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From: zax4/21/2012 5:29:03 PM
   of 75
Google shutting out rivals, claims Russian search engine Yandex
Yandex co-founder says US tech giant is 'semi-open', criticising its Android smartphone platform and Chrome web browser

Josh Halliday, Thursday 19 April 2012 12.03 EDT Article history

    The co-founder of Russia's Yandex search engine has claimed Google is 'semi-open'. Photograph: Martin Keene/PA

    The co-founder of Russia's leading search engine, Yandex, has accused Google of abusing its dominance to shut out competitors in cyberspace.

    Responding to comments made to the Guardian by Sergey Brin, the Google co-founder, about threats to the open internet, Ilya Segalovich described the US search giant's popular smartphone platform, Android, as a "strange combination of openness and not openness" and its Chrome web browser as anti-competitive.

    Segalovich, chief technology officer of the Russian internet company, said that Brin should explain Google's "semi-open" approach to search competitors before accusing others of endangering the unfettered internet.

    Brin told the Guardian that the future of the open internet was under threat from a coalition of governments, but also from private companies, naming Facebook and Apple. Yandex and Google are direct competitors in Russia, where the Moscow-based company dominates the search market with a 62% share, compared with Google's 25% share.

    Segalovich suggested Google was guilty of foul play with its Chrome browser, which picks the company's own search engine as default for users, rather than offering a choice between rivals including Yahoo, Bing and Yandex. He said internet users were effectively coerced into using the Californian internet giant's products over those offered by rivals.

    "Things are definitely going where more and more control is in the hands of platform providers. It's interesting that it's not only mobile, but it's also about browsers," Segalovich said.

    "That is a part of the open and closed issue, in my head. If you own the browser, the browser is the platform then the search is yours. It is the same question … it should be addressed to Sergey himself. He should think about it also. It's a little wider than he described it."

    Asked whether proprietary products, such as Apple's mobile applications, posed a threat to the open internet, he added: "Definitely there is such a problem. I myself don't like the closed platforms; I think it is important that you have choice."

    Brin, whose family fled the former Soviet Union, reiterated his warning about the future of the internet in a blogpost on Wednesday. He said that governments, rather than private companies, posed the greatest and most immediate threat to the world wide web.

    Segalovich downplayed the role of the Russian government in suppressing content on the internet. He said that Moscow was "not making aggressive moves" against internet firms, and added that the government was attempting to be "quite neutral and positive" about cyberspace.

    He indicated that Yandex, which recently launched internet search and maps in Turkey and opened an office in Switzerland, could be damaged by the "semi-open" nature of Google's Android operating system for smartphones.

    Phone-makers that have not signed deals to use Android are only able to offer basic applications to their users, Segalovich said.

    "You cannot contribute to [Android], it's semi-open source. You cannot see anything, just see and watch … If you download an application it does not work if it's not Android marketplace. So that's an interesting question," he added. "BlackBerry is trying to use Android but it won't be working properly … It's a strange combination of openness and not openness. That's another part of the story."

    He added: "One of the things about Android which is especially bad for us is if you have the Market [app store] it's the only way to get advanced apps to work … But the new remit on Android 4 is if you have this smart kit you have to have search of Google on top of the screen, it's a part of the contract. I don't think it's good. I think it's bad."

    Segalovich said that Google's overwhelming dominance of the search market in Europe opened the company up to anti-trust issues, but acknowledged that Yandex could also face the same pressure in Russia.

    The Yandex boss described the criticism of Facebook by Google's Brin as "an American story, like two matadors" that was not replicated in the Russian internet market.

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    From: zax4/26/2012 9:14:48 AM
       of 75
    UPDATE 1-Russia's Yandex Q1 net profit rises 53 pct y/y

    Thu Apr 26, 2012 7:34am EDT

    * Earnings rise to 1.3 bln roubles from 820 mln rbls
    * Revenues up 51 pct to 5.9 bln roubles
    * Reiterates 40-45 pct revenue growth forecast for FY

    MOSCOW, April 26 (Reuters) - Yandex, Russia's most popular search engine, reported a 53 percent year-on-year jump in first-quarter net profit to 1.258 billion roubles ($42.80 million) and reaffirmed sales growth guidance for the year.

    "Yandex drove another strong quarter of robust growth, highlighted by particularly strong contextual advertising results as well as ongoing market and search share leadership," said chief executive Arkady Volozh.

