In the previous post we introduced the latter half of the top ten Runet's movers and shakers. Now is the time to talk about the top five. But first a few words about the rest of the high-flyers on the Forbes top 30. The types of companies top executes belonged to varied: from social networks, game-developers and e-commerce sites to recruitment website HeadHunter (owns up to 50% of marketshare and earned $1.7 in first half of last year) and antivirus software Kaspersky Labs (4th largest in the world with income of over $500M last year alone). Founders of internationally known services like Evernote (Stepan Pachikov) and Chatroulette (Andrey Ternovsky) were placed 13th and 15th respectively. Evernote attracted $20M from Sequoia Capital in 2010 and Chatroulette was one of the most talked-about services that year.
Forbes.ru has recently published a list of 30 most notable web players in Russia. Judging by the results, the most influential people in Runet have been in the business for decades. There are some young talents there too, though very few. Internet market is clearly dominated by local businesses: the only person working in a foreign company, placed 25th, was Vladimir Dolgov, the head of Google Russia. One-quarter of all the people on the list belonged to Mail.ru Group, clearly the most prominent player of all. Investors ranked much higher than founders of recent services and unsurprisingly the list included only two women. In the first part of presenting the list, we looked at the latter half of the top 10 movers and shakers of Runet.
TechCrunch has heard from their sources that apparently DST, the Russian originated investment company, is in talks with Spotify to close a large funding round. While all this is still unconfirmed, the round could be valued at $100 million. In total, the company has raised financing of over $80 million to this day. Having followed DST somewhat closely here at ArcticStartup, this would strike more of a natural continuum for DST instead of something out of the blue.
Groupon announced this week that they are going to partner with one of Russia's biggest social networks - Odnoklassniki. This means the social network's users will soon be able to buy Groupon's discounted deals with one-click without having to leave the Odnoklassniki website. Odnoklassniki is owned by the Mail.ru Group, which in its turn is owned by DST, which last year invested $135M in Groupon. With so many overlaps, it is not surprising that Groupon made a deal with that particular social network, even though it is not the biggest in Runet (Vkontakte is).
Russian internet market is scarcely covered outside of the country but it's not for the lack of news. The main obstacle is language: most online services are oriented towards domestic market and are hence mostly in Russian. Another thing is innovation: there are few companies (if any) that have come out of Russia with truly ground-breaking ideas - most of the services are copies of similar American websites. Nevertheless, the number of internet users is growing together with the size of their pockets. Hence, a number of companies managed to build impressive userbases, make big bucks and dodge the competition from abroad.
According to the latest numbers released by TNS Russia and comScore, the top websites are: