The Russian online marketplace Wikimart.ru has secured a $30 million round of financing – the third one since the startup’s inception in 2008 – with Tiger Global Management contributing $18 million and the remaining $12 million coming from an undiclosed Russian investor. The startup’s previous valuation amounted to $50 million, which corresponds to its estimated 2011 turnover, as co-founder Kamil Kurmakaev told the Russian business daily Kommersant last week.

Tiger had already invested $12 million in the platform – $5 million in 2010 and an additional $7 million last year.

As a result of the latest deal, Tiger now owns a 55% stake in the startup, while its founders have kept only 23%. The mystery Russian investor holds a 15% stake, with the remaining 7% being shared among business angels and 50 company employees who benefit from a stock option program.

Wikimart has developed an e-commerce platform – inspired by such models as Japan’s Rakuten, Latin America’s Mercado Libre and Amazon’s Marketplace – which integrates payment and fulfilment functions. The site currently hosts more than 3,800 offline and online merchants who use it as an additional sales channel. Wikimart takes a 2% to 10% commission on the amount of each purchase. Orders can be delivered anywhere in Russia from Wikimart’s warehouse near Moscow.

The invested sums will go to developing additional infrastructure. In particular, a new fulfilment center will allow offline wholesalers to start online retail activities through the Wikimart platform.

“In the next three years we plan to make available online no fewer than 5 million items which so far have been sold only through offline channels,” Kurmakaev says.

The other main marketplaces operating on the Russian e-commerce scene are Molotok.ru and Tiu.ru, parts of the Allegro-Mail.ru e-commerce group; Torg.mail.ru, which is affiliated with the Mail.ru web portal, part of the Mail.ru Group; and the marketplace of Ozon.ru, a prominent Russian e-commerce site.

The leading marketplace by far is Yandex Market, with over 8,200 enrolled merchants as of early 2012. Of all the players, however, Wikimart has gone the furthest in integrating fulfilment and payment services.

  • RUSSIAN E-COMMERCE REPORT 2012 – The total volume of Russian online retail reached 310 billion rubles, a little more than $10 billion, in 2011, up 25% from the previous year. EWDN’s research study of Russian e-commerce, which includes an analysis of online marketplaces, will be available soon. To receive free insights or to order the full version, please contact us at editor@ewdn.com.