Mobile Russia

Mobile commerce takes off in Russia: Number of shoppers more than doubles in 2014

In line with the global trend, over the next few years the main driver of m-commerce in Russia will be the growing number of tablet and smartphone users. This is the primary thesis of the study “The Russian M-Commerce Market in 2014,” presented by the marketing agency RBC.research and reported by the e-commerce online portal The study defines m-commerce as the “order of any goods and services through the use of mobile Internet, regardless of payment methods.”

The study surveyed 4,142 Internet users in the period of September 6-17. Some 95% of respondents visited online shops selling goods or services via the Internet, and 83.3% of respondents had experience of buying goods via the Internet. Only 11.7% of respondents visited online stores for information purposes only and did not make any purchases from them in the past year.

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CPA giant CityAds Media acquires Tinkoff Digital’s mobile advertising platform Madnet

Last week, CityAds Media, a Moscow-based international performance advertising platform, announced the acquisition of Madnet. This mobile advertising platform had been launched last year by Tinkoff Digital, а Russian developer of innovative Internet and mobile advertising technologies, as “the first real-time bidding (RTB) platform in Russia for mobile devices.”

Madnet has developed its own DSP, SSP and DMP platforms, integrated with the world’s largest RTB-networks: Google, Mopub, Smaato and many others. Today, Madnet claims an advertising capacity of 20 billion ad impressions per month.

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Arctic Fox

Russian social media reacts to ruble crisis with ‘Arctic Fox Day’

A leading Russian economist likened the public reaction to the falling ruble to the “calm of someone facing suicide.” But on the Internet, it looked more like the ”Day of Dark Humor.” Or make that “Arctic Fox Day”: The Russian name (“pesets”) for the cuddly canid sounds almost like an unutterably rude word for ”f-ck up.”

Arctic foxes thus became the illustration of choice for social media posts on ”Black Tuesday,” including by popular bloggers Ilya “Zyalt” Varlamov, and the satyrical Twitter account KermlinRussia.

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Qrator Labs

Russia’s Qrator Labs to fight bots in the USA

Qrator Labs, a Russian company specializing in DDoS-attack mitigation, has announced the launch of three traffic centers in the USA as an entry point into the local market, reports Russian IT portal The centers, based in Virginia, Texas and California, will work to filter unwanted traffic for potential clients. The company hopes to eventually become active in Canada as well.

“The USA is the most important market in the world for companies that are providing services in the field of information security. US customers are well aware of the need for services to counter DDoS-attacks, and are willing and able to pay for the work of professionals to help cope with this problem,” says head of Qrator Alexander Lyamin.

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Sberbank’s SBT Venture Capital invests in social network for investors

SBT Venture Capital, the venture arm of Russia’s national savings bank Sberbank, has invested in eToro, a social network for investors. The Cyprus based social network allows members to follow the activities of their fellow investors in real time.

The company’s stated mission is to “revolutionize the way people interact on the financial markets, making the trading experience more sociable, simple, welcoming and transparent.”

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Putin Bashing_Google

Google shuts down engineering office in Russia: Much ado about nothing?

Much speculation appeared today in the media following Google’s decision to move about one hundred of its engineers from its Russia office to other locations.

A major US site thus suggested that Google’s move could be related to the “changing climate in Russia [which] may lead more Internet companies to move their operations to other countries in the region.”

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Mobile Russia

Mobile users become the majority on the Russian Internet

Russians are now using the Internet on their mobile devices more frequently than through conventional computers. According to web statistics service LiveInternet, in November some 51% of Russian Internet users (31.1 million) accessed the web on their mobile devices, both phones and tablets. In October, the figure was 49.9% (29.4 million), with the majority still using their computers.

“This trend was first reflected on social networks like VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. These communications services have become the growth drivers. A new medium of interaction is being formed – people are always in touch,” says the founder of LiveInternet German Klimenko.

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USA Russia

Tomsk university and US firm to open joint scientific center in Siberia

The Tomsk University of Control Systems and Radio Electronics (TUSUR) and Keysight Technologies, a US company, have plans to open Siberia’s first scientific and educational center in Tomsk in early 2015, portal reported.

TUSUR is reported to have already launched this past fall its new master’s degree program focused on the automation of the design of microwave-range micro- and nano-electronic devices for radio engineering systems.

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Young entrepreneurs open business incubator in Ufa, industry veteran launches “anti-accelerator” in Moscow

On December 1, Ufa, the capital city of Bashkortostan in the Southern Urals, saw the opening of new business incubator Smart Park, the local media reported. The space was created by the young entrepreneurs of the capital for actively minded people that are promoting new ideas and developing long-term projects. Smart Park includes a co-working space, support services to accelerate project development as well as event and networking features.

Unlike many such initiatives in Russia’s regions, this undertaking does not belong to state structures, but the Ufa community of young innovators. As the authors behind the idea note, the project began as a response to the current shortage of infrastructure for the implementation of project initiatives, which ultimately leads to a brain drain from the regions.

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Wakie, the social alarm clock that lets you wake up strangers, finally arrives on iOS

– “Hey there, I’m just calling to wake you up,” I said a little awkwardly.

– “Thanks. Where are you from?” replied a female voice with a thick Irish accent.

– “The UK. You’re from Ireland, right?”

– “How could you tell?” she said wryly.

– “The flag at the top of the screen.”

It took 9 months to be approved, but, Wakie — the ‘social alarm clock’ that lets you wake up (and be woken up by) strangers — has finally arrived on iOS. Launched originally in Russia as a website back in 2011, before being rebuilt and debuting on Windows Phone and Android earlier this year, the app is designed to replace your phone’s alarm clock with a call from a real person: Namely, another member of the Wakie community.

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