Russia's Yandex courting foreign investors in the US

There has been a renewed interest in RuNet developments this month after the successful trip by Russian mega-portal Yandex to Silicon Valley. The Moscow-based company met with several potential strategic partners including “leading search firms”. An announcement is expected by the end of this year.

The Russian company’s visit to Silicon Valley comes at a time of heightened interest in Russian technology companies — which rarely go public. Among the exceptions are two media and technology companies, Rambler Media Ltd. and RBC Information Systems. Rambler, Yandex’s closest competitor in Russia, went public on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in June this year. RBC Information Systems went public on two domestic markets — RTS and Micex – in 2002.

While most U.S. interest in non-domestic Internet companies today centers on Chinese firms, “It appears that the market is starting to look beyond China as you see companies like Rambler get listed,” said an equity research analyst who covers Internet companies but asked not to be named.

Yandex is “profitable and growing, in a market that’s growing,” the analyst said. “The perception is that Yandex is one of the market leaders. It looks like they have a pretty good strength and presence.”

Source: Moscow Times (subscription only) | Wall Street Journal

Nick Wilsdon

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