Israeli Start-up KitLocate Bought By Yandex Will Become Their Israeli R&D Centre

The Russian search engine will turn KitLocate’s Herzliya office into its Israeli R&D center. According to “TechCrunch”, the acquisition totaled several million euros.


KitLocate’s co-founders Omri Moran, CEO (fourth from the right), Yoav Cafri, CTO (first from the right) and Ron Miller, VP R&D (far left) with their team.
Russian search engine Yandex NV (Nasdaq: YNDX) has acquired KitLocate Ltd., which will turn the start-up’s Herzliya office into its Israeli R&D center. KitLocate offers energy-saving geolocation technology for smartphone apps. 

Yandex is one of the world’s largest non-English search engines. It has a 66% market share in Russian home market, compared with 25% for Google Inc. (Nasdaq: GOOG). According to “TechCrunch”, the acquisition totaled several million euros.

KitLocate’s technology can be applied in mobile applications for which data on a user’s movements are essential, in order to offer services at the right location and at the right time. It is based on statistical analysis and allows location-based apps to less frequently request the device’s geographic coordinates via GPS or GLONASS – a battery-consuming process.

KitLocate is already well known in a number of markets and is used in applications to find parking spaces, and in the payment services such as IsraCard. Yandex will now distribute the technology on the international market and will use KitLocate to improve the personalisation of mobile search and targeted advertising.

Yandex has long been working with startups and looking for talented teams around the world. In the past few years the company has acquired and invested in about a dozen startups, including in Israel. In 2010, Yandex became a shareholder in Israeli company, which is developing facial recognition technology. Facebook has since purchased Yandex’s stake in and uses the technology in its social network.

KitLocate was founded in Israel in 2012. It won the Israel Advanced Technology Industries (IATI) & MasterCard Israel Technology Award 2012 and subsequently raised seed funding. KitLocate’s customers include both large companies and startups.



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