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“Yandex” will launch its own electric scooter sharing

Its development involved in Yandex.Taxi.

Yandex is planning to launch an electric scooter rental service in Russia like the existing Lyft, Lime, Delisamoka and YouDrive lite. About this TJ told four sources familiar with the situation.

Ninebot Max from Lyft Photo Lyft

According to a source in the car sharing market, Yandex began work on the service at least in December 2018 and negotiated with Urentbike, which has its own bicycle rental platform but does not operate in the central region of the Russian Federation. Urentbike declined to comment, but according to the source, the negotiations did not lead to a deal.

Market analysis and negotiations by Yandex were conducted by employees of Yandex.Taxi, and not by car sharing Yandex.Drive. Inside Yandex, these two directions exist independently: Drive is an experimental trend within Big Yandex, and Taxi is a separate company owned by Uber and including Yandex.Food’s delivery services. And Yandex.Shef.

Yandex planned to order a batch of electric scooters from the largest supplier in the market, Futuland. The company’s website says that it has an exclusive right to distribute the latest model of scooters Ninebot Max, which since the beginning of 2019 have been using American shearing Lyft and Lime. However, until now they are not available for purchase in Russia, and Futuland found it difficult to tell TJ when their first delivery is expected. According to the source, Yandex was going to enter the market immediately with a new model of scooters, and not to buy the old ones.

Another source in the car sharing market cites the approximate purchase volume of Yandex – about 2 thousand scooters. The profile edition of “Trushering” also wrote , citing a source, about the plans of “Yandex” to buy “several thousand Ninebot scooters”. According to the end of the 2018 season, Delisamokat had 2,650 scooters, and YouDrive lite had 500. The source claims that in the new season, services can increase their scooter parks – Delisamok to 5,000 pieces, and YouDrive lite – to 2 thousand.

Existing companies in the market mainly use the Ninebot ES2 scooter model with an additional external battery: it does not have its own telemetry (it cannot remotely report where it is and what charge it has), and its main problem is long recharging, about 8 hours (besides external it has an internal battery). While the scooter is being recharged, it is not on the line, so if a company has, say, 2,000 scooters, then really half the maximum is on the line: the rest are either recharged or repaired.

Ninebot Max is not so different from the previous generation: the company claimsthat it is specifically designed for sharing services and is able to withstand more damage, it travels a maximum of 60 km (instead of 45 km in the previous model), and its wheels were increased from 8 to 10 inches. Unlike ES2, the Max model cannot be folded.

A source close to the Moscow transport complex said that Depotrans are aware of Yandex’s plans to launch such a service and purchase scooters, but they believe that the company will not have time to enter the market in the summer of 2019 and will most likely postpone the launch to 2020. According to a source in one of the car-sharing companies, the fact that Yandex is buying scooters already now speaks about plans to launch in the summer of 2019, because in a year the market will seriously change and the current models will become obsolete. He assumes that Yandex will not be in time by the end of May (when the first players in the Russian market were launched in 2018) and will schedule the launch for June, and the service will be launched as a separate application, but with general authorization for the Yandex account.

Neither the name nor other details of the future service are known. Representatives of Yandex.Drive and Yandex.Taxi declined to comment.

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