Agenda helps select and book airline tickets and hotels online on its web-site as well as see a travel itinerary on a map or calendar. The web service first started two years ago as Bilet Expert to sell airline and railway tickets online. The hotel booking service Oktogo.ru and airline ticket sales site OneTwoTrip took big funding rounds in 2012.
The Russian internet economy was in a rapid-growth stage in 2012. The internet advertising market grew more than 40% to $2 billion per year. Top 10 internet venture capital investments in Russia totaled $299 million last year. 2012 wasn’t a year of consolidations in Internet in Russia. Only a few mergers and acquisitions of internet companies were recorded. Here is a list of top internet M&A deals in Russia in 2012.
1. Yandex. Money
Last December, the largest Russian bank Sberbank acquired a 75% stake in the online money service company Yandex.Money for $60 million from Yandex. The seller agreed to hold a 25% stake in the company and have two sits at its Board of Directors.
The web money service Yandex.Money was launched by Yandex and PayCash in 2002.
Last October, the Russian online portal company Rambler Media bought out the remaining 49.9% stake in Begun for $15 million from Finam.
The Russian contextual advertising service Begun was launched in 2002.
Last summer, Mamba’s managing director purchased one of Russian search engine market pioneers’ Aport for few hundred thousand dollars from Vimpelcom. Aport was first launched as an online directory in 1997.
Last July, the German Saturn-Media Group acquired 003.ru, one of Russia’s leading online retailers of consumer electronics for an undisclosed amount from its founder.
Last February, the leading Russian online mall OZON.ru acquired online shoe store Sapato.ru. The selling shareholders of Sapato became shareholders of OZON. Sapato was launched in 2010.
Troika‘s venture capital fund has sold its stake in Evernote to Sequoia Capital. As a result, Troika generated more than $50 million or 10x cash it invested in Evernote.
The visual search engine Quintura has been named top Google alternative by Computerworld in Denmark. Other alternative search engines in the top list included Bing, Duckduckgo, Hakia, Clusty, Ask, Blekko and Ixquick.
Enjoy our New Year greetings card! May all your dreams come true! Happy Holidays!
Here is a list of 2012 top ten venture capital (VC) investments in Russian internet companies. The Russian internet VC deals in 2012 are ranked by deal value. The total value of top 10 investment deals is equal to $299 million implying an average investment of $30 million. Out of top ten deals, seven investments were made in e-commerce, two – in online travel, and one – in online video.
1. $54 million in B2B-Center by Insight Venture Partners, Alpha Assoiates, Da Vinci Capital (June 2012)
2. $50 million in Avito by Accel, Baring Vostok, Kinnevik, Northzone (May 2012)
3. $40 million in Lamoda by JP Morgan (September 2012)
4. $40 million in ivi.ru by Baring Vostok, Tiger Global, ru-Net (September 2012)
5. $38 million in KupiVIP by Intel Capital, Acton Capital Partners, EBRD, Balderton Capital, Accel Partners (June 2012)
6. $30 million in Wikimart by Tiger Global, Russian investors (March 2012)
7. $16 million in Onetwotrip by Atomico (October 2012)
8. $16 million in KupiVIP by MCI Management (October 2012)
9. $10 million in Oktogo.ru by VTB Capital, Mangrove Capital, Ventech (March 2012)
10. $5 million in HomeMe by Mangrove Capital, ABRT, AddVenture (May 2012)
The largest Russian bank Sberbank has agreed to acquire 75% share at Yandex.Money, a web money service, for $60 million from Yandex. The deal is announced at a press event in Moscow today. Yandex is to hold 25% share plus one rouble in Yandex.Money and two out of five sits at its Board of Directors.
Yandex.Money (Яндекс.Деньги) was launched in 2002 by Yandex and PayCash, who each owned 50% share. In 2007, Yandex bought out PayCash‘s 50% share for some $5 milion.
Yandex.Money generated revenues of 374 million Roubles (ca. $12.3 million) in the first nine months of 2012, including 133 million Roubles ($4.3 million) in the third quarter of 2012. Yandex.Money has 12 million users. Sberbank has 107 million customers that includes 7 million online banking users
The mobile payment service 2can has raised several million dollars from Almaz Capital Partners of Alexander Galitsky.
Previously, 2can, which is operated by Smartfin company, raised $2.3 million, including $1.6 million from InVenture Partners. 2can was founded by Nikolay Zhmurenko, former CFO of Svyaznoy and Synterra and Yuri Vladimirov, former CFO of Inoventica Group, in November 2011.
Launched in September 2012, 2can offers both iOS and Android applications and card reader for smartphones. 2can, which is aimed at small businesses and online retailers, earns a fee of 2.75% from each transaction served.
The official sales of iPhone 5 in Russia began last Friday, December 14. In total, 25,000 iPhone 5 devices were sold in Russia in the first three days, according to Russian news. In comparison, in China, more than 2 million iPhone 5 devices were sold in the first three days since last Friday.
In Russia, Phone 5 is sold by mobile phone operator Beeline and retailer of Apple products re:Store as well as mobile phone retailers Svyaznoy and Euroset.
The low number of iPhone 5 handsets sold in Russia can be attributed to their high price. The official retail price of iPhone 5 in Russia (unlocked and contract-free) starts from 28,900 Roubles ($941) for 16GB model, 34,900 Roubles ($1,136) for 32GB model and 39,900 Roubles ($1,300) for 64GB model. In Russia, iPhone 5 16GB costs 45% higher than in the U.S., iPhone 5 32GB – 52% higher and iPhone 5 64GB – 53% higher than in the U.S.
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The 2012 winners of Miss Tourism World have been crowned in Siam Niramit, Bangkok, Thailand.
The winner is Miss Tourism Russia – Tatyana Maksimova. She is 23 and 181cm tall.
The 1st Runner-up is Miss Tourism India. The 2nd Runner-up is Miss Tourism Lebanon.