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.”