Russia’s Yandex partners with Silicon Valley photo app Cooliris

Cooliris
Cooliris

Cooliris

When we last caught up with photo-sharing app Cooliris, CEO Soujanya Bhumkar and business development VP Sebastian Blum (T-Venture’s former managing partner in Silicon Valley) were in Berlin to meet the locals and scout for new recruits.

Today, Cooliris is announcing a localised launch in Russia – already one of the top ten markets for its iOS app – in partnership with local internet giant Yandex.

Cooliris is now integrated with Yandex’s photo service Yandex.Fotki (similar to Flickr or Picasa and claiming 10 million unique visitors per month). This means that users in Russia can access any of their Yandex.Fotki images from within the app.

Blum said the two companies were working on a joint promotional plan, which could see Cooliris pushed on the Yandex.Fotki landing webpage in coming weeks. It’s likely that integration with Yandex.Disk (equivalent to Google Drive) will be next up.

Cooliris’ core function is to pull photos from multiple services (Facebook, Flickr, iOS camera roll, Instagram, Google Drive or Image Search) together to give a beautiful browsing experience. It also gives options for selective sharing of photos with friends.

It’s been a long and winding road to today’s international expansion. Cooliris started out in 2006, since then raising over $28 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures, T-Venture and others, and releasing a series of products including a popular 3D desktop browser add-on, LiveShare and the Android Gallery app used as the default in the Nexus One smarphones.

The company is now firmly devoted to its new app for iPhone and iPad, which is sitting on an impressive 2.5 million downloads since its release in July 2012. Today’s Yandex partnership follows a similar deal with social network RenRen in China.

It seems to be a winning tactic – the localised China launch led to a 30x increase in downloads of the app in China over one month, Bhumkar said.

“The experience in China has been an amazing one and going forward we think that the Yandex one will be really great as well,” Blum said –  especially because of the other verticals they can work with. “This is just the start.”

Image credit: via Cooliris

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