Andrew Verbitsky

KAYAK Russia GM Andrew Verbitsky: “Now we have 9 million keywords and nearly a thousand ad campaigns”

Online advertising in the Russian market offers strong opportunities for international competitors in a large number of industries. For example, digital advertising in Russia and specifically on Yandex, is proven to be more effective than advertising on the leading Russian TV channels.

Below is an adaptation of the Yandex.Direct success story for the travel industry, which focused on Kayak. KAYAK is an international travel price comparison service used to compare  and book flights, hotels, and rental cars from different companies.  Yandex interviewed KAYAK’s Russian and CIS manager, Andrew Verbitsky, who explains how Yandex.Direct has served as the main tool for advertising to the Russian market from the get-go.

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Russia nanotechnologies

Anti-counterfeit nanoparticle technology developed for banknotes

Professor Sergei Maximovsky, a researcher from the Moscow-based Lebedev Physical Institute, has potentially developed a new protection system for banknotes, the Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta reported. A number of international patents have been obtained for the innovation, including US, Japanese and Chinese patents. 

At the heart of the technology is the application of a specialized image that consists of “several thousands of nanoparticles of any metal.” According to the developer: “This drawing shines brightly when looked at against a source of light, making it possible even for an old granny with glasses to see it.”

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Social alarm clock Wakie secured $1 million from Leta Capital and Titanium Investments

Leta Capital, the venture arm of Russian IT security solution provider Leta Group, and Titanium Investments, an international venture fund with Russian connections, have invested $1 million in Wakie, the developer of a social alarm clock.

The deal, which was closed in August, has just been revealed by Russian tech blog, which refers to an exchange with Leta’s co-founder and general manager Alexander Chachava.

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Yandex EN

Yandex announces Q3 2014 financial results

Amsterdam and Moscow – Yandex (Nasdaq:YNDX), one of Europe’s largest internet companies and the leading search provider in Russia, today announced its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2014.

“Q3 was another strong quarter notable for an acceleration in growth of our owned and operated properties and excellent cost control,” said Arkady Volozh, Chief Executive Officer of Yandex. “We launched a number of new products designed to make people’s lives easier and better and continued to provide market-leading advertising technologies to our customers.”

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St. Petersburg international conference to address e-governance challenges across Europe and Asia

The international conference “Electronic Governance and Open Society: Challenges in Eurasia” (EGOSE 2014) will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia, on November 18-20, 2014.

The EGOSE 2014 aims to address the main issues of concern within the Information Society, e-government, e-governance, and e-democracy. The conference provides a platform for networking and collaboration between e-governance experts in the Eurasian area.

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B2B software integrator Mirantis raises $100 million in record Series B round

Mirantis, a California-based systems integrator with teams in several countries including Russia and Ukraine, has closed a $100 million series B round with the participation of Insight Venture Partners and August Capital. They were joined by existing investors Intel Capital, WestSummit Capital, Ericsson, and Sapphire Ventures (formerly SAP Ventures).

The financing – the terms of which have not been disclosed – is one of the largest Series B investments in B2B software. The previous round of $20 million was raised in two closings: Series A1 in December 2012 and Series A2 in June 2013.

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Robot+Russia - robotics

Russia’s biotech innovations are more Star Trek than Star Wars

Although information technology was once the darling of Russia’s innovation sector, a sanctions-flecked economic slowdown is pushing manufacturing and biomedicine startups to the fore — and thankfully the results are more “Star Trek” than “Star Wars.”

At a startup contest at last week’s Open Innovations Forum organized by the Russian Venture Company and Moscow’s Center for Innovative Development, inventors of robotized industrial solutions and new biomedical products took most of the top prizes, entitling them to a million rubles ($25,000) each in cash and the active interest of venture investors.

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Russia and South Korea step up cooperation in high-tech sectors

Russia and South Korea are ready to step up joint R&D efforts in IT and a number of high-tech areas. Envoys of the two partners’ political, business and scientific circles reached preliminary agreements on this and other matters last month in Seoul.

Commenting on the results of the talks, Oleg Plaksin of RVC, Russia’s state-owned fund of funds for innovation, said that information technologies, biotechnologies, new materials, shipbuilding, robotics, aerospace projects and nanotechnology have all been identified as key sectors for cooperation.

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Open Innovations + China-Russia

Chinese premier reveals secrets of innovative growth at Moscow international forum

Last week, Moscow hosted the third edition of “Open Innovations,” a huge, internationally-focused tech forum and exhibition. The event was held at Technopolis Moscow, a large area in the eastern part of the Russian capital dedicated to developing high technology industries.

At the site, representatives from more than 50 countries gathered. China was the special guest country, with Chinese premier Li Keqiang personally attending the event. Last year’s special guest countries were France and Finland.

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Cloud solution provider Jelastic wins Russian stage of IBM’s global SmartCamp contest

Yesterday Jelastic, a California-based startup with Russian origins, saw one of its innovative solutions picked from five Russian finalists in the SmartCamp contest staged by IBM, as reported by the Skolkovo Foundation. Jelastic received a three-month mentorship course from IBM and will participate in the qualifying continental final in London at the end of November.

The solution distinguished by IBM, christened “Jelastic Private Cloud” (JPC), has been designed to help organizations lower the cost of running business-level apps that are presented in Java, PHP and .NET formats.

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East-West Digital News is published with the support of:
  • Higher school of economics
  • The Institute for Statistical Studies and Economics of Knowledge
  • Russian Venture Company
  • Territory of tomorrow foundation