Mail.ru Group (MAIL) announces that it acquires the controlling stake in the transportation service platform YouDrive in partnership with Proxima Capital. The amount of the investment is undisclosed. The asset will not be consolidated in Mail.ru Group’s financial statements: it will be classified as an asset held for sale in financial reports.
Since transportation segment is one of the largest digital consumer markets in Russia, and car sharing has a significant synergy potential with taxi business, the deal will benefit the mobility business, which is a major focus for Mail.ru Group’s ecosystem.
The parties are planning on bringing in new partners for YouDrive. Development of this business is fully in line with the strategy of the O2O platform announced by Mail.ru Group and Sberbank, hence the investment can be contributed to the joint venture.
YouDrive will use the raised funds to drive organic growth. The company will continue with data mining and focus on improving fleet efficiency. Technology remains a strategic priority for YouDrive, and the parties are planning on bringing in MRG Tech Lab team.
The transaction includes YouDrive, the car sharing service; YouDrive Business, the short-term taxi rental; and YouDrive Pool, the platform for renting out a car to a car sharing service. As of August 2019, YouDrive offers more than 2,500 vehicles. The parties are planning on reaching at least 10,000 vehicles within the year.
Boris Dobrodeev, CEO of Mail.ru Group (Russia), says: “This investment is fully in line with our strategy, as it will promote the development of the Mail.ru Group ecosystem. The deal will also complement the goals of the joint O2O platform by Mail.ru Group and Sberbank, as car sharing allows to expand transportation offering and meet most of users' mobility needs. Leveraging the synergy with Mail.ru Group's communication and O2O products will enable us to become a market leader and offer YouDrive users the best deals.”
Boris Golikov, co-founder and CEO of YouDrive, says: “YouDrive has been created to be a smart car sharing and transportation services platform. We are delighted with the opportunities that are opening up to us now in this field. I am confident that together with our partners we will be able to achieve our ambitious goals. Our key focus will be on data mining and developing new services available through our application in order to find the balance between fleet efficiency and user-friendliness.”
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