Yandex

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Russian Companies - Recent Conciliatory Actions

Russian companies that have taken recent actions to be more acceptable to US and UK include EN+, Rusal, Renova, and Gazprom. Executive leader Oleg Deripaska has stepped down from his role, and gas giant Gazprom agreed to price rules based on EU pressures that it once refuted.

En+ Group and Rusal

Oleg Deripaska stepped down as the CEO of these two companies, which he helped form. The man is estimated to be worth $5.3 billion. The media reported "by distancing himself, Derispaska may be hoping to protect En+ and Rusal from association". At the time of resignation, Deripaska believed he could be put on sanctions from the US, which ultimately did happen.

Deripaska has been implicated in US based investigations due to ties with the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Still, the stepping down may be too late, as the list and connections will make Western banks more cautious with deals moving forward. The move was simply a distraction as the company felt negative impacts even after his resignation.

En+ recently pitched a share sale to many banks, including U.S. financiers, valued at $1 billion. "Deripaska’s role may have been viewed as an impediment to their participation" due to Deripaska's appearance of 200 Russian government and business figures published by the U.S. Treasury and the State Department with the prospect of potential sanctions. The list was pushed for publication through the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act of 2017.

Publication Metal Miner in this article chastises the move stating: "You might be asking: since when does an oligarch voluntarily relinquish control of his empire? Well, possibly rather like Vladimir Putin stepping aside in 2008 for his friend and colleague Dmitry Medvedev to take over as president when you do not really relinquish control at all." The move is percieved as quite transparent.

The recent sanctions against Moscow hurt these two companies on top of Derispaska's resignation. "Rusal's Hong Kong-listed share price more than halving to HK$2.30, while shares in En+, which listed on the London Stock Exchange in November, were more than 40 per cent down in afternoon trading." Rusal was aware the sanctions would produce a negative effect stating: "Even the presence of the list makes some Western banks wary of what deals they get into with named parties."


Gazprom

In order to "help to safeguard its market share, Gazprom has quietly agreed price deals with big customers and caved in to EU rules it once flouted". The gas giant has attempted to improve its relationship in the UK. Gazprom relies heavily on the European market in general, which accounted for more than 35% in 2017.

In the time since this statement was released to the public, Alexei Miller, The CEO of Gazprom has been sanctioned by the US. The company has cut down their traders, merging their oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) positions resulting in job losses. Cuts to their energy trading ventures in London are "fueling speculation that the gas giant is planning to retreat from the West."

"The job cuts have emerged amid reports that Gazprom plans to shut its 1,000-strong London headquarters, near Regent’s Park, amid souring relations between Moscow and Europe". Gazprom caved into the EU's rules and made price deals, which is a distraction, as opposed to being commended. The recent job cuts and loss of trading after the price deals shows the company is not being welcomed or moving forward with UK companies.

Conclusion

We found two examples of moves made by Russian companies and executives to be more appealing to US and UK markets. However, the companies have continued to feel negative impacts due to market sanctions. The actions have been merely a distraction, and unrewarded by Western counterparts.

Part
02
of six
Part
02

Competitive Landscape - Yandex

Yandex competes with Google and Microsoft in the Internet Search industry as well as the web browser industry. Yandex was founded in Russia to address certain local nuances that Google and Bing could not meet. Because they understood their competitive landscape so well in Russia, they own the majority of the web search market in Russia which is over 54%. Within the UK though, Yandex's presence is almost negligible. Their web search market share is not ranked and their browser market share is 0.22% in the UK.

The competitors for Yandex were chosen based on Yandex's company description and most popular product, their internet search engine. The 2 largest competitors there are Microsoft and Google.

Listed below are the sources for all entries in the spreadsheet.

Website
- Yandex
- Google

Description
- Yandex
- Google

Competitive Advantages
- Yandex
- Google

Revenue
- Yandex (global, not the UK)
- Google (UK)
- Microsoft (global, not the UK)

Products
- Yandex
- Google

Headquarters in the UK
- Yandex
- Google

Search engine share in the UK
- Yandex (Yandex isn't ranked, which can be interpreted that it is very rarely used by UK citizens)
- Google

Web browser share in the UK
- Yandex
- Google

Part
03
of six
Part
03

Yandex - Main Themes in UK Media

Various popular UK media platforms including BBC, The Telegraph, The Guardian, Business Insider, UK, International Business Times, Daily Mail, Yahoo Finance, UK, and Reuters, UK have published several online reports and articles regarding Yandex within the last one year. The main themes occurring in the reports/articles with respect to Yandex include Russia’s Google, Russia's largest search engine firm, Russia's largest technology firm, and Russia's domestic search engine.

