Russian internet firm Yandex and Sberbank have announced plans to build a new ecommerce ecosystem on the Yandex.Market platform with Sberbank investing 30 billion rubles ($500 million) into the shopping site.

The non-binding deal, which will likely close by the end of 2017, will value the platform at 60 billion rubles ($1 billion) while both firms will hold an equal stake in the ecommerce venture. Up to 10% of shares will be set aside for an equity incentive program for employees.

The new venture will bring Sberbank’s payments infrastructure to the Yandex.Market, according to Maxim Grishakov, CEO of Yandex.Market, which has 20 million users. It will also add consumer lending to the platform.

“The proposed investment will strengthen Yandex.Market’s position in the ecommerce segment allowing us [to] improve our logistics capabilities, accelerate the wide-scale introduction of Checkout on Yandex.Market and enhance our value proposition to domestic and international merchants,” said Grishakov.

“This partnership opens up new opportunities for Russian producers, ecommerce players, and small and medium businesses, unlocks opportunities for Russian exports abroad, and creates a new channel for international participants in the market,” added Herman Gref, president and chairman of the board of Sberbank.

Maxim Ghishakov will continue on as the CEO of Yandex.Market and will join the board of directors. Three representatives from Yandex and three from Sberbank will also join the board.

(Featured image: Wikimedia Commons)

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