Russia’s internet giant Yandex says it will IPO its ride-hailing service Yandex.Taxi sometime in the next two years, Vedomosti reports citing a statement by the company’s operating and financial director Greg Abovsky at the World Economic Forum on Friday.
“We have said in the past that Yandex.Taxi may and will soon become a public company. I do not know whether this will happen in 2019 or 2020, but it will happen,” said Abovsky.
Following a merger with U.S.-based ride-hailing giant Uber in the CIS region, Yandex announced plans for an IPO in the first half of 2019. The listing will most likely be held in the U.S., the company official said.
“There are no specific plans for IPOs of other companies besides Yandex.Taxi,” he added in an interview with RIA news agency.
Yandex.Taxi and Uber have combined the businesses in Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia, investing in the capital of the new company $225mn and $100 million respectively. The deal was closed in February last year and 59.3% of the joint venture belongs to Yandex, 36.9% belong to Uber, and another 3.8% belong to employees.
Abovsky also said unmanned taxis may appear in Moscow in the next three to seven years, depending on technological progress and on the success of trials, as well as the quality of road marking and weather conditions.
Yandex now has permissions to test its own unmanned vehicles in Russia, the United States, and Israel. In November 2018, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that he had signed a decree on conducting an experiment on the operation of unmanned vehicles on public roads in some areas of Moscow and Tatarstan starting from December 1.