Russian tech giant Yandex expands Israeli footprint with acquisition of Wind’s Tel Aviv operations

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Russian tech giant Yandex is expanding its mobility footprint in Israel with the acquisition of the Israeli operations of shared e-scooter company Wind. The two are not sharing the terms of the deal, but the Israeli financial newspaper reported the globe It has been estimated to cost $40 million to $50 million.

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Along with competitors such as Lime, Leo and Bird, Wind is one of the top e-scooter sharing operators in Israel. Yandex already operates its Yango mobility platform in the country since 2018, starting with ride-hailing and working up to last-mile delivery and food tech. According to Yandex, Acquiring Wind will expand this ecosystem by providing a wide variety of last-mile and transportation solutions.

It is conceivable that Yango will use additional vehicles on the ground to expand its delivery services. For example, Yandex recently launched Yango Daily, an express grocery delivery service in Tel Aviv that relies on a network of dark stores around the city. The company started with 14 dark stores and expects to double that number by the end of November.

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The acquisition includes Wind’s R&D around travel route optimization along with more than 10,000 made-for-sharing scooters, scooter infrastructure and operation systems in Israel. Wind, which is based in Berlin and Barcelona, ​​will still maintain control of its operations across Europe. In total, the company has raised $72 million in funding. It serves thousands of customers in 13 cities in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and has completed approximately 4 million trips in total, according to the company.

The acquisition of Wind comes just months after Yandex launched a scooter-sharing platform called Yandex Go in Russia. The fleet of the domestic market is estimated to be around 5,000 scooters, so this merger will more than double the Yandex mark. Customers in Russia will now be able to book scooters from the Wind app, as well as order scooters in Israel from the Yango app.

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there is also yandex Testing Your Autonomous Delivery Rovers in Israel, Ann Arbor and South Korea, and says it is ready to begin robotic deliveries after obtaining relevant permits from local authorities.

The company also says that it wants to bring its Robotaxis to the Yango platform in the near future.

“We have been testing our self-driving cars in and around Tel Aviv since early 2019,” a Yandex spokesperson told Nerdshala. “Israel provides us with the conditions and challenges to test our technology, which we lack in other testing locations. These are, for example, all kinds of roundabouts, myriad two-wheeled and micromobility vehicles and of course the Mediterranean heat and high humidity. “
According to Yandex, Moscow hasn’t traditionally been a bike-friendly city because of the cold weather, but during and after the lockdown, last-mile deliveries skyrocketed and Moscow’s streets were filled with couriers on bicycles.
“The good news – our cars already knew how to deal with it,” said a Yandex spokesman. “The Tel Aviv experience helped us a lot in Moscow during the COVID period.”

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