    Yandex's share of the Russian search market averaged 59.4 percent in the first quarter, the company - one of the few search groups to lead Google in its home market - said, citing data from LiveInternet.

    Quarterly sales increased 51 percent to 5.9 billion roubles on the back of a 53 percent rise in text-based advertising revenues, which accounted for 90 percent of the total.

    Yandex, which raised $1.4 billion in an oversubscribed initial public offering (IPO) in New York last May, reaffirmed guidance for the full-year 2012 revenue growth at 40-45 percentin rouble terms after a 60 percent growth rate in 2011.

    Adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 38 percent in the January through March period to 2.4 billion roubles, with an EBITDA margin of 40.5 percent.

    Net income, adjusted for potential employee compensation expenses in connection with a recent acquisition, increased by 38 percent to 1.5 billion roubles.

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    From: zax4/26/2012 9:17:18 AM
       of 75
    Yandex N.V. (YNDX)-NasdaqGS
    Apr 25, 4:00PM EDT | Pre-Market: 24.70 0.16 (0.65%) 9:11AM EDT - Nasdaq Real Time Price

    Yandex Announces First Quarter 2012 Financial Results


    Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
    (in millions of Russian rubles ("RUR") and U.S. dollars ("$"), except share and per share data)
    As of
    31, 2011*
    March 31,
    March 31,
    RUR RUR $

    Current assets:

    Cash and cash equivalents 6,322 5,810 198.1
    Term deposits 5,169 4,459 152.0
    Accounts receivable, net 1,250 1,158 39.5
    Funds receivable, net 174 161 5.5
    Prepaid expenses 630 557 19.0
    Deferred tax assets 297 420 14.3
    Other current assets 663 747 25.5
    Total current assets 14,505 13,312 453.9
    Property and equipment, net 6,973 6,990 238.4
    Intangible assets, net 486 432 14.7
    Goodwill 1,132 1,115 38.0
    Long-term prepaid expenses 616 654 22.3
    Restricted cash 454 414 14.1
    Term deposits 2,454 4,247 144.8
    Investments in non-marketable equity securities 569 519 17.7
    Investments in debt securities 6,733 6,120 208.7
    Deferred tax assets 11 10 0.3
    Other non-current assets 143 267 9.1
    TOTAL ASSETS 34,076 34,080 1,162.0


    Current liabilities:

    Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 1,722 1,794 61.2
    Taxes payable 916 796 27.1
    Deferred revenue 900 812 27.7
    Funds payable and amounts due to customers 1,174 1,152 39.3
    Total current liabilities 4,712 4,554 155.3
    Deferred tax liabilities 189 216 7.3
    Other accrued liabilities 222 228 7.8
    Total liabilities 5,123 4,998 170.4
    Commitments and contingencies

    Shareholders' equity:

    Priority share: EURO1 par value; 1 share authorized, issued and outstanding -- -- --
    Preference shares: EURO0.01 par value; 2,000,000,001, shares authorized, nil shares issued and outstanding -- -- --
    Ordinary shares: par value (Class A EURO0.01, Class B EURO0.10 and Class C EURO0.09); shares authorized (Class A: 2,000,000,000, Class B: 273,764,304, and Class C: 276,063,445); shares issued (Class A: 159,217,348 and 167,726,170, Class B: 164,621,382 and 157,821,083, and Class C: 109,142,922 and 115,943,221, respectively); shares outstanding (Class A: 159,217,348 and 167,726,170, Class B: 164,621,382 and 157,821,083, respectively, and Class C: nil) 595 570 19.4
    Additional paid-in capital 12,729 12,975 442.4
    Accumulated other comprehensive income 1,828 478 16.3
    Retained earnings 13,801 15,059 513.5
    Total shareholders' equity 28,953 29,082 991.6
    * Derived from the audited financial statements

    Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statements of Income
    (in millions of Russian rubles and U.S. dollars, except share and per share data)
    Three months ended March 31,
    2011 2012 2012
    RUR RUR $
    Revenues 3,894 5,874 200.3
    Operating costs and expenses:

