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Russian yellow pages service Yell raises $11m

0 22 June 2014

Russian “Yellow Pages” service Yell.ru has raised $11 million from international funds Vostok Nafta and Kinnevik Ventures

The portal’s main selling point is that it not only allows users to search for local services, companies and organisations, but also features reviews of each service listed. 

Yell's Swedish co-founder Joakim Grönvall explains that 

Yell.ru is the first port of call for questions about everyday life. The portal can answer lots of questions - what’s the best kindergarten in the area, which vet to go to if your pet is sick, which building firm to use etc. And nothing is better able to convince a consumer than the opinion of another consumer.”

While the company’s monthly audience now stands at 3 million, it plans to use this investment to increase its reach to 10 million unique visitors per month in the near future. 

Vostok Nafta led the round with an $8 million contribution. The Swedish fund’s managing director Per Brilioth commented that

“We are excited to announce Vostok Nafta's first new investment in a number of years. The investment in Yell fits very well with our special interest in companies with network effects characteristics and we look forward to supporting the company and its founders in the years to come.”

The rest of the money comes from Swedish fund Kinnevik, which was the company’s main backer prior to this round. Both Kinnevik and Vostok Nafta also hold shares in leading Russian classified ads site Avito which, like Yell, was founded by Swedish entrepreneurs. 

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