In a recent press release, Yandex NV (NASDAQ:YNDX), the operator of the largest search engine in terms of market share in Russia revealed the launch of its new service, Yandex.City, which will provide location-based businesses, a service similar to Yelp.
The Yandex.City service is currently available only in Russian and can be accessed through the website city.yandex.ru, and applications for iOS and Android. The service will provide information about business listings in many Russian cities, also offering pictures and ratings, the press release added. Yandex plans to further expand the platform allowing users to access various kinds of services and tasks such as reserving a table, or making an appointment. This function is already available in Russia’s two largest cities: Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as some other locations.
The company also said that Yandex.City has the largest database of user reviews of businesses in the country, using the data from around 70 partner companies. Another feature of the service is that the comments left by users are analyzed and the most important information is extracted so that users can observe the negative and positive aspects of the places they plan to visit. The ratings of companies are based on a various factors in order to diminish the effect of artificial rating boost.
“When we need to choose a venue, we usually ask around. But the people we know may not always help, just because they don’t have the experience. Yandex.City gives everyone an opportunity to tap into the experience of lots and lots of people,” the statement quoted the head of Yandex.City service, Kirill Votyakov as saying.
In the first quarter of the year, Yandex had a market share of the Russian search market of almost 62%, the company said in its first quarter financial results statement. A couple of days ago, the company reported that it will acquire the Russian auto classified website, Auto.ru for a total of approximately $175 million.
Yandex is registered in Netherlands and its stock is listed on the NASDAQ market. The share price of Yandex has declined by 22% since the beginning of the year, and currently it is down by over 1%.