    Cost of revenues(1) 894 1,518 51.8
    Product development(1) 723 1,066 36.3
    Sales, general and administrative(1) 628 1,070 36.5
    Depreciation and amortization 377 661 22.5
    Total operating costs and expenses 2,622 4,315 147.1
    Income from operations 1,272 1,559 53.2
    Interest income 34 167 5.7
    Other expense, net (254) (124) (4.3)
    Net income before income taxes 1,052 1,602 54.6
    Provision for income taxes 232 344 11.7
    Net income 820 1,258 42.9

    Net income per Class A and Class B share:

    Basic 2.70 3.88 0.13
    Diluted 2.60 3.75 0.13

    Weighted average number of Class A and Class B shares outstanding

    Basic 303,815,518 324,444,817 324,444,817
    Diluted 315,230,574 335,035,919 335,035,919

    (1) These balances exclude depreciation and amortization expenses, which are presented separately, and include share-based compensation expenses of:

    Cost of revenues 6 6 0.2
    Product development 32 39 1.3
    Sales, general and administrative 32 36 1.2

    Unaudited Condensed Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
    (in millions of Russian rubles and U.S. dollars)
    Three months ended March 31,
    2011 2012 2012
    RUR RUR $

    Net income 820 1,258 42.9
    Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities:

    Depreciation and amortization of property and equipment 371 643 21.9
    Amortization of acquisition-related intangible assets 6 18 0.6
    Share-based compensation expense 70 81 2.8
    Deferred income taxes (126) (98) (3.3)
    Foreign exchange losses 254 114 3.9
    Other -- 13 0.5
    Changes in operating assets and liabilities excluding the effect of acquisitions:

    Accounts receivable, net (7) 86 2.9
    Funds receivable (41) 14 0.5
    Prepaid expenses and other assets (366) (205) (7.0)
    Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 111 10 0.3
    Deferred revenue (25) (85) (2.9)
    Funds payable and amounts due to customers 54 (22) (0.8)
    Net cash provided by operating activities 1,121 1,827 62.3


    Purchase of property and equipment (978) (767) (26.2)
    Investments in term deposits (1,229) (4,175) (142.3)
    Maturities of term deposits 1,022 2,863 97.6
    Net cash used in investing activities (1,185) (2,079) (70.9)


    Proceeds from exercise of share options -- 119 4.0
    Repurchase of share options (7) -- --
    Net cash (used in)/provided by financing activities (7) 119 4.0
    Effect of exchange rate changes on cash and cash equivalents (146) (379) (12.9)
    Net change in cash and cash equivalents (217) (512) (17.5)
    Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of period 3,371 6,322 215.6
    Cash and cash equivalents at end of period 3,154 5,810 198.1



    Reconciliation of Ex-TAC Revenues to US GAAP Revenues

    In RUR millions
    Three months
    ended March 31,
    2011 2012 Change
    Total revenues 3,894 5,874 51%
    Less: traffic acquisition costs (TAC) 537 992 85%
    Ex-TAC revenues 3,357 4,882 45%

    Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA to US GAAP Net Income

    In RUR millions
    Three months
    ended March 31,
    2011 2012 Change
    Net income 820 1,258 53%
    Add: depreciation and amortization 377 661 75%
    Add: share-based compensation (SBC) expense 70 81 16%
    Add: expense for acquisition-related contingent compensation -- 76 --
    Less: interest income (34) (167) 391%
    Add: other expense, net 254 124 -51%
    Add: provision for income taxes 232 344 48%
    Adjusted EBITDA 1,719 2,377 38%

    Reconciliation of Adjusted Net Income to US GAAP Net Income

    In RUR millions
    Three months
    ended March 31,
    2011 2012 Change
    Net income 820 1,258 53%
    Add: SBC expense 70 81 16%
    Less: reduction in income tax attributable to SBC expense -- (1) --
    Add: expense for acquisition-related contingent compensation -- 76 --
    Add: foreign exchange loss 254 114 -55%
    Less: reduction in income tax attributable to foreign exchange loss (51) (23) -55%
    Adjusted net income 1,093 1,505 38%

    Reconciliation of Adjusted EBITDA Margin and Adjusted Ex-TAC EBITDA Margin to US GAAP Net Income Margin for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2012
    In RUR millions


    Margin (1)

    Adjustment (2)


    Margin (3)
    Margin (4)
    Three months ended March 31, 2012 Net income 1,258 21.4% 1,119 2,377 40.5% 48.7%

    (1) Net income margin is defined as net income divided by total revenues.
    (2) Adjusted to eliminate depreciation and amortization expense, SBC expense, expense related to SPB Software contingent compensation, interest income, other (expense)/income, net, and provision for income taxes. For a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to net income, please see the table above.
    (3) Adjusted EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA divided by total revenues.
    (4) Adjusted ex-TAC EBITDA margin is defined as adjusted EBITDA divided by ex-TAC revenues. For a reconciliation of ex-TAC revenues to GAAP revenues, please see the table above.

