Russian online service YouDo.com has raised additional funds in a new investment round, which drew in $17 million. The lead investor of the round, PJSC MTS (NYSE: MBT)(MOEX: MTSS) Russia's largest telecoms operator and digital services provider, accounted for $12 million of this investment. Current shareholders also took part in the round. The funds raised are to be used to launch new services categories and a federal-scale advertising campaign, as well as to further automate the products on offer and expand the business geographically, which includes foreign markets.
YouDo.com is an online platform, which allows users to quickly find professionals to perform their private or business-related tasks: cleaning and housekeeping, freight transport, courier delivery, and many more. There are 5 million users registered in the system, which includes over 800 thousand verified 'doers'. YouDo.com officially operates in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Yekaterinburg, and nearly 30% of its orders are virtual, and are issued and carried out from anywhere in the world.
'YouDo.com is a business rapidly growing in the promising market of virtual employment exchanges. We believe that positioning YouDo.com within the environment of MTS partners will allow us to achieve our full potential for a mutually beneficial long-term partnership. MTS has the resources and the skills, which can be beneficial both for geographic expansion and for raising the efficiency of the company's digital marketing strategy, which will help YouDo.com to maintain high rates of revenue growth,' said Alexander Gorbunov, Vice-President of MTS for Strategy and Development.
'The partnership with MTS means access to the vast clientele and expertise of MTS. 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,' said Alex(ei) Gidirim, Co-Founder of YouDo.com.
YouDo.com allows users to order services or to find assistants either through the youdo.com website or its mobile app (available on iOS and Android). All the user has to do is to publish the task they need carried out, put out a price and choose the person they will charge with it out of those who apply. All 'doers' undergo a thorough screening process by the service and are rated by the users, which ensures the high quality of the services they provide.
The social function of YouDo.com is one of the company's primary focus areas. On the one hand, the service allows freelancers to find projects that suit them best and to monetize their free time, while on the other hand it allows customers to spend more time with their families and loved ones, doing what they love, while professionals handle their chores.
The total amount invested into the online business of YouDo.com to date draws up to $26,5 million. The list of the investors of the business includes PJSC MTS, funds such as Sistema Venture Capital, Flint Capital, and United Capital Partner (UCP), as well as the owner of QIWI, Sergey Solonin, and entrepreneur Alexander Kabakov.