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Posts Tagged ‘Belarus’

Russian Programmers Dominate At Google Code Jam

June 12th, 2012 06:48 admin View Comments

Google

New submitter Migala77 writes “Now that the third round for Google Code Jam is finished and only 25 contestants are left, we can look at which nationalities performed well and which didn’t. Code Jam contestant foxlit has the stats, and some interesting things can be seen. Although there were over 3000 contestants from India in the qualification round (17% of the total) , only 3 of those managed to reach the third round (0.7% of the round 3 contestants) . This in contrast to Russia with 77 out of 747, and Belarus with 13 out of 114 reaching the third round. The U.S. performed somewhat below average too, with only 25 out of 2166 contestants making it to the third round.”

Source: Russian Programmers Dominate At Google Code Jam

New ‘Enemies of the Internet’ Listed In Reporters Without Borders Study

March 13th, 2012 03:45 admin View Comments

The Internet

New submitter Warmlight writes “The BBC reports that ‘Bahrain and Belarus have been added to Reporters Without Borders’ annual list of “enemies of the internet.” They join 10 other nations on the campaign group’s register of states that restrict net access, filter content and imprison bloggers. India and Kazakhstan have also joined RWB’s list of “countries under surveillance” because of concerns that they are becoming more repressive.’ I wonder how ACTA will affect this in the next year? In their report, they say, ‘Resistance to ACTA is stronger than ever and the treaty may not see the light of day. Vigilance must be maintained.’”

Source: New ‘Enemies of the Internet’ Listed In Reporters Without Borders Study

Russia’s Top 5 Web Startups Of 2011 Mostly Rip Off U.S.’s

January 20th, 2012 01:00 admin View Comments

Russia-Computer-150.jpgIn America, 240 million people are wired…to the Internet. And in Russia, 60 million people are online. That’s nearly half of Russia’s population of 139,390,205 people. Russia is currently the largest Internet market in Europe, and its Internet population has been steadily growing year over year. The population of Internet users has just hit 42.8% of the entire Russian population. Last year, we wrote about the top 10 startups of 2011. But what are the top Russian startups? And are they all just American knockoffs?

We took a look at Russian startups, breaking them down into five categories: hotel booking, games, daily deals sites, discovery engines and social networks. Here they are, in no particular order whatsoever.

Oktogo.ru: The Russian Version of Kayak and Travelocity

Oktagu-ru.pngOktogu.ru is a Russian hotel booking site similar to the American sites Kayak and Travelocity. It received $5 million in April 2011. The site’s founders are also behind online property Mail.ru and DataArt, a premier software developing site for the EU and USA travel sectors. Oktogo.ru connects with users’ Vontakte.ru profiles, and aggregates reviews from TripAdvisor.com. CEO Marina Kolesnik, who is from St. Petersburg, studied at Harvard Business School. Quintura calls her one of the “most visionary female internet entrepreneurs in Russia.”

ZeptoLab Is Russia’s Answer To America’s Super Popular Angry Birds

Cut-The-Rope-ZeptoLab.pngWhat’s better than throwing angry birds at stone-and-wood structures populated with green pigs? In 2010, Moscow-based Russian developers Zeptolab created the iOS game Cut The Rope. Published by Chillingo, the game has already reached 60 million downloads. “Cut the Rope” is essentially a physics game that feels a lot like “Angry Birds.” Users use a finger to cut the rope at an angle. A piece of candy falls, hitting stars on its way down. Sometimes the piece of candy hangs by three ropes; other times by one. Zeptolab has not received any venture money for this, and by August of last year, ZeptoLab released a sequel, Cut The Rope: Experiments.

