The taxi division of Yandex and the Russian branch of taxi company Uber are planning to merge. Both companies have announced that. The new company will be called NewCo and is estimated to hold between 5 and 6 percent of the Russian taxi market when it is founded.
The new company may offer the services under both brand names. The deal applies not only in Russia, but also in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Georgia. Yandex will acquire a majority stake in the new company, the announcement said. In addition, the director of the new company is the current CEO of Yandex.taxi.
It is Uber’s second deal in a year to no longer operate independently in a country. It left China last year after a deal with a local competitor. The merger has not yet been completed: relevant regulators have yet to approve the deal. That should happen before the end of the year.
NewCo would be worth $3.75 billion at inception. Yandex is investing $100 million, Uber is pumping $225 million into the new company. Yandex is the parent of the two partners. Yandex.taxi has a turnover that is twice as high in the Russian market and also has important map material for the new taxi company.
Yandex has been one of Russia’s best-known Internet companies for many years. It offers many services, including a search engine, mail software, a marketplace, a payment service and music downloads.