Five promising Russian automotive startups

The global media increasingly focus on drones when analyzing the automotive market. Yet, in reality, the global market for autopilot systems is just a drop in the bucket compared to the total market for smart technologies in that segment: $1.3 bln versus $230.2 bln. In many ways, the market is driven by startups creating new products and PoC projects with big players. The five most promising Russian auto-tech companies are described below.


  • Founded in: 2018
  • Country: Russia, preparing to expand to Europe
  • Staff: 10
  • Model: B2C, B2B

What they do

The team launched a fully automated platform for searching and booking car maintenance services. The booking process is similar to the car owner selects the car and the necessary services, instantly sees the cost of work and components, and books a visit to the chosen auto repair center using a credit card.

Despite the apparent simplicity on the client end, YEZ.RU are actually technological pioneers, as they were the first in the world to offer users a seamless process of booking services with real-time pricing. Customer requests are processed in a fully automatic mode.

By the way, if during the visit to a service center unforeseen failures are found, the express delivery service will supply necessary car parts within 90 minutes for prompt installation. 

Developing and testing the platform took about a year and a half. 

Source of funding: the total amount of funding has reached $1 mio so far. At the pre-seed stage, the project already found a foreign investor, Vojtěch Kacena, former managing partner at The Boston Consulting Group in the Czech Republic and Managing Director of the BHM Group Europe direct investment fund. Kacena invested $750K in the service. Another $250K came from the platform founder, Vladislav Matchin

The platform’s turnover over the first four months was RUR 15.5 mio ($241K) without any paid promotion expenses. Project representatives are in negotiations with foreign foundations to attract more investment to fund their international expansion. 


  • Founded in: 2014
  • Country: Russia, United States
  • Staff: 15
  • Model: B2B

What they do

Hoversurf developed a hoverbike, a personal aircraft that is often compared to a flying motorcycle. Piloting the hoverbike does not require a pilot license or certification; therefore, its creators believe the new mode of transportation can be popular among both private individuals and in businesses – for example, logistics companies. Like Aeromobile, hoverbikes can take off from an ordinary parking space, which means they can be used everywhere rather than only in specially equipped areas. 

Initially, the project was positioned as non-profit, but the strategy was changed after such big players as Airbus and Uber took interest in the air taxi concept. With 3,500 preorders already received, company experts are engaged in developing two new systems: air taxi and cargo drone.

Hoversurf plans to be involved in the development only, with aircraft and car manufacturers responsible for production and manufacturing. The company has already signed contracts with the bike manufacturer Yamaha, Dubai police and several other partners, setting its sights on the markets of UAE, Singapore and the US. According to the company’s CEO, passenger drones will hit the stores in 2025 and by 2035, the market will be formed.

Source of funding: the total volume of investments is about $2.4 mio. Aside from the founder, money came from business angels Nikolai Belykh and Sergei Solonin, the Starta Capital venture fund and Electra Capital.


  • Founded in: 2018
  • Country: Russia
  • Staff: 20
  • Model: B2C, B2B

What they do

The startup has created the Turbo mobile app that allows for buying fuel in advance at a fixed price. The company buys fuel from filling stations with a discount, then sells it through the same fuel station chains and receives part of the discount as remuneration.

End-users buy fuel at the purchase price. The storage period is unlimited but there is a restriction on volume: no more than 300 liters for each type of fuel. One can use their fuel at any time at Gazprom Neft gas stations in Moscow and the Moscow Region. The company’s partners are Gazprom Neft, EKA and Sberbank. 

Source of funding: the founder’s personal finances of $300,000. In the first month of the company’s work, revenues totaled RUR 4.5 mio ($69,800). Total revenues from working with private clients is about $3.8 mio (the company does not disclose figures regarding the B2B sector). Next year, the project is expected to generate monthly revenue of some RUR 1 bln ($15.5 mio).  


  • Founded in: 2012
  • Countries: Russia and another 24 countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Mexico, and others)
  • Staff: 330
  • Model: B2B, B2C

What they do

inDriver is a ride hailing service launched in Yakutsk in late 2012. Initially, the company positioned itself as an alternative to traditional taxis, whose owners considerably raised prices during freezing temperatures. The project developers built a mobile app which allows passengers to set the price for a ride while taxi drivers pay fixed amount of money per day for accessing the orders. When making an order, a customer enters information on start and destination addresses and the price they can pay for a ride. Drivers have the option to agree or to offer their price. 

Source of funding: the founder’s personal finances of about $10 mio, invested over the course of five years. In 2017, the company attracted $5 mio from the venture fund LETA Capital. 


  • Founded in: 2018
  • Region: Russia
  • Staff: 15
  • Model: B2C, B2B

What they do

METR is a service for calling tow trucks or other types of emergency service vehicles that works on the same principle as the ride hailing service Uber. Information is sorted by the ride price, distance and ranking. The user’s current location is determined via mobile phone geolocation function. To make an order, a user chooses operator, order subject, and preferable payment method via the app. Apart from tow trucks, other options available include mobile tire service, opening of vehicle, returning the vehicle to the road, and the Designated Driver option.   

Source of funding: the founder’s personal finances. The sum is not disclosed.  

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