Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

Uber Changes Lanes with Yandex.Taxi Merger

A Yandex taxi in Kiev Ukraine. The company has signed a deal with Uber. Gleb Garanich  Reuters A Yandex taxi in Kiev Ukraine. The company has signed a deal with Uber. Gleb Garanich Reuters
Laurie Berry | 14 July, 2017, 18:37

"Yandex in the near term "is likely to keep subsidizing rides in order to grow its market penetration (the combined share of Y.Taxi and Uber was below 10% in 2016)".

The deal marks another pullback from Uber's breakneck global expansion, coming a year after its exit from China.

San Francisco-based Uber has agreed to invest $225 million while Yandex has agreed to invest $100 million into a new joint company in which Yandex will own 59.3 per cent, Uber hold 36.6 per cent and employees having a 4.1 per cent stake.

A statement by Yandex on Thursday said Uber and Yandex Taxi would combine into a new company in Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Uber is spinning off its operations in Russian Federation to form a new company with local rival Yandex. But Yandex also relinquished a third of control to Uber.

Yandex shares rose 15 percent on the Moscow stock exchange on the news.

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"Combining Yandex's local expertise in search, maps and navigation with our leading global experience in ridesharing will enable us to build the best local services and provide a credible alternative to auto ownership across the region", said Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, head of Uber's business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, in a statement.

The joint venture is the latest sign of the challenges that Uber has faced expanding overseas, experts say, where it has engaged in costly price wars against entrenched local competitors. Uber does not now operate in Armenia or Georgia.

The unified business in Russian Federation and nearby markets also helps Uber become more sustainable, Gore-Coty said, by helping it cut losses as part of a global drive toward eventual profitability. The deal allowed Uber to keep its competitive foothold in China with its roughly 20 percent stake in Didi which Uber said has risen in value by $2 billion. Uber sold its Chinese business to far larger local rival Didi Chuxing a year ago in return for a 17.5 per cent stake in Didi which as a whole was then valued at $35 billion.

About it reported in a press-service of Uber. Founder and CEO of Gett, Dave Weiser, believes that merger of Yandex.Taxi and Uber businesses might lead to higher prices for online taxi services, he said on his Facebook page. And while each company will keep their brand, Yandex customers will be to able to use their app to summon Uber rides in countries where Yandex doesn't operate, and vice versa.

Uber has been rocked by a multitude of scandals, including a legal battle against Alphabet's self-driving unit Waymo over self-driving technology and sexism in the company, among many others. The driver apps of the two companies will be integrated into a single app for greater efficiency, the companies said.

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