— Mail.ru earnings The Russian economy has slowed, but ru.net’s revenue growth hasn’t: Mail.ru, the country’s leading email provider and the world’s top Russian language site with 40 million monthly users, had revenues of $74.6 million (£45.3 million) — a 45 percent year-on-year increase — and income of $34.3 million (£20.8 million), a 29 percent increase on 2007 (via Businessinsider.com). That’s something, considering that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) managed only an eight percent period-on-period revenue increase in Q109. Business Insider rightly points to Mail.ru’s low overhead — 450 employees — as a key advantage, plus it was helped by growth in the Russian online ad market of 55 percent in 2008, to $590 million (£358.5 million)
— Direct Group:
The Bertelsmann-owned bookseller The Russian financial services provider has bought a minority stake in online shopping club KupiVIP.ru, which secured $8 million in VC funding in March. Direct’s CEO Pascal Clément joins the KupiVIP board as part of the deal. And the site’s aim is to grab three percent of the Russian designer fashion market, estimated to be worth $5 billion (£3 billion) a year, to reach sales of $150 million (£91.1 million). Via Yakov.
— Eksmo books: Russian book publisher Eksmo has bought the country’s largest digital book store, LitRes, from Alexander Dolgin, founder of the imhonet.ru recommendation service. The online library has more than 200,000 registered users and one million monthly unique users who have access to more than 19,000 digital books, which are sold on average for 11 roubles (£0.21). Also via Yakov.