BigLion Is Russia’s Answer To Groupon, And A Total Rip-Off

BigLion delivers “the highest revenue growth in Russia’s Internet history,” according to Quintura. This site does, however, look and feel exactly like Groupon. TechCrunch wrote about Big Lion in April 2010, noting both how ideologically close it is and shooting down its very “cut/copy” ideas. “But how anyone can hold their head up high when this is hew they make a living is beyond me,” writes TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington. Ouch. Something must be working, however, because BigLion is making $15 million monthly revenues over its short 1.5 year run. At the end of 2011, Russian business daily Vedomosti reported that BigLion attracted funds from Tiger Global Management. East-West Digital News reported that BigLion co-founder Oleg Savtsov confirmed the deal; Vedomosti learned that the investment volume was in the $25-$30 million range.

grouponbiglion.jpeg

SurfingBird Is Russia’s StumbleUpon

SurfingBird.ru-125.pngSurfingbird.ru is a discovery engine that personalizes to the user’s taste graph. Tell it what you like, and it finds pages, photos and videos that it thinks you will like. Users register with their Facebook, Vkontakte or Mail.ru accounts. In 2011, it raised $2.5 million in equity funding from Russian and French angel investors. It was founded in 2010.

Vkontakte.ru: The Russian Answer to Facebook

Vkontakte.pngVkontakte.ru, which translates to “In Contact,” is a Russian social network that rivals America’s Facebook. Its design strongly resembles Facebook of years past, but Russians are not spending their time on Facebook. Vkontakte.ru currently has 110 million users to Facebook’s 800 million. Approximately 70% of the visitors live in Russia. Of the Russian visitors, 25% are from Moscow, and 12% are from St. Petersburg. Vkontakte.ru reaches users in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus as well.

Source: Russia’s Top 5 Web Startups Of 2011 Mostly Rip Off U.S.’s

Please Censor The Web America, The Rest Of Us Can’t Wait

January 18th, 2012 01:41 admin View Comments

You might notice many of your favorite websites look different today. Wikipedia is down. WordPress is dark. TechCrunch has adjusted it’s homepage logo to look even weirder than usual. So what’s the big deal?

Right now in Washington D.C., Congress is considering two bills that would censor the web and impose burdensome regulations on American businesses. Over here on the European version of TechCrunch we think that’s a fantastic thing. Utterly fantastic. No, really.

The PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House PIPA & SOPA will indeed censor the web. For you guys in the US!

Over here in Europe, we’ll be happily file sharing till the cows come home, allowing all you Yanks hungry for pirated to content to download or stream all the latest movies via other means you’ll be forced to dream up to get around your dumb lawmakers.

Admittedly these SOPA/PIPA powers are on the wish list of oppressive regimes throughout the world – and please don’t tell Russia or Belarus about them. They’ve been hankering for an excuse to shut down their Internet Tubes for years and a great nation like Uncle Sam doing it would be just the green light they’ve been looking for. Sigh. (Here in Europe we prefer to slightly forget about those guys. And please don’t ask us if Russian are Europeans – we’ve done our best to avoid that subject for 60 years and we ain’t about to start now.)

Meanwhile, although SOPA and PIPA also eliminate due process and provide incentives for American companies to shut down, block access to and stop servicing U.S. and foreign websites that copyright and trademark owners allege are illegal – here in Europe we are excited by this.

Why?

Well, it means two things. We can start developing an internet outside of North America. Yay!

Goodbye to that large, single, English speaking market who’s teats we have sucked on for so long. Hello to a “Eurasia” and Ingsoc” (wow, Orwell was right!?) where we can ply our wares, with you US guys sitting in blissful ignorance, having to watch re-runs of Giligan’s Island because everything else is ILLEGAL.

Ok, Ok, so you control .com domains and something weird would happen with ICANN. Hell, we’d figured something out… We rather like the sound of .tr domains from Turkey anyway.

And heres a message for corporate Amercia: Try suing us from Sweden! Hell, the Internet’s a human right here buddy…

The other reason we’re super excited is that your best and brightest entrepreneurs and developers – realising that your version of the Internet is now a sort of steam engine driven version controlled by Congress and unaccountable Corporations (steampunk!) – will now move to Europe to create their next global (“minus USA”, LOL!) Internet company.

