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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Internet Developer and Investor Part Ways




The developer and investor that cooperated to create two recent high-profile additions to the .ru zone of the Internet, Internet auction site molotok.ru and free web host narod.ru, have decided to part ways, the companies have announced.


Network equipment supplier and web developer CompTek, whose programmers developed the two sites, has swapped its 50 percent stake in molotok.ru for 50 percent of narod.ru held by NetBridge, an Internet investment company that proposed the sites and managed and marketed them, Yelena Kolmanovskaya, a spokeswoman for CompTek, and Julia Sigunova, spokeswoman for NetBridge, said in a joint statement.


Neither site was valued for the deal.


Kolmanovskaya said in an interview Monday the developers believed the sites' values were nearly identical, adding that CompTek had recently refused an offer of $1 million for narod.ru from a Russian company that had learned of the swap.


"We have no plans to sell it," she said Monday.


Kolmanovskaya and Sigunova said the two companies' strategies diverged and they decided to divide up their property.


"We were satisfied with CompTek and their approach to business, but we differed in our understanding of strategy," Sigunova said. "But NetBridge was responsible for managing and promotion, and we always try to aggressively promote our projects. On this point, we had big disagreements, and we decided to split up, organize an exchange and stay friends."


CompTek, whose CEO Arkady Volozh was the original author of the popular Yandex search engine, sees its future in the development of a "portal" around Yandex - a multipurpose site with mail, search functions and a variety of other services, such as free hosting on narod.ru.


"Narod ... fits 100 percent with Yandex's strategy to become the leading public portal. That's why it was natural for us to choose a free public service," Volozh said in an interview Monday.


Sigunova said NetBridge is pursuing an e-commerce oriented strategy.


Yandex is being spun off as an independent business entity, Volozh said in an interview last month. That business will steer clear of logistics-intensive e-commerce projects, instead forming partnerships with e-commerce firms to satisfy portal users' demands, he said.


The exception, he said, could be a potential partner with supply and delivery systems already worked out, requiring that Yandex merely program an e-commerce interface to get the web-based business up and running.