Two Russian investors who bought-out a control over a leading Ukrainian search engine earlier in 2007 have added a consumer online auction site in this 47 million country to their portfolio.
The investment consortium of Russian Funds and Digital Sky Technologies acquired a 55% majority stake in Auction.ua, a Ukrainian online auction site. Auction.ua, which has 30 thousand registered users, reported 7000 transactions with total turnover of $11 million in the first 10 months of 2007.
Back in March 2007, the same consortium acquired a 63% majority stake in META, a leading Ukrainian online portal and search engine, for an estimated $6 million from private equity fund manager SigmaBleyzer. At that time, META had a monthly audience of 1.5 million users who made 6 million searches. The company generated revenues of $1 million in 2006, mostly from advertising and holds about 20% of online advertising market in Ukraine.
META is number 3 search engine in Ukraine after Yandex and Google, which both have Ukrainian versions. The online advertising spending in Ukraine is estimated to reach $12 million in 2007. The country has some 6 million Internet users.
Russian Funds was en early investor in a leading Russian portal and search engine Rambler. Digital Sky Technologies is a significant shareholder at a Russian portal and free e-mail provider Mail.ru.