Russian mapping major 2GIS acquires Belarusian geo-marketing start-up

Russian mapping major 2GIS acquires Belarusian geo-marketing start-up
Russian mapping major 2GIS acquires Belarusian geo-marketing start-up
By East West Digital News in Moscow May 12, 2021

2GIS, a leading mapping service owned by Sber, is in the process of acquiring RocketData, a successful geo-marketing start-up from Belarus.

Founded in 2017, RocketData provides an “easy-to-use platform to manage your company’s business information and user reviews among more than 30 location-based services” from maps, search engines and directories to GPS devices, to social networks, reports East-West Digital News (EWDN).

RocketData will add your company’s information to these services, identify and fix mistakes, and protect your data. The platform will also help you manage customer reviews, providing “a tool to answer them from a single interface.”

2GIS and RocketData have been partners since 2019. “This platform is in demand from our clients in 15 large Russian cities, and [we will make it] available in most cities of Russia and Kazakhstan by the end of 2021,” 2GIS general manager Vera Garmash stated.

Earlier this month, 2GIS signed binding documents for the acquisition of 47% of RocketData, along with a capital injection to develop the service further. The acquirer’s stake is expected to increase to 88% after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals, but the current team will retain operational control of the company.

The amount of the transaction was not disclosed. In an exchange with East-West Digital News, RocketData described the deal as being “flexible and dynamic,” with the final numbers to be determined only by the end of 2021.

Service integration and international expansion

While RocketData expects its integration with the Sber ecosystem to bring a flow of new customers, it also hopes to be supported in its international expansion strategy beyond the Russian-speaking area.

“This [acquisition] will give [us] an additional opportunity to compete with such world-known players as Yext, Uberall, BrightLocal, etc,” the company says.

RocketData initially secured a pre-seed round from TUT.BY, a major Belarusian portal. Then the start-up raised $500,000 from a pool of investors that included RBF Ventures, a Russian-Belarusian state-backed tech fund, alongside TUT.BY and local business angels. In 2020, RBF Ventures backed a follow-on round.  

This article first appeared in East-West Digital News (EWDN), a bne IntelliNews partner publication.