14 July, 2017
As I just discussed with the local team in Moscow, Uber and Yandex have entered into an agreement to form a new company which combines our Rides and EATS businesses in Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan, as well as Armenia and Georgia where we now do not operate.
Yandex will receive 59.3 percent holding of NewCo by investing $100 million, while Uber will receive 36.6 with $225 million. Employees will own the rest. Now it covers 35 million trips each month across 127 cities, with the bulk of those coming from the Yandex.Taxi part of the JV; Uber was only in 21 cities. In 2016, Uber sold its China operations to Didi Chuxing for a almost 20 percent stake in the newly merged company that was then valued at $35 billion.
In a note to Uber employees today, Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, head of Uber's business in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, called the partnership an "exciting opportunity", and said it will not affect Uber's operations in other countries. In 2016, the English-language Moscow Times reported on the three-way fight for business between Uber, Yandex.Taxi, and the Israeli company Gett.
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For months, Uber has struggled with legal setbacks, accusations of a sexist work culture and driver protests, culminating in the June departure of co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick under investor pressure.
That Uber is putting more cash into the new company, yet is only gaining a little more than one-third of the ownership, indicates that Yandex holds a much larger share of the local market and Uber has effectively failed to overturn the incumbents.
This deal, which will need regulatory approvals, will value the combined entity at over $3.4 billion. The company is now looking to fill the vacancy, and is also searching for a chief financial officer. The Uber-Yandex taxi merger deal could hamper competition in the market, Igor Artemyev Head of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS) of Russian Federation told reporters. Uber had been bleeding money in China. Uber lost more than $2 million while fighting Didi in China. "This combined driver platform will significantly increase the number of available cars, reduce passenger wait time, and boost vehicle utilization". Driver apps will be integrated after the transaction closes. The name of the new company is yet to be confirmed.