Russia’s leading online classifieds site Avito.ru has raised $26 million from Investment AB Kinnevik and Northzone Ventures of Sweden. Kinnevik contributed $21 million of the funding round. Technology investment bank GP Bullhound advised Avito.ru on the transaction, the largest in Russian e-commerce in 2010.
Launched in October 2007, Avito.ru has 7 million unique monthly visitors. Avito.ru, which currently publishes over 2 million free classifieds, derives revenues primarily from advertising sales on the site. Kinnevik is major shareholder of Avito.ru as well as directory service Yellow Pages Russia (yell.ru). Avito.ru is headed by founder and Executive Director Filip Engelbert.
According to recent research, Avito.ru is Google’s largest AdWords advertiser in Russia with monthly spend of more than $130,000.
Avito.ru faces major competion in Russia from Slando.ru (part of eBay Classifieds Group), OLX.ru (part of Naspers – major owned free classifieds network OLX) and IRR.ru, online version of classifieds newspaper Iz Ruk v Ruki (From Hand to Hand) owned by Trader Media East.
Kinnevik recently invested in Russian online shoe store Sapato.ru.