Russian search engine Yandex goes to Times Square, where $2 billion waits

Russian search engine Yandex goes to Times Square, where $2 billion waits

About a month ago we reported that the Russian search engines were on their way to enter the regions of world’s largest search engines, comfortably next to Google. The CEO of visual search engine Quintura Yakov Sadchikov keeps us up to date by emailing the latest on Europe’s third search market. Well, today is one special day for the Russian search engines: leading party Yandex is preparing for an IPO on Nasdaq this autumn and plans to raise $1.5 billion to $2 billion.

A few days ago, Yakov told us that studies from comScore learned Yandex was ranked third in Europe ahead of both Yahoo and Microsoft with 528 million or 2.2 percent of European searches in March 2008. In the same report, comScore said Eastern European search properties “will likely to gain traction and grow market shares”. So today, a news report about Yandex’ IPO from Reuters confirmed comScore’s prediction.

The expectations of raising up to $2 billion are based on a previous valuation of Yandex, which pinpointed the value of the engine on a staggering $5 billion. Erick Schonfeld from TechCrunch reported that – when taking the ranking of Yandex in account – its revenues are not that large: “in 2007 it reported only $167 million in revenues, which was a 130 percent increase from 2006”. It’s probably the promising character of the Russian tech market that drives the high valuations.

Yandex’ march to Times Square is not the only IPO news from Russia today. The largest Russian free web mail provider and portal Mail.ru heads to London for an IPO that would value the company at $2 billion, reported business daily Kommersant today.

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