Last week Mail.ru Group, the LSE-listed Russian Internet major, and Sberbank, the state-controlled financial and technology giant, announced a capital injection of 12 billion rubles (approximately $160 million) to develop their ‘O2O’ joint venture.
Agreed in June last year, this JV combines the businesses of the two groups across a variety of fields, from ride-hailing and car sharing, to restaurant delivery and e-grocery, to dark kitchens and dark stores.
The new funding is intended for businesses and verticals which were not included in the initial spectrum of the JV – in particular, the 2GIS mapping service and the Samokat express e-grocery delivery unit.
The ride-hailing and restaurant delivery services Citymobil and Delivery Club, meanwhile, “do not require additional funding.”
“Our ambition is to build a leading player on the local foodtech and mobility market. Many verticals inside ‘O2O’ have been stimulated by the pandemic, with years of penetration pull-forward happening in 2020,” stated Boris Dobrodeev, CEO of Mail.ru Group.
“We would like to be in a position to take advantage of the opportunities arising within the space, with our ‘O2O’ unit well-positioned for further diversification and growth. We are confident that many habits established by the pandemic will remain in place and we want our units to be the companies of choice for satisfaction of key user demands within mobility and foodtech, stemming well beyond traditional restaurant delivery or ride-hailing services,” Dobrodeev added.
Bringing equal contributions to this capital injection, Mail.ru Group and Sberbank will keep equal stakes in the JV (45.005% each), the remaining shares being “potentially allocated for a long-term motivation program” for employees.