Mail.Ru gets taxi fleet

The huge financial success of the Yandex.Taxi service could not ignore the attention of competitors. Last year alone, Yandex.Taxi's revenue grew 2.35 times to 2.313 billion rubles . The number of trips through the corporate program in the IV quarter. 2016 increased by 401% compared with the previous year, and in December - by 452%. This is the fastest growing among all Yandex services. Such success is hard to miss.

In Russia, there is only one company with more users than Yandex, and which can compete with it in this niche direction. This is Mail.Ru, it owns several of the largest social networks, including Vkontakte.

As it became known to RBC, Mail.Ru entered into negotiations on the purchase of a share in the taxi services of the group “Lucky”. The group of companies includes taxi services under the brands “Saturn”, RedTaxi, RuTaxi, “Leader” and “Lucky”.

It is reliably known that now the group of companies "Lucky" is in talks about attracting investment with various structures. Several sources call Mail.Ru the main contender for the purchase of a stake in “several tens of millions of dollars” with a further increase in the share to the control (over 50%).

Why does Mail.Ru share in several taxis? On the one hand, it can be a simple investment with the expectation of a further increase in the value of the share and resale. For this purpose, in the summer of 2015, Mail.Ru Group beneficiary Alisher Usmanov and USM Holdings partners invested in Uber.

On the other hand, the desire to bring the share to the control says that Mail.Ru may have more long-term plans for Russian tax services. The fact is that the taxi market in Russia is rapidly moving online. According to the UBS forecast, by the end of 2017, the volume of the Russian taxi market by 20% consisted of online orders, but by 2022 their share will grow to 85%, and the market itself in ruble terms will also grow.

“The taxi market is large and promising, the share of online orders for it is still only 15-20% and will actively grow in the coming years. Therefore, the output of one of the largest players on the Internet market in this segment looks quite logical. For users of taxi services, this transaction is likely to take place quite unnoticed. The only possible consequence is that, thanks to the investments received and to expand the market share, the company may start dumping, ”said Raiffeisenbank analyst Sergey Libin.

Buying a controlling share in a taxi company and transferring orders to online will allow Mail.Ru to immediately get ahead of Yandex.Taxi by the number of trips. According to independent estimates, at the end of last year, an average of 500 thousand trips per day were made via Yandex.Taxi. At the same time, the company "Lucky" at the moment, the company carries out more than 1 million daily trips.


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