We have been speculating over Yandex's potential IPO ever since Mail.ru filed for theirs last autumn. Those predictions seem to be coming true: Yandex plans $1 billion IPO on NASDAQ June-July this year, reports Vedomosti
(tipped by Quintura
). The company has already hired Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank to manage the process. No other details were revealed about the news. Yandex controls 65% of all search engine traffic in Runet and this January the company reported
a 43% increase in their revenue. That puts Yandex's annual revenue for 2010 at $410M (88% came from contextual advertising). Yandex planned to file for an IPO already in 2008 but changed their mind due to the financial downturn. Now the timing seems just right: last six months have been sweeping the public with news of large investments in Internet companies and Mail.ru's 'blockbuster' IPO.
Founded in 1997, Yandex is one of the few search engines that truly rivals Google in Russian-language internet market. According to Quintura
, apart from having more than half of the market share in Russia, Yandex has 27% in Ukraine and 24% in Kazahstan. Site's monthly audience is close to 54M users and their mobile portal is the most visited in Russia with 8.5M unique monthly users.
Last week Yandex was also named
number 26 of the top 50 most innovative companies in the world by American Fast Company magazine (above IBM, Microsoft, CISCO and Samsung). The reason given by the jury was the company's consistent growth and market share: “One of the few search engines to fend off Google, Yandex holds a 65% share of Russian search. It ousted Google as Firefox’s default search engine in Russia and launched an English-language service last May, winning praise for its results’ neatness.”