The Biggest Tech IPO of 2008 Is Coming Out of Russia: Search Engine Yandex to Raise Up To $2 Billion

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The Google of Russia is Yandex, and it is preparing for an IPO on Nasdaq in the fall with the hopes of raising $1.5 billion to $2 billion, reports Reuters. That would give the company a $5 billion valuation. Yandex was founded 15 years ago and the last funding I can find was only $5.3 million back in 2000, according to Quintura CEO Yakov Sadchikov (Quintura is a smaller search engine also based in Russia). If that is all the company raised, it will be a huge payday for investors ru-Net Holdings, Baring Vostok Capital Partners, and Tiger Technologies.

Yandex has a bigger search market share in Russia than Google (it is the biggest site in Russia overall). And in Europe it is the No. 3 search engine, ahead of Yahoo and Microsoft. Globally, it is in the top 10.

Its revenues, though, are not that large, considering its ranking. In 2007 it reported only $167 million in revenues, which was a 130 percent increase from 2006. Founders Arkady Volozh (CEO) and Ilya Segalovich (CTO) still run the company.

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