    Reconciliation of Adjusted Net Income Margin and Adjusted Ex-TAC Net Income Margin to US GAAP Net Income Margin for the Three Months Ended March 31, 2012
    In RUR millions


    Margin (1)

    Adjustment (2)

    Net Income

    Net Income
    Margin (3)
    Net Income
    Margin (4)
    Three months ended March 31, 2012 Net income 1,258 21.4% 247 1,505 25.6% 30.8%

    (1) Net income margin is defined as net income divided by total revenues.
    (2) Adjusted to eliminate SBC expense (as adjusted for the income tax reduction attributable to SBC expense), expense related to SPB Software contingent compensation and foreign exchange losses (as adjusted for the reduction in income tax attributable to the loss). For a reconciliation of adjusted net income to net income, please see the table above.
    (3) Adjusted net income margin is defined as adjusted net income divided by total revenues.
    (4) Adjusted ex-TAC net income margin is defined as adjusted net income divided by ex-TAC revenues. For a reconciliation of ex-TAC revenues to US GAAP revenues, please see the table above.

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    From: zax5/1/2012 12:02:27 AM
       of 75
    Yandex Internet Search Share Falls, Google’s Gains: Liveinternet
    By Halia Pavliva - Apr 30, 2012 2:33 PM CT
      Yandex NV (YNDX), Russia’s most popular Internet search engine, saw its weekly share of the Internet search market fall for a second week, while Google Inc.’s (GOOG) share rose and Group Ltd.’s portion remained unchanged in the week to April 29, data compiled by show.

      Yandex’s share of the Russian online search market fell to 60 percent in the period through April 29, from 60.5 percent in the previous week, according to Liveinternet, an Internet-service provider and researcher. Yandex’s share averaged 60.2 percent over the past four weeks, the highest since the four-week period through Jan. 1, the data showed.

      Google Inc.’s share of Russian searches rose to 26.3 percent, the highest since the five days through Jan. 8, from 25.6 percent in the previous week, for a four-week average of 25.9 percent, unchanged from the previous week, according to Liveinternet.

      The market share of (MAIL) Group Ltd., the largest Russian-language Internet company, was unchanged at 8.7 percent, while the four-week average fell to 8.7 percent, the lowest since the four weeks through Jan. 29 and compared with 8.8 percent as of last week, the data showed.

      Yandex’s U.S.-traded shares fell 3.2 percent to $23.91 at 3:27 p.m. in New York, trimming this year’s gain to 21 percent. Yandex lost 21 percent in 2011 from its initial public offering, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Yandex fell 11 percent in April from March, its first monthly drop this year.

      Global depositary receipts of fell 0.6 percent to $43.25 in London, bringing this month’s gain to 9.6 percent. The stock rose in three months in four this year, gaining 66 percent this year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Yandex is trading at 28 times analysts’ earnings estimates, compared with 38 times for, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

      To contact the reporter on this story: Halia Pavliva in New York at

      To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at

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      From: zax5/1/2012 6:21:14 PM
         of 75
      Yandex Aims For 20% of Turkey’s Traffic

      Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine, is aiming for at least 20% of Turkey’s search traffic after the company expanded there last year, according to the company’s co-founder.

      Ilya Segalovich, CTO of Yandex, told The Wall Street Journal Europe that in most markets the dominant search player has 60% to 70% of the market, while the second player has around 20% to 30%. His first aim is to be the second player in the market.

      “The first stage of success will be to have 20-30 market share. If we can get to the end of the year 5% that would be great for us. So far we have less than 1%,” he said.

      According to company figures released in January, Yandex is attracting some 100,000 daily users. Turkey’s online audience is estimated to be 35,000,000 according to Internet World Stats.

      Mr. Segalovich said Yandex had chosen the country as their first non-Russian speaking venture for two reasons: it was being under-served by Google and it provided a good challenge.

