Netvibes, the site that lets users customize their homepages with a variety of widgets, has partnered with Rambler.ru to bring its widgets to the massive Russian web portal. Rambler is the Yahoo of Russia, with an estimated 40 million users and 3 billion monthly pageviews. The deal is being described as “multi-year” and worth “multi-millions”, but further details haven’t been disclosed. Netvibes availability on Rambler.ru is expected to begin in November.
This marks the first time Netvibes has licensed its platform for installation and distribution to an independent third party, and probably won’t be the last. In order to stay competitive with other widget hubs like iGoogle, Netvibes would do well to spur its growth by offering its widgets to other region-specific portals (that said, Netvibes has been doing well, with a reported 500 million widgets served montly). According to the press release, the Rambler homepage will include Google Search, Blinx video search, and a number of Russian services like Price.ru.
In July Google acquired Begun, a contextual ad service, from parent company Rambler. As part of the $140 million deal, Rambler has been using Google for some of its advertising and search functions.