Yandex, the NASDAQ-listed Russian tech major, is preparing to launch its express e-grocery delivery service in Western Europe—after successful deployment in Russia and Israel.
According to a company spokesman cited by AFP, the first target is France, where Yandex registered a local company earlier this month and started hiring. Initially covering the central districts of Paris, the service will operate under the international brand Yango Deli.
“In France, Yango Deli will use the company’s tried and tested model of hyperlocal delivery in 10 to 15 minutes from dark stores, supported by its proprietary technologies and know-how. It will take orders via its own app,” Yandex stated. Under plans, London will follow.
Yango is the name of the international arm of Yandex Go—the firm’s taxi aggregator and food tech business—which launched an e-grocery delivery service in Israel in late 2020. Yandex provides services in 17 countries, including Finland, Israel, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and other countries of the former Soviet Union.
In Russia, where it started in 2019 under the brand Yandex.Lavka, the service delivers some 2,500 types of goods.
Ecommerce in Russia
Ecommerce boomed in Russia last year amid the pandemic, boosting delivery companies as well. The domestic online grocery delivery market surged 3.6 times to 1.71 billion euros ($2.08 billion) in 2020. It could reach as much as 3.31 billion euros ($4.02 billion) by the end of 2021, according to Infoline research cited by Yandex.
Very few Russian players in ecommerce and related fields operate in Western Europe. Among them are Ozon, which works increasingly with French suppliers and logistics companies and Wildberries, which recently launched sales in Germany as well as France, Italy and Spain.
Last year in the United Kingdom, a Russian team founded Jiffy, aiming to launch an ultrafast delivery service in London. The startup has just raised $6.6 million, mostly from Eastern European investors.
The international successes of JOOM are also noteworthy. This company, whose mobile apps sell Chinese products at cut-rate prices, did not start in Russia. It was founded in 2016 by Russian entrepreneur Ilya Shirokov. France is among its main markets.
This article first appeared in East-West Digital News, the international online resource on Russian digital industries, and is reprinted with permission.