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Russian Search Giant Yandex Has Spun Off Its Self-Driving Car Unit MLU-BV

Dimitry Polishcuck remains the CEO of MLU-BV which is now solely focussed on self-driving technology.

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Dimitry Polishcuck remains the CEO of MLU-BV which is now solely focussed on self-driving tech


  • MLU-BV was expected to have an IPO of more than $7.7 billion
  • It is an JV between Yandex of Russia and Uber in the US.
  • It is now fully focussed on self driving cars.

Russia's best-known tech company Yandex, which sometimes referred to as the Google of Russia has spun-off its subsidiary MLU-BV which it has been running in partnership with Uber. Yandex had MLU-BV which it was running as a part of a ride-hailing and food-delivery JV both the companies had. In 2019, Yandex and Uber were planning an IPO for MLU-BV but it seems like the plans have changed thanks to the pandemic which has ravaged ride-hailing businesses the world over. MLU-BV has been valued at $7.7 billion but in the wake of the losses Uber has had in the last six months is sure to have impacted it. 

uber self driving car

Uber has its own self driving car unit in the US.

Yandex is however characterising this as a doubling down on the self-driving unit. “From a business standpoint, we are increasing our stake in a strategically important business with lots of potential for growth. From a technology standpoint, self-driving technology is quickly moving forward to become a viable business,” said a spokesman reports TechCrunch. 

IPO has been put on the backburner for the time being. But Yandex has invested another $150 million which comes in form of $100 million in equity and $50 million in the form of a convertible loan. Till now Yandex had invested only $65 million in the business. 

“In just a short period of time, we have achieved breakthrough results in autonomous driving. We firmly believe in the future of autonomous mobility as a safe and cost-effective form of transportation with a vast addressable market. The additional capital that we are investing in SDG will allow it to continue to pursue the R&D and productisation of autonomous mobility,” said Arkady Volozh, CEO and co-founder of Yandex. 

yandex reuters

Yandex for many, is the Google of Russia. 


Dimitry Polishcuck remains the CEO of MLU-BV which is now solely focussed on self-driving. Back in 2017, the unit which included broader ride-sharing businesses too was worth more than $3.72 billion which means the valuation has doubled over the last couple of years. They already have a fleet of 130 vehicles in Russia, Israel and US for the sake of testing. These cars have clocked more than 4 million autonomous miles. The start-up licenses its autonomous technology to Hyundai. 

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