Yandex: ‘Plenty of room’ despite growing Google threat

Russia’s most popular search engine, Yandex, has lost a significant chunk of its market share over the past year — but announcing a 50 percent increase in profits for the first quarter of this year, CEO Arkady Volozh says there’s still lots of room to keep growing.

Mobile ad firm Madvertise buys Turkey’s Mobilike

Most Berlin startups are looking to get acquired, but here’s one that’s doing the buying: Madvertise, which has just picked up Turkey’s top mobile advertising company Mobilike for an undisclosed sum.
Carsten FrienMadvertise is already the leading mobile ad firm in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Globally, it’s certainly one of the smaller players in an industry dominated by Google (s GOOG) and Apple (s AAPL), but it’s looking to at least take over the European market — and the Mobilike buy is part of that plan.
Being Turkish, Mobilike will provide a “beachhead for the entire region,” Madvertise CEO Carsten Frien told me, the region in question being south-eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Although its headquarters are in Berlin, Madvertise already has sales satellites in London, Paris, Milan and Barcelona. According to Frien, the company aims to be European market leader by 2014 — right now, it’s just the biggest firm of that kind that’s headquartered in Europe.
Here’s a graph showing the combined reach of Madvertise and Mobilike, with the former accounting for around 1.7 billion page impressions a month and the latter somewhere north of 300 million:

Of course, buying other companies is only one way to expand. Beyond the tactical move of picking up Mobilike — which has 60 percent market share in Turkey — Madvertise also has another trick up its sleeve.
The company’s about to roll out a real-time bidding platform for mobile ads. This is a trend that’s already taking hold in the general online ad market due to its efficiency and targeting advantages, but that is yet to become dominant in the handset world. Mobclix is doing something similar, but Apple and Google are yet to follow suit.

We’re rolling out the first version in May and the second version in August,” Frien said. “It allows us to take Madvertise as a business into any region of the world. Yes, we’re going into the Middle East with our Turkey acquisition, but our global platform strategy allows us to tackle any market globally.”

Frien was also keen to talk up the engineering focus of his company. He pointed to the kind of regulatory interest that arguably caused Apple to stop using unique device identifiers (UDIDs) as a way of identifying users, noting that Madvertise “anticipated this move” and developed its own way of doing the same thing.
Madvertise’s system identifies the user by correlating around 40 parameters, including the handset model, the installed browser, the site being browsed or the app being used, the carrier and the user’s location.
“We’re doing very innovative stuff and obviously we’re only focused on mobile,” Frien said. “Google and Apple have more resources, but that doesn’t mean they always have the cutting edge across all their products.”

What Europe’s top venture capitalists really think

Some of Europe’s leading investors gathered in Italy last week to discuss the problems and opportunities faced by startups across the continent. But what did they actually think? And what does it mean?

Trendyol takes Turkey with $26m from Kleiner Perkins

Meet Demet Mutlu, the 30-year-old founder and CEO of Turkey’s top fashion site, Trendyol. She’s used to breaking boundaries at home, but her latest achievement could be among the most important — confirmation that the site is Kleiner Perkins’ first investment in Turkey.

How to (and How Not to) Cook a Thanksgiving Turkey

If you’re reading this on Thanksgiving morning, then you probably already know what’s happening with your turkey this year. But if you’re slightly behind, or you just want to see what happens when the pyrotechnically-inclined experiment with deep fryers, this post is for you.

Turkey Wants Taxes From YouTube Despite Blocking the Site

Turkish Internet users have been blocked from accessing YouTube since 2008 – but the country still wants Google to pay taxes for the video site. The demands come as Turkey is actually stepping up its censorship against YouTube, inadvertently blocking many other Google services as well.

Turkish Government Blocking Access to Google Sites

According to several news reports, the Turkish government appears to have blocked access to some or all of Google’s services in that country. The blockage seems to be related to the government’s ongoing blockade of YouTube due to its hosting of videos critical of Turkey’s founder.

Turkey Preparation, Space Coffee: NTV Station Today

On the one hand, this video from CollectSpace demonstrating how an astronaut can drink from a cup while in space, is a really cool display of the principles of surface tension and fuel tank design. On the other hand, how much money was spent developing a space cup when juice boxes do the same job anywhere?

And are you planning on cooking a turkey for Thanksgiving this year? Have you got your turkey strategy in place yet? No worries if you haven’t, because today Craig Rubens has collated a slew of turkey preparation ideas from the depths of online video. Check out what makes a great cooking video, and get some ideas for Thursday’s feast, at NewTeeVee Station.