The operator of Russia's most popular search engine, Yandex ( YNDX , quote ), is considering expanding in Europe and Latin America according to the company's CEO, Arkady Volozh.
While speaking at the annual technology event TechCrunch Moscow on Monday, Volozh teased the crowd with, "There a lot of countries in Europe and Latin America with just one player."
At first blush, investors may wonder why Yandex is looking to expand outside of Russia. After all, the country is now the largest Internet market in Europe with about 60 million users. In addition, market penetration is only about 43%, which means e-commerce is still at an early stage of development.
But Yandex has always been different than other oligarch-owned companies in Russia. During the roadshow for its IPO, the company emphasized it was looking to build a presence beyond Russia.
The corporate culture at Yandex is more like Silicon Valley than Russia. Perhaps that is why it is often referred to as Russia's Google ( GOOG , quote ) for more than the fact that both companies started out as search engines.
Both are aggressive innovators. One Western banker who worked on the IPO for Yandex was quoted as saying "When you walk through the door, you feel like you're not in Russia anymore."
Yandex will not forget about Russia though.
Volozh also said the company's strategy for retaining its dominant 65% market share in Russia will involve the launch of new products and improvements in its distribution network.