Russia's Yandex is Moving in on Gett's Home Turf
The decision to start operations in Israel is part of the company’s global taxi expansion plans. In 2017, Yandex announced a merger between its taxi booking service and Uber’s Russian operations
For daily updates, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.According to the job posted, the company intends to launch a full-scale operation in Israel and is also looking for sales and marketing personnel. The ad also brings up the possibility of Yandex making local acquisitions in the domain. In 2014, Yandex acquired Israel-based KitLocate, a startup developing smart geo-location technology, and turned it into a research and development center, but has since shut it down.
In 2017, Yandex.Taxi and then-rival Uber announced a merger of their businesses in Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, and Georgia. Uber launched in Russia in 2014 and the competition led to a local price war. 59% of the joint business is owned by Yandex, while Uber controls 37%. In late 2017, following the merger, the business was valued at $3.7 billion, according to BBC News and Bloomberg.
Israel currently has around 21,000 taxis in operation. According to estimates by the Israeli Ministry of Transportation, around 72 million special taxi rides were made in Israel in 2017, at an average price of NIS 69, meaning the local taxi market turnover was around NIS 5 billion ($1.38 billion) in 2017.
This article has been changed to reflect the correct adjusted EBITDA Yandex reported for 2017 in dollars.