Yandex outpaces Uber in $1bn Russian taxi market, triples revenues in Q2

© Ramil Sitdikov
Russia's most popular search engine has not only beaten Google on its home turf, but has now left Uber in the dust in the Russian taxi market.

The company has announced that its online-taxi services’ revenue has tripled in the second quarter of 2015.

The Yandex.Taxi fleet has more than 15,000 vehicles in Moscow compared to 10,000 for its Israeli competitor Gett and America’s Uber with 3,000.

“Online services have made competition in the taxi market more transparent, leading to lower prices and sharp growth in the number of rides per person. For a third consecutive quarter, our taxi revenue is growing faster than we could’ve expected,” said Tigran Khudaverdyan, head of Yandex’s taxi unit, in an interview with Bloomberg.

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In the fierce rivalry of the Moscow taxi market, Yandex seems to have knocked the checkers off San Francisco-based Uber. While the US company was offering Russian clients free ice-cream and movie tickets, Yandex responded by buying two Teslas and offering random people rides in the electric cars, which are unlikely to be found elsewhere on Russian streets.

Further expansion of the taxi service would help the Russian search engine diversify from search-related advertising, which still accounts for 93 percent of its revenue.

Yandex is considering expansion of its business to former Soviet countries and Turkey, where its search engine is also represented.

In Turkey, where Yandex has about 5 percent market share, the company has invested in BiTaksi, the country’s largest online taxi service. In another attempt to conquer the Turkish market, Yandex became a title sponsor of Fenerbahce, one of the most popular football clubs, well-acknowledged in Europe with Dutch star Robin van Persie defending on its roster.