Ebay, the e-commerce platform that connects buyers and sellers have announced that they will open in Russia by the end of March. Users will be able to access the site in Russian and pay for fixed-price items using PayPal, eBay’s online payments system.
Chief Executive John Donahoe said Russia’s e-commerce market is worth $5 billion a year at the moment, compared with $150 billion in the United States, but could quadruple to $20 billion.
“Our goal … is to have a small percentage of that … The (Russian) market is at an exciting, but growing stage, and there is a lot of opportunity there,” he said. “The Russian e-commerce market grew by more than 50 percent last year to $5 billion and can continue to do so for many years to come,” he added.
Ebay are also open to picking up local players, which will come as good news to the Russian start-up community.
“If the right opportunity presents itself, we will be open to acquisitions (in Russia),” Donahoe told Reuters during a reception held by the U.S. embassy in the Russian capital. He added that joint ventures were also under consideration.
Currently Ozon.ru is the largest e-commerce player in Russia with a platform more similar to Amazon.com than Ebay. Amazon have yet to make any moves into the Russian market although they do deliver to the country.