      Getty Images Segalovich: Turkey is a huge opportunity
      “We liked Turkey first because they have great growth opportunities. It is a huge country with lots of potential users [and a] fast-growing Internet. We looked at the services provided by Google. Without competition the quality of the services is lower than it is with competition.”

      But, said Mr. Segalovich, there was simply the difficulty of the challenge itself. “Will we be able to go to the country where we don’t know the language? It is not going to the country where most of the employees speak Russian, like Bulgaria or Poland. Going to Turkey no one speaks Russian. We had to redesign all the internal procedures and the parts of the engine to be worked with people who don’t know Russian.”

      There was one interesting challenge they had to tackle regarding their version of Street View: the law required them to blur faces. “That is technologically a hard task to do. Google was doing that. It required a super-hard effort to have a face recognition on a huge scale. We spent three months making this,” Mr. Segalovich said.

      But there was a problem. “Unfortunately, we blurred Ataturk’s face. There is another law that prohibits this in Turkey.”

      Now, every time a complaint is raised about blurring of Ataturk’s face, the company goes in by hand and manually un-blurs the image. “We are very happy to do this. It is about being culturally sensitive,” Mr. Segalovich said.

      Mr. Segalovich wouldn’t say which countries the company was looking at next, but did hint that further expansion was highly likely. He suggested that it was more likely to be elsewhere in Europe, rather than in areas like the Middle East.

      In a wide ranging interview, Mr. Segalovich also said Russian e-commerce is set to take off thanks to Apple Inc.’s iPhone.

      “The iPhone appears and suddenly Russians start to pay for apps on the iPhone,” he said. “You can imagine how hard it was to get people to pay just 100 rubles ($3.40) over the Internet just a few years ago. They were just ‘why should I? Can I find it free?’ Now it is getting more like a habit after the iPhone.”

      Mr. Segalovich was a guest speaker at the recent TNW conference in Amsterdam and discussed how the Russian Internet is changing and the company’s recent expansion into Turkey.

      He admitted that even if people wanted to pay for things, the mechanisms to do so and the logistics to deliver goods have some way to go. Still, he was optimistic that change was happening quickly.

      “You can look at the share of tickets bought online in Russia. After people start to use plastic cards to pay for tickets they get used to paying for anything else. That part of the story is changing rapidly in front of our eyes. There are lots of good signs about that.”

      Yandex is Russia’s largest search engine and claims to be the most popular site in the Russian-speaking Internet. In May 2011, Yandex raised $1.3 billion in an initial public offering on the Nasdaq. It was the biggest U.S. IPO for a dotcom since Google Inc. went public in 2004.

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      From: Glenn Petersen5/24/2012 10:47:35 AM
      1 Recommendation   of 75
      Europe’s great exception

      Why local firms dominate the Russian internet

      The Economist
      May 19th 2012 | MOSCOW | from the print edition

      ON THE roof, where staff can smoke as well as work, is a big chess set. The names of meeting rooms are in the Cyrillic alphabet. Two sides of the courtyard are a building site of five hollow storeys. You could say that the headquarters of Yandex, Russia’s biggest online-search company, symbolises the country’s whole internet economy: a bit smaller than expected, but growing fast, and unmistakably Russian.

      Last year the number of Russians online went up by 14%, to 53m. That made Russia’s online population Europe’s biggest, just ahead of Germany’s, with lots of room left to grow (see chart). GP Bullhound, an investment bank, reckons that only 18% of those people shop online and that online advertising, though rising fast, takes up only 9% of Russian ad budgets. Yandex’s revenues, most of which come from ads, reflect this pretty faithfully. In the first quarter they were 5.9 billion roubles ($200m), 51% more than a year before. Its profits rose at a similar rate.

      Russian companies dominate the market. Yandex gets about 60% of online searches, estimates LiveInternet, a research firm. Google attracts about a quarter, though its share has been growing. is by far the biggest portal, e-mail service and online-games platform. It also owns Odnoklassniki, the second-biggest social network, and 40% of VKontakte, the biggest. Facebook lies fourth. Ozon, which sells goods and travel, calls itself both Russia’s Amazon and its Expedia.

      The Russian internet market looks more like China’s than either resembles anything in the West. Baidu dominates Chinese search. Tencent plays a similar role to, of which it owns 7.8%. When the Chinese buy online they turn to Dangdang, 360buy or one of Alibaba’s online marketplaces rather than Amazon or eBay. They tap out a cacophony of short posts on Sina Weibo, not Twitter. And so on.

