'RUSSIAN GOOGLE' BUYS SOFTWARE FIRM TO BOOST MOBILE OFFERINGS
By Gordon Platt
Yandex, the leading Internet search engine in Russia, with a 63% market share, purchased SPB Software last November to increase its mobile services.
Yandex has also teamed up with Microsoft, Nokia, HTC and Samsung to become the default search engine on the latest Windows smartphones in Russia.
"Mobile is a vital part of our growth strategy," says Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex. "We continue to see robust growth and usage patterns in our markets, and we expect that our investments will position the company for sustained growth and profitability going forward."
The company's net income rose 93% in the third quarter of 2011, from the same period a year earlier, to $54 million. Revenue of $162 million in the third quarter of 2011 was up 65% from the third quarter of 2010.
Yandex launched services in Turkey last year and also operates in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus. It recently announced a partnership with Seznam.cz, the largest Internet search provider in the Czech Republic, to offer a video search engine based on the Czech language. In December, Yandex announced the integration of its music service with Facebook.
In its IPO on Nasdaq on May 24, 2011, Yandex raised more than $1.3 billion—the biggest Internet IPO since Google's 2004 $1.7 billion deal. Priced at $25 a share, Yandex rose 55% in its first day of trading to $38.84. By the end of 2011, when many emerging markets stocks, and Russian ones in particular, were battered by prospects of slower global economic growth and political uncertainties, Yandex was trading down at around half of its first-day high.