By Adria Calatayud


Yandex NV and Uber Technologies Inc. plan to spin off self-driving vehicle business Yandex Self Driving Group BV from their ride-hailing and food-tech joint-venture MLU BV, Yandex said Friday.

Russian tech company Yandex said it will inject $150 million into the self-driving business, of which $100 million will be through an equity investment and the remaining $50 million as a convertible loan, and buy a portion of Uber's stake in Yandex Self Driving Group.

Following these transactions, Yandex will own a 73% stake in Yandex Self Driving Group, Uber will own 19% and the remaining 8% will be reserved for management and employees, the Russian company said.

Yandex said it has been developing its proprietary self-driving technology since 2017, and its autonomous vehicle fleet currently has 130 cars. Since 2019, the company has also been developing its own delivery robot, in a bid to automate last-mile delivery of small- and medium-sized packages.

"The additional capital that we are investing in [Yandex Self Driving Group ] will allow it to continue to pursue the R&D and productization of autonomous mobility," Yandex Chief Executive Arkady Volozh said.

Furthermore, Yandex separately said it entered into an agreement with Uber to contribute its Yandex.Drive car-sharing business to their joint venture. After the addition of Yandex.Drive to MLU, Yandex will own 61.7% of MLU, while Uber will own 33.5%, the company said.

Both transactions are subject to customary closing conditions and are expected to close in the third quarter, Yandex said.

MLU was formed after Uber in 2017 combined its Russian operations with Yandex.Taxi.


Write to Adria Calatayud at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 04, 2020 05:02 ET (09:02 GMT)

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