Russian-founded service marketplace YouDo has raised $17 million in a funding round led by the country's largest telecommunication service provider, PJSC MTS, which contributed $12 million. With the fresh capital injection the company plans to launch new service categories in the near future, as well as begin an international expansion.
Earlier this year, Russian newspaper Kommersant reported that both PJSC MTS and China's Alibaba Group were interested in investing in YouDo, however, the latter did not end up participating in the current funding round.
“We are planning to test certain things with Alibaba, but today there is no Alibaba's entry into the capital,” Alexei Gidirim, co-founder of YouDo.com, told tech.eu.
Launched in 2012 with a focus on home repairs, YouDo currently lists 16 different categories of services, from car repairs to tutoring to web development and design. It claims to have more than 800,000 pre-screened and verified service providers and 5 million registered users in total.
The company only operates in the Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, and Yekaterinburg regions in Russia, however, “nearly 30 percent of its orders are virtual, and are issued and carried out from anywhere in the world,” YouDo stated in a press release. Speaking of the possible international markets the company could enter, Gidirim mentioned that “Central and Eastern Europe are considered in priority.”
“The partnership with MTS means access to the vast clientele and expertise of MTS,” Gidirim said. “Our efforts combined, we will be able to produce unique services for our customers and quickly expand the reach of these services. At the same time, the company will remain independent. If there's need for additional capital, we can further raise current funding to $27 million within the framework of the current round.”