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Avito.ru, the country’s leading classified ads site, is taking a big $75 million venture round from Accel and Baring Vostock plus previous backers Kinnevik and Northzone.
The company wants to add more primary e-tail to its small ads business, something which could make Avito.ru a cross between Craigslist and eBay.
GP Bullhound, which advised on the deal, says: “The interested investors represented financial parties looking to gain a foothold in the fast growing Russian Internet market, the fifth largest internet market globally.”
The circumstances for success look promising:
- Russia is now Europe’s largest internet population.
- Online ad spending overtook that of in print in 2011.
Most of Russia’s online ad growth has come from display ads and contextual sold by giants Yandex and Mail.ru, rather than classifieds.
Founded in 2007, Avito.ru claims 30 million uniques, a one-hour average dwell time and two billion page views per month, with six million new items added per month.
It claims to be responsible for transactions equalling three percent of Russian annual GDP.