Sberbank and Yandex officially launched the Beru marketplace, the Russian version of Amazon

    Sberbank, which according to rumors is now negotiating to buy a controlling stake in Yandex , officially launched a new project, “Beru” , together with its partner . This is a trading platform based on Yandex.Market, which the head of the state bank German Gref positions as the Russian version of Amazon. She has her own delivery and ordering service, logistics service, etc. Until now, the service worked in test mode, and on October 24, 2018, a full-fledged launch and official presentation of the project took place.

    On the launch of a joint project, the partners agreed last year. To do this, the state bank bought the newly issued shares of Yandex.Market for 30 billion rubles. The deal was closed in late April, the company was estimated at 60 billion rubles, they write Vedomosti.

    The issue of funding was raised in an interview with the CEO of Yandex.Market, Maxim Grishakov in the Kommersant newspaper:

    - At the end of the second quarter of this year, Yandex had 66 billion rubles. ($ 1.12 billion) free cash. Why does Yandex need money from Sberbank?

    - It's not just about the money. And also in experience, technology, infrastructure. Of course, Yandex can invest additional money in various services for quite a long time, but at a certain stage you need to go beyond your experience and your world view. Technology partner, Sberbank, can provide us with a qualitative breakthrough.
    - Do you think that Yandex.Market can limit its own independence with this transaction by taking a state bank as a partner?

    - At a certain stage of business development, there comes a time when attracting a strategic partner can play a key role. For us now is just such a moment. And Sberbank is the very partner with whom our strategic vision completely coincides.

    In addition to the Beru site, the joint venture of the state bank and the Internet company will deal with a cross-border marketplace with goods from China, Turkey, Japan, Korea, the USA and the UK, as well as a platform for searching and comparing prices - Yandex.Market itself, said the first deputy chairman of Sberbank Lev Khasis.

    Russian robot Fedor poses for the online store "Beru". Photo: Vedomosti

    October 24 at the presentation of the marketplace Maxim Grishakov said that by the end of 2020, they expect to "get into the top 3 players in the home market of online commerce." These are big ambitions. At the end of last year, the market for online commerce in Russia grew by 13% and amounted to 1.04 trillion rubles . Foreign stores accounted for 36% of all online purchases of Russians.

    At the time of the test launch, Yandex predicted that in five years the marketplace turnover would reach 500 billion rubles.

    Since the launch of the beta version of Beru in May of this year, 180 thousand orders have been completed, Grishakov said during the presentation. Every month, 3.6 million people visit the site. Now there are about 100 thousand commodity items and 1000 sellers in the marketplace. The first buyer was the head of Sberbank, German Gref, who ordered a “smart” column “Yandex. Station”. Lev Khasis, Deputy Chairman of the Bank, told about this interesting fact at the presentation.

    During the testing period there were several categories in the marketplace assortment:

    • electronics,
    • Appliances,
    • Goods for pets,
    • houses and cottages
    • goods for kids.

    The site was accessible only to a limited circle of people. In early September, a section with foodstuffs appeared on Beru, and in October, a section in which you can book medicines at a specific pharmacy. It is not yet clear whether they will deliver drugs by courier and how they will solve the problem of harassment by the pharmacy chains .

    Grishakov explained to RBC that next year they intend to increase the number of items on the site twice, that is, to more than 250 thousand pieces, and when “I take” will be released on the cross-dock model (i.e. goods can be ordered with partners' warehouses), the range will be “unlimited”, Grishakov noted.

    In the future, the company orders for "Beru" will be possible through the voice assistant "Alice". On the portal it will be possible to issue a bank loan for the purchase of goods.

    Recall that earlier several sources reported that Sberbank is in talks to buy shares of Yandex. Until now, Sberbank owned only the “golden share”, which gives the right to veto the sale of more than 25% of the shares in Yandex. Sberbank acquired the "golden share" in 2009 for 1 euro. Since then, the cooperation of partners has developed: first, a joint venture Yandex.Money was launched, then German Gref joined the board of directors of Yandex.

    With the news about the launch of a joint project with Sberbank, Yandex shares fell to the maximum level (now 1,738 rubles, that is −26%during the week).

    However, the panic sale ended in the first three days after the appearance of information on negotiations with Sberbank, as a result of which Yandex could go under state administration . Now trading volumes are small, as seen in the bar chart below the chart.

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