The NAZDAQ will move to London and it’ll be IPOs all round for the Euros! And our coffee was always so much better anyway…

(The Google SOPA protest as channeled via an satirical alternative reality)

Source: Please Censor The Web America, The Rest Of Us Can’t Wait

Belarus Bans Use of Foreign Websites

January 2nd, 2012 01:01 admin View Comments

Censorship

bs0d3 writes “A new law in Belarus prohibits people from using ‘foreign’ websites. The law requires that all companies and individuals who are registered as entrepreneurs in Belarus use only domestic Internet domains for providing online services, conducting sales, or exchanging email messages. The tax authorities and the secret police are authorized to investigate violations.”

Source: Belarus Bans Use of Foreign Websites

Belarus Cracks Down On VKontakte

August 4th, 2011 08:24 admin View Comments

Censorship

decora writes “On several recent Wednesdays, Russian language social networking site Vkontakte has been blocked by the government of Belarus. The blocks are partly to prevent the organization of ‘Silent Protests,’ in which citizens gather in city squares, and clap in protest against president Alexander Lukashenko. The government has designated the people involved as “social network revolutionaries” and charged many with disorderly conduct. One VKontakte user, Mikhail Karatkevich, is to be put on trial August 10 for ‘organizing a mass rally’ after he posted a meeting notice onto his page. According to Charter 97, the regime has even set up fake proxy servers to capture the unwitting; Tor is the suggested solution.”

Source: Belarus Cracks Down On VKontakte

Not So Fast Google – Rambler And Yandex Sign Ad Network Deal To Freeze Out Russian Competitors

June 23rd, 2011 06:02 admin View Comments

Google’s search market share in Russia remains well below 50% and it’s about to get even more heat. Russian search giant Yandex is now partnering with Russian online media giant Rambler over search and advertising services. Starting today, Rambler’s search services will be powered by Yandex’s search engine and Rambler will join Yandex’s Ad Network, Yandex.Direct.

Right now the Yandex Ad Network counts Odnoklassniki, Mail.ru and even Bing.com among its portfolio of client sites in Russia. Sites using Yandex’s search technology include Livejournal.ru, Nigma.ru and Qip.ru.

Ads placed via Yandex.Direct can now run in Rambler’s search results, as well as on its content pages. As well as the Yandex.Direct ads, Rambler will show ads placed via Begun, a contextual advertising platform, in which Rambler has controlling interest. The two systems share advertising space on search results pages so that Begun’s ad clients can run their ads on Rambler as well as place their ads via Yandex.Direct.

Rambler’s portal claims 4.2 million users, 14% of the Russian internet audience. Together with its Afisha projects that goes to 17 million (according to TNS, May 2011).

Yandex is said to have 64.8% of all search traffic in Russia According to LiveInternet, with a monthly audience of over 40 million unique visitors (according to comScore, May 2011). It also operates in Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Source: Not So Fast Google – Rambler And Yandex Sign Ad Network Deal To Freeze Out Russian Competitors

Yandex Prices IPO At Higher Than Expected $25 Per Share, Raises $1.3 Billion

May 24th, 2011 05:03 admin View Comments

Yandex, one of the leading Internet companies in Russia, this morning announced the pricing of its initial public offering of a little under 52.2 million Class A ordinary shares at $25.00 per share.

The shares will begin trading later today on NASDAQ under the symbol “YNDX”.

The company is thus raising a little over $1.3 billion, and has granted its underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 5.2 million shares to cover eventual over-allotments.

Earlier this month, Yandex had priced its IPO at $20 to $22 per share.

LinkedIn, which went public last week, had also increased the price per share right before.

Yandex is selling 15.4 million shares (pocketing $385 million), while some of its shareholders are selling an aggregate of roughly 36.8 million shares.

Yandex operates the most popular search engine and the most visited website in Russia (it is also the largest Russian Internet company by revenue). In 2010, the company generated 64% of all search traffic in Russian, trumping Google.

In March 2011, Yandex.ru website attracted 38.3 million unique visitors. Aside from Russia, Yandex has operations in Belarus (yandex.by), Kazakhstan (yandex.kz) and Ukraine (yandex.ua). Total revenues for 2010 hovered around $440 million.

Founded back in 1997, Yandex has been reported to be preparing an IPO before, with talks dating back all the way to 2006. In 2008, the company planned for an initial public offering but quickly moved to indefinitely delay those plans due to the global economic turmoil.

