Uber announced today that they’d be taking a step up in the world by buying up a bunch of Russia’s Google – Yandex. If you’ll take a look at Yandex on the web, it’ll become clear rather quickly what they’re in a position to do. They’ve got all the bases covered – or nearly all the bases covered – for a Russia-based do-everything company of which Uber now owns a significant portion.
1. Entry into Russia
Three and a half years ago, Uber launched their driving services in Moscow. Their service now operates in a total of 16 major cities in Russia. Both here and in an additional several countries will be home to a new joint company owned by both Yandex and Uber.
This deal will include UberEATS as well. Uber will operate this food delivery service in all of the six countries in which the new company will exist. In all, this new company will operate in 127 cities.
2. The Cash
Uber will invest a total of $225 million into this new business and will own 36.6 percent of the company. At the same time, Yandex will contribute $100 million, and will own 59.3 percent of the company. Employees will own 4.1 percent of the company on a fully diluted basis.
3. The Brand Names
Both Uber and Yandex have separate brands and ride-sharing services in Russia. After this deal closes, they’ll only have one. According to the release from Uber and Yandex, “For the foreseeable future, the Uber and Yandex brands and rider apps will continue to operate, while the driver apps will be integrated after the transaction closes.”
This deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. At that time, there’ll be a big change for drivers, and not so big a change for riders.
4. Global Search War
This has interesting implications for the ongoing battle between Google and Yandex as well as Google and Uber. Back in October of 2015 Russia gave Google and ultimatum to unbundle its apps. In 2017, Google agreed with Russia to allow 3rd-party apps to be installed at system-level on Android-toting smartphones – so says Google.
The battle between Google and Uber is a bit more complicated but has little to do with Russia directly.