Cooliris partners with Yandex to launch a localized version of its photo-sharing app in Russia

Cooliris partners with Yandex to launch a localized version of its photo-sharing app in Russia

Cooliris is continuing to push its photo-sharing app into major international markets after it launched a localized version in Russia in partnership with local Internet juggernaut Yandex.

The alliance is similar to the one that Cooliris struck with Chinese social network Renren last month. Users in the European country will be able to navigate the app using an entirely Russian language menu, while the app now has support for photos and multimedia from Yandex.Fotki, its Picasa-like service which has more than 10 million monthly active users.

The Cooliris app — which aggregates multimedia from across a range of social networks — underwent an extensive overhaul last November and has support for Google Drive, Instagram, Picasa/Google+, Flickr and more. The hallmark of the app is its impressive 3D wall feature which displays the multimedia content, but it also includes sharing to private groups, the creation of photos albums from multiple users’ images and more.


Russia is already a major market for Cooliris, CEO and founder Soujanya Bhumkar tells TNW, since the country is among its top 5 based on downloads, while Moscow is among its five most active cities worldwide. Bhumkar says that the partnership with Yandex will initially cover Fotki but he expects it to expand to more services in the near future, such as its cloud storage service Yandex.Disk.

“We’re starting with Fotki since it is nicely aligned. The [Yandex] service is lacking a beautiful app for tablets and phones and that’s what we can provide. But there is the potential to add more channels and destinations to our support,” he says.

The company is expecting that its tie-in with Yandex will yield impressive results along the lines of what it has seen in China. After just a month of support for Renren, commonly referred to as China’s version of Facebook, Cooliris has seen a 60x increase in the number of sessions and a 30x increase in downloads from the country. China has jumped from Cooliris’ 15th largest market to its second, behind only the US on total downloads numbers.

Unlike Flipboard and other content firms that see China as having the immediate potential to become their largest markets, Bhumkar says that the US is “significantly ahead” on download numbers right now. However, with services like Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo not yet integrated and the app as yet unavailable on Android, it is likely to only get stronger in China.

Bhumkar says that the Silicon Valley-based firm — which has a staff of 14 spread out across the US, Europe and Asia — is leveraging international partnerships to gain greater access to key markets. He says that more deals are in the pipeline for other countries, and the firm is also looking to broaden its reach in existing markets — like China and Russia — where it is working to integrate more services and partner with more social sites.

In an era where Facebook is the indisputable king of social networks with more than 1 billion monthly users, services like Cooliris are gaining popularity among those that seek a more private, engaging conversation around their digital content.

To date the Cooliris app has been downloaded more than 2.5 million times and has seen 350 million photos views from the service.

The company has received over $28 million in funding since its launch nearly seven years ago with principal investors being Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures, The Westly Group, T-Venture, DOCOMO Capital, and others.

Image via Carsten Medom Madsen / Shutterstock

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