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Forbes' top-20 Russian online retailers

0 12 March 2014

This is the fourth time that Forbes has ranked the top-30 Russian internet companies. However, this year they have chosen a different format - splitting the ‘top-30’ into 10 companies and 20 online retailers, in order to take into account the e-commerce boom that has transformed the Runet landscape in the past couple of years. 

Companies were ranked by total revenue for 2013, which totalled $8.5 billion. Revenues of public companies were taken from their financial reports, while in order to assess the revenue of private companies (the majority) Forbes interviewed management, shareholders and analysts. To try and sure up these estimates Forbes used data from SPARK, a market analysis company. 

Following on from the top-10 internet companies, which we published last week, here is Forbes’ top-20 Russian online retailers. 

Many of the retailers on the list do not operate exclusively online, but the majority of their revenue comes from online retail. Electronics and household appliance retailers dominate the list, in which fashion retailers do not rank as highly as might be expected in light of their big recent investment rounds. Lamoda, despite raising a record breaking $130 million last June is in 14th place, while KupiVip, which has received investment totalling tens of millions of dollars is also outside the top-10. By revenue, Russia’s number one fashion retailer is actually Wildberries, a home-grown project founded by a Russian school teacher.

Ulmart, which tops the list, is currently seeking venture funding and is in talks with investors in the USA, Europe and Asia. 


#1 - Ulmart


  • Revenue: $1021 million
  • Founded: 2008
  • Website: Ulmart.ru
  • Employees: 6500
  • Figures: 10 million people are currently involved in loyalty programmes.

Ownership:  Its co-founders, St. Petersburg entrepreneurs Alex Nikitin and Sergei Fedorinov. In 2008, Nikitin’s  company “Kimbrig” bought bankrupt “Ultra Electronics” and opened the first “Ulmart” store. 2 years later, the project raised investment:  60% of the business is now owned by Dmitri Kostigin and Avgust Meyer, who formerly owned “Lenta,” while 40% belongs to Nikitin and Michael Basinkevicha. Fedorinov holds the post of general director.

Business: Sells “everything you can plug in to the mains”. You can order the product on the website, by phone or go to stores themselves. 

Last Year: More than 400,000 orders were delivered directly to customers.


#2 - Citilink


  • Revenue: $868 million
  • Founded: 2008
  • Website: Citilink.ru
  • Employees: 3000
  • Figures: CitiLink's website has a daily audience of 277,258.

Ownership: Citilink is the retail distributor of Merlion computer equipment. Merlion’s annual revenue is $3.5 billion, putting it in 40th place in Forbes 2013 list of top Russian companies. Ownership details are not disclosed, but it is known that one of them is the co-owner of Rising Bank, Oleg Karchev. In his only interview with Kazan portal “Business-Online” he admitted that Merlion has 3 shareholders with blocking rights, but that the distribution of shares is classified information.

Business: The company positions itself as a discount electronics provider where you can order online, by phone or in stores.

Last Year: The company opened 90 new points for collecting and ordering products. 


#3 - Wildberries


  • Revenue: $530 million
  • Founded: 2004
  • Website: Wildberries.ru
  • Employees: 4500
  • Figures: 2.5 million customers

Ownership: English teacher, Tatiana Bakalchuk, decided to make money by reselling clothes from the German catalogue, “Quelle & Otto,” so in 2004 she opened a fashion clothing online-store. Today Wildberries is the largest online clothing and shoe store in the country. According to reports by SPARK, 100% of the company belongs to Bakalchuk, but the company claims that Bakalchuk’s husband Vladislav also holds a stake, as does Sergei Anfriev.

Business:  The site holds over 1000 brands and ships for free all over Russia.

Last Year: In July the online retailer expanded into Kazakstan. 


#4 - Ozon


  • Revenue: $350 million
  • Founded: 1998
  • Website: Ozon.ru, Sapato.ru, Ozon.travel
  • Employees: 2270
  • Figures: 1.7 million air and rail tickets sold by Ozon.travel in a year.