      In important ways, Russia is different. It has no equivalent of China’s wildly popular online-video sites (which Chinese people love because censored TV is so dull). It has no Great Firewall. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are not banned. Foreigners have been much freer to enter Russia, but have struggled all the same. “Closed borders in China let local services develop without competition from the West,” says Dmitry Grishin,’s boss. “That let them succeed in the short term, but will make them weaker in the long term.”

      Fritz Demopoulos, an American who co-founded Qunar, a Chinese travel site sold to Baidu last year, and has invested in Ostrovok, a Russian online travel business, says that success in markets with local champions demands local knowledge, technology, access to capital, good management and scale. Except in scale, he says, it is not clear that foreigners enjoy an edge in any of these areas. Since the financial crisis, many people have started to doubt whether “foreign management know-how is all that relevant,” he says.

      Russian firms plainly have a head start in Mr Demopoulos’s first area, local knowledge. One reason is language: according to Ilya Segalovich, Yandex’s chief technology officer, Google “totally ignored language understanding” at first, though “they’ve now got quite efficient.” Geography is another. Yandex is especially proud of its maps and traffic data. A mobile-phone app allows Muscovites to order a taxi and then track its progress (or lack of it) through their city’s horrible jams.

      But Russia’s online idiosyncrasies, like China’s, go well beyond the script and the map. Because people still expect to be able to buy from a human being, or at least complain to one, Ostrovok, Ozon and others run call centres, publishing the numbers on their home pages. Serge Faguet, one of Ostrovok’s founders, says that his company learned by watching Ctrip, a Chinese online travel company, whose customers make half of their bookings by phone.

      Russians like to pay in cash. Sometimes they do this at automatic kiosks made by QIWI, another Russian firm. Mr Faguet says a “meaningful proportion” of Ostrovok’s sales are paid for at these “ATMs in reverse”. Russians also like to be sure that their goods will turn up—and that they like them—before handing over their money. Sometimes they order from several suppliers and buy from the one that gets there first. Four-fifths of stuff bought from Ozon is paid for in cash on delivery. Chinese online shoppers also like to pay this way.

      Like its bigger Chinese cousins, Ozon has to make sure that its goods arrive on time, despite being sent across an enormous country where courier services are patchy and the post is not always to be trusted. So, like them (and others: see article), it has set up its own logistics operation to deliver goods to the customer’s door, in Moscow and St Petersburg, or to one of 2,000 pick-up points. (About 10% of orders go by mail.) In a business with huge economies of scale, it makes sense to deliver for third parties too. About 70 have signed up.

      As for technology, Russia, like China, can draw from a deep well of mathematical and scientific talent. In the late 1990s, recalls Alexander Turkot, the head of the information-technology division of Skolkovo, a government-owned centre for technology companies, “at least every second engineer wanted to leave”. Standards in universities drooped too. Now the outlook is brighter, graduates’ salaries are good and people are coming back. Three of Ostrovok’s engineers moved to Moscow from abroad. (Mr Faguet and his co-founder, Kirill Makharinsky, are returnees, having left Russia as children.) Still, says Mr Turkot, it is not always easy to explain to young people that they do not have to be in oil, gas or finance to make money.

      As in many countries, in Russia financial and other support is easier to find, the bigger you are. Foreign investors have been keener on the place than foreign operators. Yandex raised $1.3 billion when it was floated on America’s NASDAQ stockmarket a year ago; raised more than $900m in London in November 2010. (Yandex’s share price has since gone down a bit;’s shares are up.) Western venture capitalists have bought stakes in the most promising e-commerce companies, including Ostrovok and Ozon. But local angel investors, who put money into the youngest companies, are far rarer than in America, western Europe or China.

      Some support is being built for the saplings. At Digital October, in an old chocolate factory on the bank of the Moscow river, young entrepreneurs can attend seminars find a meeting room or simply socialise. And at Skolkovo, the state is trying both to support young Russian firms and to attract big multinationals. Companies may apply to be “residents” of Skolkovo—although the site, outside Moscow, is still being built, so residency is mainly “virtual” for now. Residents are eligible for tax breaks, advice and grants. The government takes no equity, but Mr Turkot hopes that “market money” will follow his “stupid money”.

