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QIWI Venture, the venture arm of the QIWI Group, announces its first investment, an undisclosed amount of seed money for the Carbay service. From its launch in January 2013, QIWI Venture has received 200 projects and fund manager Sergey Ebich says that they have closed investment deals for a number of small projects, the first of which is Carbay. Carbay, which launched in May of this year, already serves customers.
Carbay is a service designed to help auto-dealers advertise their cars on various social networks. For a base price of 57 Euro per month, companies can fill out a form with pictures and technical specs of the car and have ads placed on auto-sale sites like AUTO.AVITO, Yandex.Auto, Autorambler, Auto.Mail.ru, Cars.ru, and on social networks like Facebook, Vkontakte, Twitter, and Youtube. In addition to the base service including the aforementioned auto-sites, customers can have the profiles of their cars displayed for an extra fee on paid auto-sites like AM.ru, Auto.ru, Drom.ru, Auto.IRR.ru, aVtomarket, and Auto.dmir.ru (the price list for this section includes dozens of varying fees and in Russian, so difficult to paint a complete picture. Prices are often broken down by the time period or the region for which the ad will be placed. In this section, fees can range from about 52 Euro/month all the way up to 820 Euro/month for extensive ad-placements). In addition to their web service, Carbay offers an app for Android phones and intends to soon release apps for iOS and Android tablets. With this announcement, the press release states that Carbay has already attracted 15 Moscow auto-dealers as customers.
We’ve written about QIWI a couple times in the past, most recently when they issued an IPO and went public on the NASDAQ at the beginning of May. They offer a private package-delivery alternative to the state-run Russian Post and provide quick-pay kiosks and an e-wallet service. When the company announced their financial results for Q1 2013, they announced a 50% increase in adjusted net revenue to $41,3 million (31 million Euro) over the previous year, announced a 216% increase in adjusted net profit from the previous year to $14,7 million (11 million Euro), and announced that they have 13 million active users of their e-wallet service. In terms of investments, QIWI Ventures expects to invest particularly in services from the finance and internet sector, CBM-related projects, advertising, mobile and e-commerce, and aggregators of goods and services. At the moment, they are offering up to $1 million (751K Euro) in funding.
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