Gett, an online taxi service that competes with Uber, attracted a $100 million venture loan from Russia's largest lender, Sberbank, to fund growth in the country and beyond, according to a statement yesterday.
Sberbank said the 7-year loan gives it an option for an undisclosed number of Gett shares. Other terms weren't provided. Gett, a Tel Aviv-based taxi-ordering application, has a strong foothold in Israel and the U.K., as well as Russia, and is seeking further expansion. Gett raised $300 million from German carmaker Volkswagen earlier this year.
Gett plans to use Sberbank funding to expand further in Russia, where it doubled its geographical reach to 57 cities this month, more than Uber or another competitor, Yandex. Taxi, the company said by e-mail Wednesday.
"Our vision is to scale operations in Russia, expanding to new regions and adding new services such as organizing delivery for retailers and restaurants," Gett said in an e-mailed response to questions.
Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman's LetterOne invested $200 million in Uber earlier this year, seeing potential synergies with his wireless carrier VimpelCom. Sberbank has over 30 million Russians using its online services and plans to create a virtual mobile operator.