      The bear abroad

      Having dominated at home, can Russian internet companies do as well abroad? As investors, some already have, notably in social media. Both and DST Global, an investment firm to which it used to be closely tied, have stakes in Facebook, which is due to float on May 18th. Selling some shares will give them cash to invest elsewhere. Both also have slices of Groupon, a daily-deals site, and Zynga, a social-games company, which made their stockmarket debuts last year.

      The big firms, at least, have ambitions as operators too. Yandex made a foray into Turkey last September. Its market share is only about 1%: Google (who else?) rules. Mr Segalovich says it is too soon to tell how things are going. He will take stock at the end of the year. sees games, which it produces in foreign languages already, as a bridge to Germany and elsewhere.

      At Skolkovo, Mr Turkot says that he is looking for export potential in the young companies he will take under his wing. He also says he wants no “copycats”, of which there are plenty in the internet world. A search for new export champions is understandable in an economy that relies heavily on natural resources. And the internet is full of ideas that burst across borders. But the market does not always go where officials would like it to, especially in the free-spirited internet. And there will be plenty of demand to meet at home.

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      From: zax6/26/2012 1:36:42 AM
         of 75
      Yandex Search Share Rises as Google’s Falls, Liveinternet Says
      By Halia Pavliva - Jun 25, 2012 3:34 PM CT

      Yandex NV (YNDX)’s share of Russia’s Internet searches climbed in the week to June 24, while the portion for competitor Google Inc. fell, according to

      The share for Yandex, the owner of Russia’s most-used search engine, rose to 60.6 percent from 60.2 percent in the previous week, Liveinternet, an Internet service provider and researcher, said on its website today. Yandex’s share averaged 60.5 percent over the past four weeks and has stayed at above 60 percent since the four weeks to April 22, according to

      Russian searches for Google, the world’s largest Web-search provider, fell to 26.3 percent from 26.8 percent in the previous week, for a four-week average of 26.4 percent, the data show.

      The share of Group Ltd. (MAIL), the largest Russian-language Internet company, rose to 8.2 percent from 8.1 percent. The four-week average was at 8.1 percent, unchanged from last week and at the lowest since the period through Jan. 16, the data showed.

      To contact the reporter on this story: Halia Pavliva in New York at

      To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tal Barak Harif at

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      From: zax6/27/2012 7:58:09 AM
         of 75
      Yandex expands global search index from 4 billion to ‘tens of billions’ of pages
      27th June 2012 by Robin Wauters

      Russian search engine company Yandex has significantly boosted its global search index from 4 billion pages indexed to ‘tens of billions’ of pages, according to a spokesperson.

      Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh announced the expansion of its search index, which has happened gradually since its launch in May 2010 and not suddenly, during the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.

      Some publications reported that the boost would help Yandex rivals Google and Microsoft Bing in foreign markets, but that isn’t what this is about at all.

      Yandex continues to target Russian speakers and users in Turkey but is simply adding more (and only popular) foreign websites to the index to grow the offering.

      That said, there’s no denying that the expansion of its index puts Yandex on near-equal footing to the major international search engines.

      Yandex’s share of Internet searches in Russia is roughly 60 percent, according to data, with Google trailing at roughly 27 percent.

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      From: zax7/5/2012 3:48:56 PM
         of 75
      Yandex Climbs to Five-Week High on Bank of America’s Buy Rating

      By Halia Pavliva - Jul 5, 2012 11:33 AM CT

      (YNDX), Russia’s most-used Internet search engine, jumped to the highest level in five weeks in New York after Bank of America Corp. recommended investors buy the stock.

      The Hague, Netherlands-based company that is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, climbed 3.4 percent to $19.91 by 12:07 p.m. in New York, heading to the highest level since May 31.

      Bank of America revised its earlier neutral recommendation on Yandex stock, according to an e-mailed report today.

      “We expect strong second-quarter 2012 numbers from Yandex at the end of July -- giving investors some comfort on margins and top-line growth,” Mariya Kahn, an analyst at Bank of America in Singapore, wrote in the report.

