Russian lockdown increase Yandex’s delivery demand

With most residents confined to their homes in Moscow’s sixth week of lockdown, one familiar sight remains on the Russian capital’s near-empty streets: tech giant Yandex’s yellow-jacketed army of couriers. Strict limits on when Muscovites can leave their homes have increased demand for Yandex’s delivery apps, whose user numbers have grown 75 per cent since March, while also driving more people to its search, blogging, and streaming video platforms. Yandex hopes it can compensate for the financial hit to online advertising and taxis, its two core businesses, by using the coronavirus pandemic as an opportunity to expand the reach of its other businesses, chief operating officer Greg Abovsky said in an interview… Often referred to as Russia’s Google for remaining one of the few search engines worldwide to maintain dominance in its local market, Yandex has diversified in recent years to fight off Uber successfully in ride-hailing; launch a $1 billion ecommerce site dubbed “Russia’s Amazon”, plus Alisa, an Alexa-style virtual assistant; and develop its own shows for Kinopoisk, its streaming video platform… Yandex has expanded the service’s reach by reassigning taxi drivers to deliver groceries and food, as well as packages from Beru, the ecommerce joint venture with state-run Sberbank. 

Max Seddon