Uber has announced it will scale back operations in Russia, creating a new transport company with local search giant Yandex.
Yandex.Taxi and Uber driver-side apps will be merged into one service, but both apps will remain available to customers in Russia. The new company will also take over operations in Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
Uber will own 36.6 percent of shares in the unnamed company and hold three of the seven board seats, Yandex will own 59.3 percent of shares, the other 4.1 percent going to employees.
“Our users will have seamless global roaming across the both taxi platforms,” said Yandex.Taxi CEO, Tigran Khudaverdyan. “For example, a user of Yandex.Taxi could order an UberX directly from their Yandex.Taxi app upon arriving in London or Bangkok. An Uber user arriving in Moscow from Paris will be able to order a Yandex.Taxi straight from their app.”
The new company will also be responsible for UberEats, the company’s food delivery service, which is available in Moscow.
First China, then Russia
It is Uber’s second retreat from the global stage, coming almost a year after the ride-sharing giant ended operations in China and partnered with Didi Chuxing. This time, the Uber app will continue to operate, but it seems unlikely that the company will continue to invest heavily in the region.
Uber has been hemorrhaging money, losing $2.8 billion last year. While investors have let the company, valued at $60 billion, off the hook for the past few years, it may be looking to tighten the ship now that CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned, following a barrage of negative stories about the culture and management of Uber.
That seems to include running away from countries where the government is hostile to outsider businesses and happy to prop-up their homegrown companies with cash, access, and regulations.