Top Stories June 27: Russian founder celebrates his wedding in the metaverse 


The first Russian couple to take its wedding celebration to the metaverse called Decentraland earlier this month as a part of a growing global trend of virtual receptions. The groom, Alexey Pomykanov, is the CEO of Web3 applications company Maff Media, which is bullish on the growth of metaverse weddings as well as legal instructure around them with the help of NFTs. [Source: RB

Russian tech giant Yandex opened access  last week to its neural network YaLM 100B, which generates and processes texts in English and Russian. With 100 billion parameters, YaLM 100B claims to be the biggest open-access generative pre-trained transformer (GPT), a language modeling system that uses deep learning to produce human-like text. [Source: Yandex]   


Vendors at Russian online marketplaces filed a complaint against leading e-commerce platforms like Wildberries, Ozon and Yandex Marketplace with the Russian Antitrust Service, urging the government to investigate their bargain-sales practices. The complainants allege that the marketplaces force them to provide discounts during these campaigns, threatening sanctions in case they refuse. [Source: Forbes]

Netherlands-based Procus, the only owner of Russia’s biggest classified advertisements platform Avito, doesn’t want to sell the platform to the Russian Internet giant VK. Procus reportedly wants to find a buyer that doesn’t have close ties to the Russian state. [Source: The Bell]


South America has become one of the most popular emigration destinations for Russian IT specialists after the start of the war in Ukraine, according to the estimates by Columbia University. This inflow of the professionals may turn the region into a Russian-speaking technological hub. [Source: Financial Times]

Kelly Services, a global HR-services provider that had been active in Russia since 1993, sold its Russian business to company Ventra, specializing in staff outsourcing in trade, IT and logistics. In early 2022, Ventra raised about $13 million for the development of Ventra Go, a platform for hiring temporary staff, and sees the purchase of Kelly Services’ unit as an expansion. [Source: Ventra]

The Russian labor market is tightening with an average 5.3 candidates for one employment vacancy in June against 4.8 candidates in March. The number of openings decreased by 10% from March to June, while the number of candidates dropped only by 2%. [Source: Izvestia]


Russian major e-scooter operators are increasing their fleets as the market is set to more than triple to $750 million a year through 2024 compared to 2021. The leading operator Whoosh has scaled up its fleet to 70,000 vehicles this year, up 71% from the first half of 2021. The second-biggest player Urent now runs 80,000 scooters compared to 60,000 in early 2022. [Source: RB]

Russian manufacturer of drones COEX sold its industrial drones unit to Hive, a manufacturer of droneports. Hive’s planning to invest nearly $2 million into production of quadcopters to reach an output of 100 vehicles a month. [Source: Kommersant]

A growing number of electric cars were sold in Russia in January to May 2022, a 65% jump compared to a year ago. Still, the number is tiny (1119 total) and the sales are predicted to decrease as the duty-free imports mechanism for e-vehicles was canceled as of 2022. [Source: RB]


Russian state-owned corporation Rostech is establishing a subsidiary called Cybertech that will unite assets of Rostech and other state and private companies in microelectronics, photonics, IT, telecommunications and network technologies. The new company will manufacture elements of critical IT infrastructure needed to replace foreign-made products. [Source: RBC

Russian cybersecurity companies and cybersecurity departments of major state-run corporations are considering establishing an industry trade association to exchange experience amid a growing number of hacker attacks. Though, experts express doubts the association will prove to be fruitful saying companies will hardly share a lot of information critical to their commercial success. [Source: Kommersant]


Russian health-tech project AIBY launched a telemedicine service offering 800 doctors across 30 specializations and other medical programs. Created in a partnership with a medical unit of the Russian Railways company, AIBY is expected to generate 35% of its income in the b2b segment and 65% in b2c. [Source: RB]  

Foreign-made dating services like Bumble, Badoo and Tinder lost a half of their Russian users, 3.5 million to 4 million, by June compared with the start of the year after the companies turned off paid options or blocked their apps. Only 12% users of this amount switched to Russian services as they need the paid options that Russian operators don’t provide. [Source: Izvestia]A gap in the speed of mobile Internet between the Moscow region and the rest of Russia is widening. The speed in the Moscow area has increased during the last year by 11 Megabits per second to reach 48.3 Mbps, which is 2.2 times higher than in the country on average. Telecom operators prefer to invest in the Moscow region due to faster ROI. [Source: Kommersant]

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