Taxi-hailing app Yandex.Taxi has launched in Riga this week — starting their European expansion with Latvia.
Yandex, Russia’s largest technology company, often called the “Google of Russia”, and their Yandex.Taxi app is certainly among the most popular ridesharing services in Russia, so it’s just been a matter of time for the giant to make the move West, on the way to other markets.
Moreover, the company has just merged with Uber, in a deal to combine their ride-sharing businesses in Russia and neighboring countries. They have announced plans last year to combine operations in 127 cities in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
Latvia is the first European country where the Yandex.Taxi is being rolled out.
Uber agreed in July 2017 to merge its operations in Russia and neighboring ex-Soviet republics into a joint venture. San Francisco-based Uber has invested $225 million and Yandex has contributed $100 million in cash into a new joint company valued at more than $3.8 billion, Yandex said during the merger. This became Uber’s second retreat from a major market after it ceded China last year in exchange for a minority stake in rival Didi Chuxing.
Let’s see how these competitors shape up the city’s vibrant taxi hailing & ridesharing scene and battle with some remaining old-school taxi services, as well as local regulations, popping up recently in attempts to catch up and adjust to the developing landscape of the industry.
Some 200 vehicles from ten tax fleet partners are now connected to Yandex.Taxi and their number will grow, the company said in a statement released Thursday for the Russian news agency Interfax.
We have long thought about going into the Baltic countries. The most proposals for cooperation are coming from Latvia, so we decided to start with Riga. Our technology and algorithms make taxis a convenient and inexpensive means of transport.