In September 2011, Russia became the largest Internet market in Europe with 51 million online users. Who are the top emerging internet companies that disrupt the Russian market. Find out below a list of top 10 Russian web startups of 2011.
Having raised $5 million in venture capital from European early-stage investors, Oktogo.ru is #1 in Russian online travel. Russia’s ‘Booking.com‘ Oktogo.ru has not only collected the largest online hotel database in Russia but also baked it with user reviews from TripAdvisor.
Oktogo.ru CEO Marina Kolesnik is one of the most visionary female internet entrepreneurs from Russia.
2. ZeptoLab (Cut the Rope)
Russia’s answer to Rovio‘s Angry Birds, ZeptoLab‘s Cut the Rope reached 60 million game downloads in the first year from initial release without venture money.
Managed by Voinov brothers, Misha Lyalin and, from recently, Diana Moldavsky, Moscow-based ZeptoLab strives to leverage its Om Nom game character by releasing Cut the Rope sequel and branching out into comic books and plush toys.
Heavily-funded by Tiger Global and Ru-Net, coupon service Biglion beats Groupon and other upstarts in the space in Russia. Biglion delivers the highest revenue growth in Russia’s internet history: from zero to $15 million monthly revenues in one and a half years. Biglion could be the next largest internet IPO candidate from Russia after Yandex in 2011 and Mail.ru Group in 2010.
Metabar is the perfect example of how to turn a simple idea into a hundred million business. Founded by Yandex grad Michael Ushakov, Metabar offers browser toolbar creation service, just like Conduit. To grow fast, Metabar has raised $1 million from Runa Capital.
It’s hard to beat Microsoft. Nginx did it. The lightweight, high-performance web server, reverse proxy and e-mail proxy software provider Nginx is #2 web server software on the Web, behind only Apache. Founded by Rambler refugee Igor Sysoev, Nginx raised $3 million from global venture capital investors to make it a commercial success.
Online shoe store Lamoda.ru is the first project launched in Russia by Samwer brothers’ Rocket Internet with funding from Holtzbrinck Ventures, Tengelmann Group and Investment AB Kinnevik. Lamoda stands against competion from Sapato.ru and Ozon.ru who both closed massive VC rounds in 2011.
Curation is a hot trend on the Web. So is web discovery. Backed by $2.5 million from the French and Russian investors, Surfingbird.ru delivers a web recommendation and discovery service to end-users. Is it better than StumbleUpon? 2012 will tell us.
St. Petersburg, Russia- and Foster City, California-based cloud computing software vendor GridGain employs the winning formula for Russian startups: a software development in Russia and sales & marketing in the U.S.
GridGain closed $2.5 million Series A in November 2011 led by RTP Ventures, the U.S. arm of Yandex and Ozon.ru investor Ru-Net Holdings of Leoind Boguslavsky.
Kids’ goods online retailer BabyBoom.ru finds itself in a very crowded market space in Russia unless a baby boom is really coming to the country. Index Ventures‘ seed fund seems to believe in it by backing BabyBoom. We will see next year.
Online commerce is booming in Russia. Top 10 Russian web startup of 2009, online shopping club KupiVIP.ru made headlines in April 2011 when it closed $55 million round from Bessemer, Balderton and Russia Partners, the largest internet startup funding in Russia. In 3 years from launch, KupiVIP managed to become bigger than Ozon.ru, a 10-year old ‘Amazon’ of Russia. Time to market is a key!
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