      To contact the reporter on this story: Halia Pavliva in New York at

      To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tal Barak Harif at

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      From: Glenn Petersen10/1/2012 9:19:14 AM
      1 Recommendation   of 75
      Yandex Gives Google A One-Two Punch In Russia: A New Browser And App Store For The Local Search Giant

      Ingrid Lunde
      October 1, 2012

      today is doubling down in its ongoing battle to make sure that Google doesn’t eat away its market share in Russia, with the launch of two products that aim directly at some of Google’s strongest touchpoints with consumers (and the wider ecosystem of developers). Yandex today is launching its own internet browser, and it is also launching its first app store — with the former targeting desktop users and the latter a move to extend its position in the mobile market.

      The company says that both are being rolled out first in Russia, with the intention to then take them to other markets where Yandex operates, such as Turkey and other CIS republics — and then take them worldwide. “We see Google pushing into the Russian market and we have to answer symmetrically,” a Yandex insider told me. “We launched our own browser that is available in Russia now, but it will also be a product for the rest of CIS, Turkey and the World soon.”

      The move to offer more products beyond search is an essential move for Yandex, not only to remain competitive against companies in its home market like Google and — which last week launched its Amigo “social browser” — but to also continue building out its business. Although Yandex currently has just over 60% of all searches in Russia, that share has declined over the years and so it will need to look at other avenues, and other geographies, to bolster its business.

      The product announcements follow news from two weeks ago, in which Yandex was revealed to be the mapping partner for Apple in Russia — providing listings info and other data at a time when Apple has been scrambling in other markets to provide a comprehensive and reliable Maps app to rival the experience that users had when Apple had been partnered with Google for its native mapping app.

      Yandex for now is still dominant enough in search that even on Google’s Chrome in Russia, it dominates searches, according to statistics from Live Internet. That’s saying quite a bit, considering that Google is the default search in Chrome and changing that requires more than just a click. It is also the top search engine for those using the Firefox browser in Russia.

      The internet browser being launched today is only for desktop users, although it seems like it will only be a matter of time before Yandex brings it to mobile devices as well. Yandex is already offering users a suite of products online beyond search — not just maps, but also a cloud storage solution (Yandex.Drive), music streaming services (Yandex.Music), and email, and much of this has also been built for multiscreen (desktop/mobile/tablet) use.

      As it is with Google, Yandex’s intention is to sell search and display advertising against all of this.

      Just as you get in Chrome, the search and browsing window is merged — but where it differs from Chrome is that users can easily change their search providers (going even to Google if they want). The reason, perhaps, that Yandex is less tied to people sticking with its search engine is because it has integrated so many other Yandex services in with the browser: they include current traffic or weather conditions, in real time, directly in the browser interface. (See screenshot below.)

      And in a concession to its core audience of users who speak primarily Russian and other languages that are not English, the browser uses machine-learning technology to help intuit results for users that are relevant even if the user cannot search in the languages needed to find those results in the first place. Yandex is also using Kaspersky technology to screen and warn users of malicious websites.

      “Cloud-based browsing is a next-generation answer to the challenges of the modern internet,” said Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex, in a statement. “To make the internet experience faster, easier and safer for everyone, we have built a cloud-based browser that integrates the best of our products and services and is open to other web developers.”

      The web browser is built on WebKit, and the user interface is based on Chromium — meaning that developers can easily build apps and extensions to work with the browser as well.

      The developer push is also being highlighted through Yandex’s mobile app store announcement too.

      This Android-focused store, which is launching in the next couple of weeks, is another move by Yandex to further its reach on mobile devices. TechCrunch understands that it will be launching with a number of applications out of the box from Yandex itself (Search, Mail, Disk, and some different geolocation apps), as well as those developed by third parties — 40,000 at all from launch. Yandex is able to do this because it’s developing it with Opera Mobile, which has its own app storefront and is also working with third-parties on white-label services.

      As with Amazon’s app store, Yandex’s effort appears to be aimed squarely at those handset makers that are working with forked versions of Android, and therefore cannot offer Google’s Play storefront. As with China, Russia is shaping up to be a strong market for these companies, and Yandex tells me that there are at least three handset makers — Pocketbook, texet and 3Q — that will be shipping devices preloaded with Yandex’s app store.

      Similar to other app storefronts, Yandex is splitting revenues 70/30.

      And interestingly, Yandex says that it is also taking its app store white-label to carriers, with MegaFon preparing now to launch its own Yandex-powered app store.

      Although Yandex has stopped short of looking at a mobile operating system of its own, these moves to put it ever closer to that happening, too. A Yandex spokesperson declined to comment on that question.

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