Ownership: The company was established by St Petersburg software company “RekSoft” and publishing house “Terra Fantastika;” but now the main shareholders are portfolio investors Baring Vostok Capital Partners, Index Ventures. ru-net, Rakuten, Intel Capital, Holtzbrinck and Cisco. At the end of 2013 it looked like Baring Vostok were looking to sell their blocking stake.

Business: Ozon sells 2 million types of products online, and also acts as an online ticket agency and hotel agency in Russia. The holdings gross turnover increased by 150% in 2013 to $750 million.

Last Year: Ozon completed an integration with online shoe shop Sapato.ru, which has now also started to sell clothing. The company announced that it will invest $28 million over 2-3 years into a loyalty scheme.


#5 - Biglion


  • Revenue: $334 million
  • Founded: 2010
  • Website: Biglion.ru
  • Employees: 1500
  • Figures: 5,000 orders a day for goods.

Ownership: The main owners are Vladimir Vinogradov, Oleg Savtsov and his wife Irina. They created the company after leaving their posts as top managers at RBC Media holding. Savtsov was deputy general director and Vinogradov headed the service RBC Money. Minor shareholders include investment fund ru-Net, Leonid Boguslavski and Tiger Global Management.

Business: Biglion were created as a clone of popular voucher service Groupon, where consumers can buy discount coupons and the site receives commissions from service providers. Several years ago Biglion began selling discount electronics and household goods.

Last year: The share of trade in the company’s revenue increased from 30-50%.


#6 - Holodilnik


  • Revenue: $310 million
  • Founded: 2003
  • Website: Holodilnik.ru
  • Employees: 755
  • Figures: According to experts, $10-15 million of investment was received in 2013.

Ownership: Valeri Kovalev was in charge of the company up until 2013, owning 71% of Holodilnik, with Dmitry Formichev owning the other 29%. Now the whole company belongs to Cypriot offshore company, Gelance Enterprises Ltd. 

Business: The company started selling domestic appliances offline in 1993. Now offline only contributes 30% of total revenue. Most of the company’s income now comes from Moscow and St. Petersburg, but in 2013 the company started to actively expand into Russia’s regions.

Last year: On sister-site Superholodilnik.ru, customers can now view 3D images of over 10,000 products.


#7 - Technopoint


  • Revenue: $260 million
  • Founded: 2011
  • Website: Technopoint.ru
  • Figures: 90,000 daily visitors, according to LiveInternet.

Ownership: Technopoint was created by the owners of electronics retail chain DNS, which was founded in Vladivostok. According to SPARK, the main shareholders in Technopoint are resources director Sergei Meschanyuk and DNS bosses Dmitry Alexeev and Yuri Karptsov.

Business:  Technopoint sells digital and household appliances. Orders can be taken online or via stores. Their strategy is to have the lowest prices in town.

Last year: Technopoint opened stores in 22 cities, starting in the Far East.


#8 - Enter


  • Revenue: $207 million
  • Founded: 2011
  • Website: Enter.ru
  • Employees: 2300
  • Figures: 3.7 million orders a year; 2.7 times more than 2012.

Ownership: Enter is owned by Svyaznoy president Maksim Nogotkov and former director of telecoms network MTS Sergei Rumyantsev. Rumantsev is now Enter’s CEO.

Business: Enter sells consumer goods, from household appliances to furniture sets, online and offline. Online orders represent 60% of revenue. 51% of their revenue comes from Russia’s regions. Enter now has 128 offline stores.

Last year: Enter opened a 62,000 square meter warehouse and expanded into the Southern and Volga Federal Districts.


#9 - 220 Volt


  • Revenue: $206 million
  • Founded: 2002
  • Website: 220-volt.ru
  • Employees: 900
  • Figures: Around 700 people got a “220 Volt” tattoo at the same time - an event that was entered into the Guinness Book of World Records.

Ownership: 220 Volt is a daughter company of “North-West,” which sells construction tools in bulk. It is owned by Lyudmila Andreeva and holding company “Merkuriz World Limited” (registered in the Channel Islands).

Business: Under the brand name 220 Volt, they have a retail chain and online shop. The company claimс that revenue from online selling exceeds offline sales. The store specialises in the sale of power tools, garden and construction equipment, lighting products and security systems, offering a total of more than 6,000 items.


