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Russian tech giant Yandex expands Israeli footprint with acquisition of Wind’s Tel Aviv operations – TechCrunch

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The Russian technology giant Yandex is expanding its mobile footprint in Israel with the acquisition of the joint Israeli operations of the electronic scooter company Wind. The two do not share the terms of the deal, but an Israeli financial newspaper This was reported by “Globes”. It is estimated to have cost between $ 40 million and $ 50 million.

Wind is one of the co-operators of leading electronic scooters in Israel, alongside competitors such as Lime, Leo and Bird. Yandex has been operating its Yango mobility platform in the country since 2018, from transportation and work to the last mile and food technology. The acquisition of Wind will expand this ecosystem by providing a wide range of last-mile and transportation solutions, according to Yandex.

It is conceivable that Yango will use the additional vehicles on the ground to expand its shipping services. For example, Yandex recently launched Yango Deli, an express grocery delivery service in Tel Aviv that relies on a chain of dark stores throughout the city. The company started with 14 dark stores and expects that number to double by the end of November.

Includes the acquisition of Wind’s fleet of more than 10,000 scooters adapted for sharing, infrastructure and operating systems of scooters in Israel, as well as R&D around the optimization of travel routes. Wind, based in Berlin and Barcelona, ​​will still maintain control of its operations across Europe. Raising $ 72 million, it serves tens of thousands of customers across 13 cities in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and has made about 4 million trips in total, according to the company.

The acquisition of Wind also comes just months after Yandex launched its scooter sharing platform, called Yandex Go, in Russia. The domestic market fleet is estimated at only 5,000 scooters, so this merger will more than double the Yandex index. Customers in Russia will now be able to order scooters from the Wind app, as well as order scooters in Israel from the Yango app.

Yandex as well Checking its autonomous shipping guns In Israel, Ann Arbor and South Korea, and says it is ready to start robotic shipments as soon as it receives the relevant permit from local authorities.

The company also says it wants to bring its robot axis to the Yango platform in the near future.

“We have been testing our automatic cars in and around Tel Aviv since the beginning of 2019,” a Yandex spokesman told TechCrunch. “Israel provides us with conditions and challenges to test our technology, which we lack in other test places. These include, for example, all kinds of squares, countless two-wheeled and micro-mobile vehicles and of course Mediterranean heat and high humidity.”

Moscow is not traditionally a bike-friendly city because of the cold weather, but during and after the lock-in, the last mile delivery skyrocketed and the streets of Moscow were flooded with bicycle couriers, according to Yandex.

“Good news – our cars already knew how to deal with it,” a Yandex spokesman said. “The Tel Aviv experience helped us a lot in Moscow during the COVID era.”

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