Earlier this week Yandex announced the opening of an R&D office in Berlin – the 16th office globally and the third office in Western Europe of the NASDAQ-listed Russian search giant.

The airy office space in Karl-Liebknecht-Strasse has enough room for up to 130 people, Yandex stated. It will be progressively filled with 30-40 work stations, occupied by high-level  software engineers and user interface designers – as already reflected by the company’s job offers.

Yandex’s German engineers will work on the global version of Yandex.Maps service, with other tasks and projects being added in the future.

Yandex building in Berlin

“Berlin wasn’t hard to choose,” the Russian company explained on its corporate blog. “It has everything an exponentially developing IT company can wish for – a thriving high-tech industry, an attractive business environment, an impressive academic scene and a lively startup community.”

“With its central geographic location a short flight away from Moscow, the capital city of Germany has become a major European hub for the IT industry. It hosts a number of key events and conferences in addition to being well positioned for talent scouting all over Europe,” Yandex added.

Nine offices outside Russia

Yandex now has nine offices outside Russia, Vladimir Isaev, the company’s Manager of International Media Relations, told East-West Digital News – seven in Europe (including three in Ukraine, one in Minsk and two in Switzerland); one in Istambul; and one in Palo Alto, California.

In Switzerland, the Lucerne office steers the company’s European sales, while the Yandex team in Zurich develops speech recognition technology among other things.

The California office works on experimental technologies and products which are separate from Yandex’s traditional services, but they use Yandex’s proprietary technologies like machine-learning and ranking systems, Isaev explained.

One example of this is Wonder, the social recommendation app that Yandex tried unsuccessfully to launch via Facebook one year ago. Now the team in Palo Alto is working on a new idea, which will soon be announced, Isaev told EWDN.

Yandex currently employs 500 people outside of Russia, out of a total of 6,000 company workers.