Two major news reports within the last one year are the merger of Yandex and Uber in Russia and the blocking of Russian internet companies in Ukraine.

Intelligent products and services powered by machine learning as a clear theme

Only three UK media articles regarding Yandex made mention of artificial intelligence or machine learning. Since machine learning is used in most aspects of the search engine process, these were the most relevant to the stated target theme for this brief. However, sometimes the overall message of Yandex as a company that "builds intelligent products and services powered by machine learning" did not come through well un UK press coverage.

The first is a media report by The Telegraph about the launch of the “Alice” assistant, an artificial intelligence chatbot. The report portrays Yandex as “Russia’s answer to Google”.

The second, an article by International Business Times, UK that gives an overview of Yandex, describes it as “a company that bases all its solutions around artificial intelligence”. It refers to Yandex as “the Russian tech giant that claims to be better than Google”.

The third is a report by The Register on CatBoost, Yandex’s pioneer machine learning library, being open-sourced. Yandex was seen as “Russia's tech behemoth”.

MAIN THEMES from the UK media

The main themes from the UK media in the past twelve months, that relate to Yandex include Russia’s answer to Google, Russia's largest search engine firm, Russia's largest technology firm, Russia's domestic search engine, Russian tech giant, local Google analog, Russian search giant, Google of Russia, Russia's tech behemoth, internet giant.

This suggests that the UK media portrays Yandex as a technology firm that provides mainly search engine services like Google. Even the media articles that feature artificial intelligence or machine learning presents Yandex in the same light. They mostly give an impression that other services provided by Yandex are minor. In other words, Yandex is a search engine firm that is interested in artificial intelligence.

This is quite different from Yandex’s assertation that they would prefer to be referred to as the Silicon Valley of Russia," noting that only 50% of their revenues are gotten from search. The company emphasizes that “every single one of Yandex's many services depends on machine learning”

Conclusion

Russia’s answer to Google, Russia's largest search engine firm, Russia's largest technology firm, Russia's domestic search engine, Russian tech giant, local Google analog, Russian search giant, Google of Russia, Russia's tech behemoth, internet giant are the main themes from the UK media in the past twelve months, that relate to Yandex.
Part
04
of six
Part
04

UK Companies - Building intelligent products and services powered by machine learning: Public Perception

We initiated our research by searching for the top AI companies worldwide and specific to the UK. We then narrowed our search focusing only on those companies located within the UK. In order to determine which of these companies had the most 'mindshare" we measured mindshare by the frequency with which each company showed up during our research. The list below is a compilation of our results prioritized byt ehamount of public awareness each company had.

We ranked the Cambridge cybersecurity company Dark Trace as number one on our list as it showed up in over half of the sources we researched indicating that it has the most "mindshare" of all the other companies we found.

1) Dark Trace

Dark Trace uses machine learning technologies to understand the normal patterns within a company's network. This enables them to spot deviations, indicate in-progress threats and stop cybercriminals before they can attack. The company has already discovered more than 53,000 previously unknown threats which may not have been found through other security protocols.

Darktrace's "self-learning appliance" is used by companies in a variety of sectors such as healthcare, financial services, energy & utilities, and telecommunications.

The company was founded in 2013 and by 2017 it was already valued at $825 million (£639 million). Further, supporting its presence of the mindshare Darktrace showed up on Fortunes list of the 50 companies leading the AI revolution, which they ranked by total funds raised.


The next four UK companies were tied for 2nd place for having the most awareness, and each showed up in no less than 3 of the sources we found.

2) Status Today

Status today is another security company which collects data from employees using their computer at work. The London company which was founded in 2015, uses machine learning to analyze this data, determining patterns based off of user behavior. Using a passive monitoring approach and it is then able to track employee productivity and flag anomalies, which might indicate an internal breach right as it happens in real time.

3) Benevolent AI

Founded in 2013, BenevolentAI uses AI to speed up the process of drug development. Through its proprietary technology, this company uses machine learning to analyze large amounts of scientific data and literature making it easier for scientists to connect and apply the data and in turn speed up the "time to market" for new drugs.

The company is currently focusing on drug development for Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, ALS and rare cancers.

4) Deep Mind

DeepMind was purchased by Google in 2015 for £400 million pounds. The extremely secretive company which was founded in London in 2011, is using machine learning technology to influence medical research. They do this by analyzing massive amounts of medical data improving the way diseases are diagnosed. The company has announced partnerships with both the Royal Free Hospital in London and Moorfields Eye Hospital
to help grow knowledge in the areas of kidney and eye disease.
In addition to making advances in medicine, Google is using DeepMind's algorithms to improve image recognition and to power its recommendation engines.

