Erik Bosgoed

Erik Bosgoed of Groupon International: “We may start exporting from Russia instead of importing”

Groupon, which began operating in Russia in 2010, has asserted itself since then as a leader in the Russian coupon sales market. The site has also developed a cross-border business, selling virtually anything from smartphones to tableware and cappuccinators to Russian consumers.

Erik Bosgoed, head of logistics at Groupon International GMBH Switserland, explained to East-West Digital News how this business was built, why it has been suspended due to the ruble crisis, and what can be expected next. This interview is an excerpt from an industry report recently published by EWDN.

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OKKO

Okko launches first UHD movies on Russian VOD market

In late 2014 Okko (formerly Play), a leading player on the Russian VOD market, launched the country’s first Ultra HD 4K video service. The solution, developed in partnership with LG Electronics, was designed to meet the requirements of Hollywood studios for content protection, giving Okko the opportunity to work with original content filmed in 4K quality.

In December, Russian movie aficionados equipped with a UHD LG Smart TV could thus watch Hollywood blockbuster “The Expendables 3” in this format – which Okko claims was a world premiere.

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SDI Solution

Next-gen data management system to emerge in Russia

SDI Research, a Moscow-based “semantic data integrator,” will receive a $335,000 grant from Skolkovo for the development of a next-gen semantic master data management (MDM) system to store and sync data.

A reported by the Skolkovo Foundation, the effort will require an estimated $670,000 overall. The developer is expected to raise the remaining 50% from other sources.

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KupiVip

KupiVIP.ru close to break-even, reports 44% year-on-year sales growth in Q4 2014

Illustrating the relative resilience of the Russian e-commerce market amid the current economic turmoil, leading flash sales platform KupiVIP.ru reported a 44% revenue increase year-on-year in Q4 2014. The company attributes this growth to consumers switching from traditional and online retail to discount-based sites.

Sales also grew due to the development of the site’s cross-border business. KupiVIP now deals with active sellers from countries such as Germany, Italy, France, Turkey and the UK. These suppliers’ parcels are shipped to KupiVIP’s hub in Berlin before being sent to their individual addressees in Russia.

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Moscow Seed Fund

Moscow Seed Fund concludes first investment cycle

Moscow Seed Fund, the venture arm of the Moscow City authorities, is concluding its first three-year investment cycle.

In partnership with Softline Venture Partners, the fund supports venture investors in financing small businesses in the science and technology sector. It backed startups Context Broker and AppStarter at the end of 2012 and early 2013 respectively. Both startups have now begun to pay back their loans, $240,000 in the case of Context Broker and $195,000 in the case of AppStarter.

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Anews

News aggregator Anews raises $2.7 million for further international expansion

Anews, an international global news-reading service with a built-in behavioral advertising network, has received $2.7 million from TMT Investments, Run Capital, 101 Startup and several individual investors. As reported by Rusbase, TMT Investments and Run Capital each invested $1 million, in exchange for minority stakes in the company.

“With its strong team, with a wealth of relevant experience, and working in an exciting sector, Anews has every chance of becoming the undisputed industry leader,” Rusbase quoted Run Capital CEO Andrey Romanenko as saying.

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Data centers - storage - cloud

Russian data center market grew 20% in 2014

In 2014, according to a new report by international market research company PMR, the Russian market of commercial data center services reached 11.7 billion rubles (approximately $303 million at the average 2014 exchange rate), up 20.4% from the previous year. Development forecasts for the next few years remain positive.

Organic growth is driven by the rapid development of the online economy and the growing volume of data in corporate IT systems. Russian data centers  increase supply of premium colocation space, charging higher service prices.

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Zvooq

Zvooq launches full function free mobile music streaming

Moscow – Russian music service Zvooq, part of the holding Dream Industries, changes the game for music streaming by introducing a new model of music listening, becoming Russia’s only fully free legal music service.

From January 20 Zvooq allows all listeners to select any song, album or compilation, and then listen free of charge without time constraints. The service makes audio content available for free to users by delivering intelligent in-stream advertising. During the test period of this new model users have listened to more than 5 million minutes of music.

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Yandex image search

What do Yandex users want to look like? Russians’ image search queries

The average person aims to stay up to speed with the most recent clothing styles and haircuts. From country to country, styles vary and the ideal image is often rooted in cultural influence. Still, a popular movie or a celebrity influences worldwide trends uniting people across the globe to wear a particular pair of sunglasses or cut their hair a certain way.

Sure, cold winters and cultural norms persuade Russians to wear awesome fur coats and beautiful leather boots but there are many other fashionistas contributing to Russian fashion trends.

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Virgin Connect_new

Richard Branson’s Virgin Connect buys Moscow region broadband triple-play operator

Trivon AG, the Switzerland-based company which does business through its subsidiaries under the Virgin Connect brand in Russia, has acquired 75% of  Speedyline, a triple-play operator operating in the Moscow region. Trivon has also got the option for the further purchase of the remaining 25%.

The deal was completed in December, but announced only last week. Its terms have not been disclosed.

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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