Internet giant Mail.Ru announced Tuesday that it is ramping up its overseas business, a move that comes as it tries to keep pace with competitors.
The company, which already has offices in Russia, Latvia, Germany and Israel, is now pushing farther afield in what it called a logical expansion after conquering the domestic market.
"We have had definite success in the Russian-speaking Internet, but we aren't going to stop there," Mail.Ru general director Dmitry Grishin said in a
The company has been marketing its Internet-based services on a trial basis in foreign markets for more than a year, according to the statement.
"We want to launch our key products on new markets," Interfax quoted Grishin as saying at the event. Those include its e-mail service, instant messaging service and online games, he said.
Started in 1998 as an e-mail service, the company is focused on the Runet, or Russian-speaking Internet, and it uses Russian names for its gaming, e-mail and other services. As part of its overseas expansion, it will offer services under the brand My.com.
Grishin said it would be "problematic" to approach foreign customers with Russian brand names.
He didn't say which countries Mail.Ru will enter or when it will officially launch its products in those places. The company is traded on the London Stock Exchange.
Features unveiled Tuesday include a music and video recommendation system for its social-networking website, Odnoklassniki.
That site competes primarily with Vkontakte, in which Mail.Ru holds a 40 percent stake. Vkontakte has averaged 38 million visitors per day during September and October, while Odnoklassniki has averaged 32 million visitors daily during that time, according to
Sales of extra features on Odnoklassniki are an area to watch, said Rye, Man & Gor analyst Ksenia Arutyunova.
Calling social-network add-ons a "key driver" in her research note on Mail.Ru's third-quarter earnings last week, Arutyunova said Tuesday that Mail.Ru has a "successful" strategy for the segment despite declining revenue in that area.