#10 - Utkonos


  • Revenue: $200 million
  • Founded: 2000
  • Website: Utkonos.ru
  • Employees: 3000
  • Figures: 30,000 goods in their catalogue.

Ownership:  Utkonos was founded by St. Petersburg entrepreneurs Alex Nikitin and Sergei Fedorinov. In 2008 Nikitin’s company Kimbrig bought bankrupt Ultra Electronics and opened the first Ulmart store. 2 years later, the project raised investment:  60% of the business is now owned by Dmitri Kostigin and August Meyer, the former owners of supermarket chain Lenta, while 40% belongs to Nikitin and Michael Basinkevicha. Fedorinov holds the post of general director.

Business: Sells “everything you can plug into the mains”. You can order products on the website, by phone or go to physical stores. 

Last Year: More than 400,000 orders were delivered directly to customers.


#11 - KupiVip


  • Revenue: $190 million
  • Founded: 2008
  • Website: Kupivip.ru, Shoptime.ru
  • Employees: 1100
  • Figures: Founder Oskar Hartmann aims to raise no less than $125 million in case of an IPO.

Ownership: KupiVIP was created by Oskar Hartmann, based on French internet company Vente Privee, which was founded in 2001.  KupiVIP has more than 10 portfolio investors including; Intel Capital, Accel Partners, Mangrove Capital Partners, Acton Capital Partners, EBRR and more.

Business: KupiVIP.ru sells clothes, shoes and accessories from famous brands’ past collections at a discount. 

Last year: The shopping club introduced direct shipping from Los Angeles and New York.



#12 - Pixel24


  • Revenue: $150 million
  • Founded: 2009
  • Website: Pixel24.ru
  • Figures: 2218 customer reviews on Yandex.Market, around 7% of which are negative.

Ownership: Pixel24 is an unknown quantity for both investors and experts. On its website it says that it is registered as “F-Stor”. According to SPARK, it is owned by Alexei Frolov and Sergei Chechetkin.

Business: Pixel24 specialises in electronics, in particular products connected with photography and film, along with their accessories. In Moscow Pixel24 offers express delivery. 

Last Year: The online shop was connected to the credit system “KypiVcredit” allowing customers to receive up to $5500 in credit.


#13 - E96


  • Revenue: $144 milion
  • Founded: 2006
  • Website: e96.ru
  • Employees: 400
  • Figures: 145,000 products in 300 categories, available online.

Ownership: E96 was created by Boris Lepinski and Dmitry Pivovarov from Ekaterinburg. In the Autumn of 2012 51% of the online store was bought by Ulvi Kasimov’s fund IQ One. There is a planned merger for 2014 with “Yutinet.ru”, in which IQ One also owns a controlling interest.

Business: The company relies on sales of large machinery and is based in a few regions; Ekaterinburg, Tyumen, Chelyabinsk, Perm, Ufa, Novosibirsk and Rostov-on-Don.

Last year: Revenue grew by 70%.


#14 - Lamoda


  • Revenue: $140 million
  • Founded: 2010
  • Website: lamoda.ru
  • Employees: 2000
  • Figures: The record single spend on the site was over $15,000 for 187 items. 

Ownership: In December 2010, German entrepreneurs Nils Tonzen, Florian Yansen, Burkhard Binder and Dominic Piker founded online fashion retailer Lamoda. They are all managers of the company, but their share in it is unknown. Lamoda has also received investment from Access Industries, JPMorgan Chase and others. 

Business: Lamoda specialises in the sale of clothes, shoes and accessories. Their site includes 1 million products from 1000 brands. Lamoda have their own warehouse in Moscow and a delivery service that includes 25 cities around Russia.

Last Year: In June, Lamoda attracted $130 million of investment from Access Industries followed by a further $10 million from the World Bank’s IFC fund at the start of 2014.  


#15 - Vseinstumenti


  • Revenue: $135 million
  • Founded: 2006
  • Website: Vseinstrumenti.ru
  • Employees: 850
  • Figures: 25,000 assorted products. 

