Custom Search



Posts Tagged ‘Mail.ru’

Yandex IPO could pull in $1.5 billion

Russia’s largest search engine, Yandex.ru, is predicted to raise about $1.5 billion if they follow through with an IPO this year in London. The move would come on the heels of a successful IPO for Mail.ru Group Ltd. (LON:MAIL), Russia’s largest free email provider. Still, I expect Yandex to generate even bigger waves in the media than Mail.ru. Investors love search engines, and Yandex has proven it can compete with heavyweight Google, Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG).

“While Google remains the undisputed leader in most major markets, there are some notable exceptions,” iSuppli tells CNET. “These include South Korea, Russia and, most importantly, China. In these markets, the dominant search engines belong to local operators, i.e., NHN, Yandex, and Baidu.”

Google’s the most visited Web site in the world and in the U.S., based on data from Alexa.com. Still, it can’t quite overtake Yandex in Russia. There, Google’s in fourth place behind Yandex.ru, Mail.ru and social networking site Vkontakte.ru, and according to stats from LiveInternet, Yandex’s share of the search market grew by 5.2% to 64.1% just in December 2010.

Yandex hasn’t released numbers on its profitability (or lack thereof), but the company did announce that its 2010 revenue increased 43 percent year over year to 12.5 billion rubles (roughly $420 million). Interestingly, the company has also expanded its reach beyond search in ways that Google hasn’t. It’s got Yandex Maps, of course, but it also operates an e-payments system in Yandex Money, a traffic app and Yandex Photos.

“Russian technology is just as good, if not better than a lot of similar US companies,” Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh tells Emma Barnett of The Telegraph. “Yandex has been able to keep ahead of Google because of the quality of its search and other key services. People will only leave a service if the quality starts dropping. In Russia, we have strong technological capabilities which shouldn’t be undermined.”

The biggest threat to Yandex’s future, though, might not come from Google. It might be the Russian government itself. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called for the creation of a national search engine in Russia; one that is owned and operated by Russians (unlike Yandex, which is owned by Netherlands-based Yandex N.V.).

Russian media have speculated that the government there has dumped more than $100 million into the creation of a national search engine. Oppositionists believe the national search engine would be used to censor content on the Internet in Russia.

Related

BE MY FRIEND?


China’s Facebook: RenRen.com?


GOT ALIBABA?


How to invest in the Alibaba Group IPO before the IPO


KISS OFF


DangDang founder labels Morgan Stanley ‘motherf**kers’


HOUSING COLLAPSE


President Obama not immune from housing woes


IPO CALENDAR


The unofficial tech IPO calendar for 2011

DEMAND MEDIA


Demand Media: Dead on arrival?

How to invest in Digitial Sky Technologies and Mail.ru

I’ve long been intrigued by the chance to invest in the Russian tech sector’s heavyweights: Digital Sky Technologies and Mail.ru. Digital Sky Technologies seems to have a knack for investing in major U.S. tech companies long before American investment banks have the guts to do so.

They were in early on Facebook (when Facebook had a $10 billion valuation), and they’re currently holding stakes in Facebook game and app-maker Zynga, Inc. as well as deal-of-the-day coupon company Groupon, Inc. All told, they’ve got a 10 percent stake in Facebook, and their partnership with Mail.ru entitles Mail.ru to a 2.4 percent stake in Facebook.

On top of its great investment portfolio, Mail.ru runs the largest free email service in Russia, two of the three largest social networking sites in the country, and it claims to be the largest social gaming company in Russia as well. The simplest way to invest in Mail.ru (and get a piece of the privately-held Digital Sky Technologies in the process) is to directly buy shares in Mail.ru.

In November of 2010, shares in Mail.ru started trading on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker MAIL. The stock’s up 30 percent since trading started two months ago.

Don’t have access to London-based shares? You could also consider an investment in the South African media giant Naspers Limited (ADR) (PINK:NPSNY). Naspers announced last summer that it had taken a “substantial stake” in Digital Sky Technologies according to Maija Palmer at FT.com.

Shares in Naspers have risen 44 percent over the past year. As an added bonus, Naspers also has a 35 percent stake in Tencent Holdings Limited (SEHK:700) – a company that’s often cited as China’s most profitable Internet company.

Related









Killer Articles

Top 10 best gold and silver ETF funds

Here’s a look at the Top 10 best gold and silver ETFs that trade on major U.S. exchanges. We’ve ranked them by volume, as some of the niche ETFs in the precious metals market are so... Read on.

3 reasons NOT to invest in Groupon’s IPO

An IPO date hasn’t been set, but here are three big warning signs you might want to consider before investing in Groupon’s stock... Read on.

From start-up to titan: The unofficial tech IPO calendar for 2012

From Facebook to Twitter to Groupon, the planned tech IPOs in 2012 could be among the most exciting string of new public companies... Read on.

How to invest in water stocks

Often overlooked as a commodity, water supplies could become increasingly critical as emerging economies around the world improve their diets and demand more agricultural resources for the production of meat... Read on.

World’s largest economies in 2050 will look very different

India’s rapid ascent to economic supremacy will be driven by a surging working age population, which will grow more than 40 percent between now and 2050... Read on.

How to invest in cotton stocks

If you’d like exposure to cotton markets without delving into futures and options contracts, a handful of cotton ETNs and cotton-related stocks are available... Read on.

How to buy Chinese Yuan

The Chinese yuan or renminbi has risen about 5 percent a year over the past five years, and some investors argue that China’s currency is still undervalued by 40 percent. If the dollar suffers ... Read on.

Five cheap franchises to start with less than $10,000

Franchises are so ubiquitous we often don’t realize we’re shopping at one. From McDonald’s to Hampton Inns and doggie day cares to campgrounds, they’re literally everywhere. All told, franchises account for 10.5 percent of all businesses in the U.S, and they... Read on.

Why invest in silver?

Ask 10 people why you should invest in gold and silver, and you’ll probably get 10 different answers – many of which will be accompanied by a shrug. Most investors don’t understand the motivation for holding gold or silver bullion. Nonetheless, it’s been difficult to ignore... Read on.

How to Invest in Copper

Copper isn’t as glitzy or glamorous as gold or silver, but in many ways it feels safer. Since copper is regularly used in electronics, it’s consumption per person (particularly in the developed world) has been on the rise for decades. So how does one invest in copper? Read on.