Russia's Yandex to launch e-grocery delivery in Paris then London

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian internet giant Yandex is set to launch its online grocery delivery in Paris in the second quarter of this year, the company said on Friday, after strong demand in Russia during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russia's e-commerce market boomed last year as lockdown restrictions kept shoppers at home, with Yandex.Lavka, a 15-minute grocery delivery service, one of the main beneficiaries.

Yango, the international arm of Yandex Go, the firm's taxi aggregator and food tech business, launched the grocery service in Israel under the Yango Deli brand late last year.

Yandex said the Yango Deli service would soon operate in central Paris and that it has already registered a French company and started hiring staff for the venture.

The service works using so-called dark stores, dedicated warehouses that cater only to online clients, allowing for swift delivery and cheaper rental costs.

"In France, Yandex's Yango Deli will use the company's tried and tested model of hyperlocal delivery in 10-15 minutes from dark stores, supported by its proprietary technologies and know-how. It will take orders via its own app," Yandex said in a statement.

The company said it was planning to launch the service in London in the third quarter of this year.

Yandex.Lavka launched in Russia in 2019 and processes close to 2 million orders every month, with over 300 dark stores in operation.

Yandex, which also runs Russia's largest ride-hailing service alongside its core advertising business, is planning to spend around $500 million on developing its e-commerce services this year, its finance chief said in February.

(Reporting by Alexander Marrow; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)