A recent addition to the Appnext family is Mikhail Balakin, who has joined as Country Manager for Russia & CIS. Mikhail predicted big developments in his region when we asked him to gaze into his Appnext crystal ball.

Exciting developments are being made at Appnext: end-to-end discovery solutions, accelerating the OEM journey, building lasting relationships with carriers and advertisers, and delivering an unrivaled personalized user experience. In essence, I do not think there has ever been a more rewarding time to be a part of the Appnext family. 

But as the Country Manager for Russia & CIS, I want to elaborate on my own journey within Appnext and look at some of the promising things we can expect from the rapidly-expanding market in this region. We recently announced the expansion of our output in Russia & CIS, which comes after a truly tremendous 2020 that saw us deliver record growth for our clients in the region – a mind-blowing 80% increase in the number of active apps, to be precise. This huge boost is thanks to a number of exclusive partnerships with leading carriers and OEMs that are broadening their operations in the Russian mobile market and integrating Appnext’s recommendation engine directly into their devices. This works in conjunction with device-level app discovery solutions that offer an exclusive advertising channel where users will see them most.

What is clear to me is that Appnext will only continue growing in this region. Russia is ranked 5th in the world for smartphone users, and apps usage is increasing at a phenomenal pace. All eyes are on the country’s e-commerce market, which is set to reach a value of $65 billion next year. The vast majority of shopping is already done on mobile so it is unsurprising app developers are adopting Appnext’s discovery technology to ensure they reap the rewards of this booming industry.

Appnext has already captured a big slice of the Russian market. Every day, we enjoy an average of 20 interactions on each device from the 20+ million daily active users in Russia & CIS. Our current growth trajectories put Appnext on course to serve 30 billion app recommendations a month in the region by mid-2021. We will attain this expansion as we build relationships with local app developers in the region and watch them flourish under the Appnext umbrella. These developers will be joining some of the most established device brands and top advertisers with whom we have already cultivated lasting partnerships, including Yandex, Mail.ru, Sber, Joom, and LetyShops.

Everything I have just mentioned is, of course, part of Appnext’s broader achievement in streamlining the relationship between device manufacturers, network operators, and advertisers following the launch of the Out of Box Experience (OOBE). Appnext is now positioned as the only platform that is involved at every point in a mobile device lifetime: from the initial personalized setup and the dynamically pre-installed apps that are targeted according to location, device model, and local language, to the apps and services users interact with both daily and occasionally via multiple device touchpoints. All of this serves to engage users in a way that has never been done before. Personalization is one of the many attributes that has come to define us: we are making mobiles truly unique to their users and increasing OEMs, operators and advertisers’ brand visibility in a way that is appealing and not intrusive.

It has taken a lot of hard work by everyone at Appnext to get where we are today, and I could not be more proud to join this incredible team. I cannot wait to see the exciting opportunities that will present themselves in Russia and the surrounding region and watch Appnext continue shaping this industry in the profound way it has done so far.


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