Ownership: Vseinstrumenti.ru, was created by Alexander Goltsovi, Nikolai Gudovski and Victor Kyzenetsovi, who met while studying at Moscow Physical and Technical Institute (MFTI). They still own the company. Since 2011 several rounds of investment have been received from Zoom Capital.

Business: The online shop specialises in building equipment, air conditioning and garden tools. They have stores in 53 regions in Russia.

Last year: Vseinstrumenti opened a store just outside Moscow selling display, defect or package-less goods at a discount.


#16 - Sotmarket


  • Revenue: $111 million
  • Founded: 2005
  • Website: Sotmarket.ru
  • Employees: 900
  • Figures: 10,000 calls dealt with daily

Ownership: Sotmarket was created when 11th grader, Vsevolod Strakh started to sell USB cables through his own site; sending orders via post and using profits to extend his range of products. In 2012 venture fund Ulvi Kasimov’s fund IQ One bought 51% of Sotmarket. 

Business: The online store specialises in trading electronics, their accessories and small appliances. 85% of the sales from their 120,000 products come from small regions.

Last year: Kasimov announced plans to merge Sotmarket with his fund’s other e-commerce assets Yutinet.ru and E96. 


#17 - Vasko


  • Revenue: $90 million
  • Founded: 2004
  • Website: Vasko.ru
  • Employees: 150
  • Figures: VIP delivery takes up to 3 hours.

Ownership:  Its co-founders, St. Petersburg entrepreneurs Alex Nikitin and Sergei Fedorinov. In 2008, Nikitin’s  company “Kimbrig” bought bankrupt “Ultra Electronics” and opened the first “Ulmart” store. 2 years later, the project raised investment:  60% of the business is now owned by Dmitri Kostigin and Avgust Meyer, who formerly owned “Lenta,” while 40% belongs to Nikitin and Michael Basinkevicha. Fedorinov holds the post of general director.

Business: Sells “everything you can plug in to the mains”. You can order the product on the website, by phone or go to stores themselves. 

Last Year: More than 400,000 orders were delivered directly to customers.


#18 - Notik


  • Revenue: $79 million
  • Founded: 1999
  • Website: Notik.ru
  • Employees: 110
  • Figures: More than 1500 types of laptops, tablets and smartphones in stock.

Ownership: Equally shares are held by CEO Andrei Shatrov and Yuri Zhizhin.

Business: Notik started selling laptops online via Bestnotebook.narod.ru. In 2002, they opened up their current site, Notik.ru. In 2004, they introduced a delivery service. Besides laptops and tablets, Notik sells phones, e-books and related accessories. They have shops in 5 cities and partners in more than 100 cities.

Last Year: The turnover of goods in warehouses decreased from 30 days to 22,which is important in a market where producers are changing their product line 3-4 times a year. 


#19 - Yutinet


  • Revenue: $72 million
  • Founded: 2004
  • Website: Utinet.ru
  • Employees: 300
  • Figures: More than 2 million users per month.

Ownership: Michael Ukolov, a student at the Moscow Economics Institute, together with Oleg Ribalov and David Galoyan opened their online store in the mid 2000s and managed to captured 10% of the laptop market. In 2010 Ulvi Kasimov from IQ One bought 51% of the company and within a year the company made 9.1% of the company’s stock on the Moscow Stock Exchange. IQ One now owns 46.4% and Ukolov and his partners hold 44.3%.

Business: The online hypermarket offers 60,000 electronic items and appliances. 

Last Year: It was decided that IQ One’s e-commerce assets E96 and Sotmarket will be merged into Yutinet brand. 


#20 - Softkey


  • Revenue: $61 million
  • Founded: 2001
  • Website: Softkey.ru
  • Employees: 183
  • Figures: 8000 orders daily

Ownership: In 1998, programmer Felix Muchnik wrote a program based on the American online service, Digital River, which turned into an online software store. In 2006 IBS Group acquired 70% of Softkey. Muchnika and his partner, Dmitri Rumyantseva, remain among the shareholders. 

Business: Softkey is Russia’s largest online software distributor. In their catalogue there are more than 15,000 programs. 

Last Year: It is now possible to make payments via Eleksnet and PayPal.

Source: Forbes.ru

Top image via Shutterstock

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