Dubbed the Google of Russia, Yandex has recently tried to expand its core search business into other fields in a way similar to what Google has done outside of Russia. After acquiring a low-powered geo-mobile startup called KitLocate last March, and expanding its PayPal-like payment software Yandex.money to fellow CIS countries, Yandex announced on Feb. 5 that it will now offer its own parking app similar to Google-owned Waze in urban Moscow for iOS and Android users, according to TechCrunch.
Yandex.parking is designed to help drivers locate a parking space within Moscow, as well as helping consumers pay for the parking space down to the exact time that they were parked. The parking locator, and recognition that the car is no longer parked in the specific space, utilizes the geo-mobile targeting software of KitLocate as well as available data accessed from the Moscow Parking Space Administration every 10-15 minutes. Payments are made using either bank cards, mobile payments, city parking accounts, or Yandex.money, which according to the company has 20 million e-wallets in its arsenal with 12,000 new ones being registered each day. Directions to the parking space can also be generated by Google Maps-like service Yandex.navigator.
Yandex.parking is just the latest mobile payment app that the company has released to the public. In 2013, two years after the app’s initial launch, Yandex.taxi, which is used to hail cabs, added a mobile payments feature into its Android app to allow customers to pay taxi fares right from their phone. Yandex.money, meanwhile, has tried to grow its brand since its deal with European mobile wallet company Skrill to integrate into that company’s 140,000 merchants and online retailers, opening up European e-commerce retailers to Russian and CIS consumers. Yandex also purchased film database KinoPiosk, dubbed “Russia’s IMBd,” giving it access to film searches and recommendations for users.