Alisher Usmanov is a billionaire based in Russia that made money from mining, lumber, and other investments. He is the 142nd richest person in the world with a value of $5.5 billion. Usmanov has been proactively investing in Internet companies. Usmanov is a majority owner in Digital Sky Technologies (owner of Mail.ru) and SUP (the owners of Live Journal since December 2007).
Usmanov is now pursuing a large investment into Yandex (Yandex in English). Yandex is a search engine that is currently in the planning stages of an IPO. Usmanov is interested in 10-20% of the company which could be valuated at $1 billion given Yandex’s $5 billion valuation.
Yandex is ranked #3 in search in Europe. Yandex had over 528 million monthly searches as of May 2008. Yandex made $167 million in 2007 revenues. Although the deal is not confirmed, this could be one of the largest investments made in a search engine.
1. Quintura Blog