Yandex is among the largest high-tech companies in Russia, with an estimated workforce of about 2,500 employees. Currently, Yandex has branches all over Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Kazan), Ukraine (Kiev, Odessa, Simferopol) and in the United States (in Palo Alto, CA, to be exact).

Source: Yandex Prices IPO At Higher Than Expected $25 Per Share, Raises $1.3 Billion

Russian Search Giant Yandex Prices IPO At $20 To $22 Per Share

May 9th, 2011 05:35 admin View Comments

As we wrote last week, Yandex, one of the leading Internet companies in Russia, filed for a public offering on NASDAQ under the symbol “YNDX”. Today, the company is announcing price range of the offering, which will be $20.00 to $22.00 per share. The company aims to raise as much as $1.3 billion from the sales of its shares, according to the filing.

Yandex proposes to sell 15,400,000 shares in the offering and certain of its shareholders propose to sell an aggregate of 36,774,088 shares. In addition, Yandex and the selling shareholders have granted the underwriters an option to purchase, in aggregate, up to an additional 5,217,405 shares to cover over-allotments, if any. The total amount of shares offered in the filing is 52,174,088 shares.

Basically what this means is that $1.3 billion worth of shares will be sold, with as much as $338 million (at $22 per share) from the IPO going to Yandex and the rest going to the shareholders who sold stock.

Yandex operates the most popular search engine and the most visited website in Russia (it is also the largest Russian Internet company by revenue). In 2010, the company generated 64% of all search traffic in Russian, trumping Google. In March 2011, Yandex.ru website attracted 38.3 million unique visitors. Aside from Russia, Yandex has operations in Belarus (yandex.by), Kazakhstan (yandex.kz) and Ukraine (yandex.ua). Total revenues for 2010 hovered around $440 million. The company says that in the past three years, Yandex generated more than 97% of its revenues from advertising.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that the company had been given a preliminary valuation of between $6 billion and $9 billion.

Source: Russian Search Giant Yandex Prices IPO At $20 To $22 Per Share

Breaking: Russian Search Giant Yandex Files For IPO

April 28th, 2011 04:54 admin View Comments

Yandex, one of the leading internet companies in Russia, this morning announced that it has filed a registration statement with the SEC for a proposed initial public offering, as expected. The number of shares to be offered and the price range for the offering have not yet been determined, but the Wall Street Journal recently reported that the company had been given a preliminary valuation of between $6 billion and $9 billion ahead of the filing.

A portion of the shares will be issued by Yandex and a portion will be sold by certain of its shareholders. Yandex opted to have its Class A ordinary shares listed on NASDAQ.

According to the filing, the proposed maximum aggregate offering price amounts to $1 billion, which should give you an indication of how much Yandex seeks to raise.

Yandex operates the most popular search engine and the most visited website in Russia (it is also the largest Russian Internet company by revenue). In 2010, the company generated 64% of all search traffic in Russia.

In March 2011, Yandex.ru website attracted 38.3 million unique visitors. Aside from Russia, Yandex has operations in Belarus (yandex.by), Kazakhstan (yandex.kz) and Ukraine (yandex.ua). Total revenues for 2010 hovered around $410 million.

Founded back in 1997, Yandex has been reported to be preparing an IPO before, with talks dating back all the way to 2006. In 2008, the company planned for an initial public offering but quickly moved to indefinitely delay those plans due to the global economic turmoil.

Yandex is among the largest high-tech companies in Russia, with an estimated workforce of about 2,500 employees. Currently, Yandex has branches all over Russia (Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk and Kazan), Ukraine (Kiev, Odessa, Simferopol) and in the United States (in Palo Alto, CA, to be exact).

Morgan Stanley is acting as sole global coordinator for the proposed offering. Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman Sachs are acting as joint bookrunners.

The SEC filing follows in the footsteps of fellow Russian Internet giant Mail.ru’s successful listing – the company raised roughly $1 billion at the end of last year.

Source: Breaking: Russian Search Giant Yandex Files For IPO

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