Yandex Expands to Hungary, Finland With Transport-Tracking App

  • Russian search engine starts app to track buses in Budapest
  • Service being monetized in Helsinki via Facebook ads network

The Yandex headquarters in Moscow.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg

Yandex NV, Russia’s largest search engine, is expanding to Hungary with an app that promises to help users navigate Budapest’s public-transport system.

Yandex.Transport uses GPS to track buses, trams and ferries in real time, and estimates their arrival times, according to a statement Tuesday. The app, which has reached 2.9 million monthly users in Russia and former Soviet republics since 2014.

Yandex, which leads Alphabet Inc.’s Google in Russian Internet search market share, is seeking to diversify into new countries and mobile services, including those based on geolocation, to keep growing in the future. The app started in Finland, its first non-Russian speaking market, in July and is getting traction there, according to Yandex.

In foreign markets where Yandex isn’t present as a search engine, it plans to monetize its app by connecting it to Facebook Inc.’s Audience Network and sharing revenue from ads shown to Yandex.Transport users, the company said.

European rivals include Israeli startup Moovit, Lithuania-based Trafi and HERE, the former Nokia maps unit acquired by German carmakers last year.

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