Yandex IPO Biggest For Internet Company Since Google

Russian search engine Yandex went public today, opening at $25 and closing at $38.84 giving the company over $1.3 billion from their IPO, setting the record for the biggest IPO for an internet company since Google (who raised $1.67 billion in 2004).

Yandex is one of the few search engines that controls a larger share of a country's search market than Google - in this case Russia. Yandex has a dominant share of the Russian market - about 64% of all searches done in Russia - similar to Google's dominance in the USA and most other contries. Google has about 22% of the Russian market - like Yahoo did before their partnership with Microsoft.


In this year's first quarter, Yandex's "net income rose 62% to $29 million, and in 2010 it increased 90% to $134 million," the Wall Street Journal reported. The stock is trading on NASDAQ under the terms YNDX.

Yandex CEO and main founder sold about $96 million from his over 40 million shares - at close his stock were worth over $1.5 billion.

Founded in 1997, Yandex is slightly older then Google. The company had announced earlier it was expanding into other markets and languages.

"Yandex has picked a great time for an initial public offering for a tech company," said Anthony Moro at Bank of New York Mellon. "For the longer term, they're in the right spot. They're the Google of Russia."

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.