As eCommerce sales in Russia gather pace, internet firm Mail.ru and Sberbank plan to invest up to $1 billion or 64 billion rubles in a new taxi services and food delivery joint platform. The joint venture is said to compete with Uber and Yandex.Taxi, Reuters reported.
Mail.ru Group CEO Boris Dobrodeev said, according to the outlet, “This is a key step in building a business that will have a significant impact on Russia’s digital economy.” The move is said to speed up Citymobil taxi’s regional expansion and grow Delivery Club’s geographic reach. Shares in Sberbank increased 0.04 percent and Mail.Ru was up 0.2 percent after the announcement.
The partners will hold an equal stake and may think about listing the joint venture in the years to come. Mail.ru Group is said to contribute its 22.69 percent Citymobil stake, 100 percent Delivery Club stake and 7.7 billion rubles. Sberbank will contribute almost 38 billion rubles and its 35 percent Foodplex stake. And, depending on the performance of the joint venture, Sberbank and Mail.ru, may additionally invest up to 13 billion rubles and 5.1 billion rubles respectively.
In separate news, Mail.ru, Alibaba and mobile company MegaFon had announced a joint partnership for a new venture dubbed AliExpress Russia JV per reports in June. The new operation will cater to Russia as well as the surrounding countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). It’s estimated to be worth approximately $2 billion.
Alibaba Group CEO Daniel Zhang said per reports, “This partnership will enable the AliExpress Russia JV to accelerate the development of the digital consumer economy of Russia and CIS countries in ways that no one party could accomplish alone.” Zhang continued, “Together, we are uniquely positioned to offer consumers in Russia and neighboring countries an innovative shopping experience by combining social platforms with commerce, as well as enabling regional brands and [small businesses (SMBs)] to sell their products locally and globally.”