Russia's Yandex launches startup investment program – international projects may apply

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Russia’s leading search engine Yandex has launched a new investment program for Russian startups as well as those from further afield.

The Yandex.Factory will invest “up to hundreds of thousands US dollars” in startups from Russia, the CIS region or, basically, anywhere that have demonstrated potential in their seed or early investment stage.

It’s also worth noting that Yandex has already dipped its toe in the water regarding supporting promising startups. Since June last year, the company has hosted the Yandex.Start open-doors event three times, which led to the acquisition of Loginza and WebVisor. So it’s quite reasonable to presume that investment from Yandex could eventually lead to a full exit via being acquired by the search engine.

On that note, Ksenia Yolkina, Project Manager of Yandex.Factory, chimes in on the merits of looking outside the company for new ideas. “Yandex is growing fast. We are full of ideas, but it’s not always easy to do everything at once. If we spot a young, talented team of like-minded people doing interesting and relevant things on the market, we are eager to support them in all possible ways, including financing.”

To join the Yandex.Factory program, startup teams in Russia or the CIS region can present their projects at the company’s open-doors event, Yandex.Start. International teams can send their application by emailing ventures@yandex-team.ru.