5) Babylon

As the third and final UK company to be listed on Fortune's list of the 50 companies leading the AI revolution. Babylon Health developed an AI-powered chatbot. The chat bot is used by NHS to enable over 1.2 million patients, through their 111 help-line, to determine the seriousness of a medical issue and advise regarding the next steps to take. Once patients' enter their symptoms the AI follows up with specific questions and runs the responses through a large medical database outputting a tailored recommendation based on their specific information.

The following 6 companies are tied for third place in relative public awareness. Each having shown up in two sources.

6) Lobster

The London based company, founded in 2013 allows clients to search for and license images and video from social networks and certain cloud storage providers. The company uses an AI platform uses machine learning algorithms to scan for and identify content which might be relevant. The company can then contact creators of the unlicensed content and offer payment.

7) ONFINDO

This London startup was founded in 2012 and employs machine learning to revolutionize the background checking industry. Instead of inputting only easily stolen data such as a name, date of birth the software conducts a remote background check by plugging into numerous publically available databases and examining things like driving and criminal records and detecting cases of fraud.

8) Cytora

The Cambridge company Cytora which was founded in 2014 has developed technology which leveraged machine learning and uses AI algorithms to help commercial insurers to target and price risk. The company has already partnered with insurers like QBE, XL Catlin, and Starr.

9) Diffblue

Founded in 2016, as a spin-off from Oxford University, DiffBlue is applying AI to the field of software development, specifically code development and testing. The company has three products one to run software tests and spot bugs, one to identify code which might be exploitable and the last to would automatically rewrite code which might have issues.

10) Cleo

Founded in 2015, this startup helps users to manage their finances by using an "intelligent assistant" which connects to Facebook Messenger, Amazon Alexa and Google Home to enables the assistant to learn your habits and preferences so it can advise you on the best ways to manage your money.

11) Graphcore

The Bristol-based company which was founded in 2016 sells IPUs (intelligence processing units) which they have designed to quickly handle the large workloads associated with machine learning. The company also offers a programming framework which it claims when used in combination with the IPU improves workload performance by up to 100 times.

12) FiveAI

Founded in 2015, this Cambridge-based company plans to take on transportation services like Uber by using machine learning and AI to build a fleet of autonomous cars. The company uses 3D maps to enable self-driving cars to navigate complicated urban environments safely without human input.

Dark Trace was the company with the most public awareness, followed by Status Today, Benevolent AI, Deep Mind, and Babylon.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

UK Companies - Shaping the future of EDUCATION by enhancing the learning process with machine learning technologies: Public Perception.

In the United Kingdom, there are numerous companies working with machine learning technologies to enhance education. These companies are: Kwiziq, Memrise, Blippar, ZZish, EdAid, BridgeU, Karisma Kidz. To find these companies, first we completed a thorough search of reputable UK based news and industry websites, such as TechWorld, City A.M and VentureRadar, for UK Machine Learning companies that are revolutionizing education. Then, we reviewed each company individually to ensure that they fit the criteria, including operating in the UK and machine learning/AI focused on the education industry. All companies that fit these criteria were included in this research.

This research explores not only the companies themselves, but also each company's mindshare. Mindshare refers to the public's awareness of each company. To determine each of these companies' mindshare, we relied on variables like the amount of reputable press coverage about each company and demonstrated public support.

Kwiziq

Kwiziq is an "AI language coach," meaning it uses artificial intelligence (AI) software to better teach language skills to users. According to their website, the use of AI to create evolving "brainmaps" of students' quiz results led to students reporting speeds of learning ten times higher than normal. The program also offers tailored feedback and guidance for students and customized lesson plans based on student progress.

Kwiziq has been featured in news coverage of AI, including on the techworld website. The company has also received public support through crowd-funding and individual investment, demonstrating public awareness. In 2015, over £200,000 was raised through crowdfunding, and in 2016, an addition £110,000 was raised through investors.

Memrise

Memrise uses AI technology to optimize learning and enhance user enjoyment. Using sensory memories and timed reminders, Memrise aims to create strong memories of what has been learned, making it easier for the user to recall it later. The interface is designed like a game in which the user grows and nurtures a "garden of memory," encouraging users to not only spend more time learning, but also to continuously revisit what they have already learned. Multimedia tools are also provided. Regarding mindshare, Memrise was featured City AM's 2016 Digital Innovators list.

Blippar

Blippar's goal is to make augmented reality an easy-to-use tool for educators. Augmented reality allows teachers to bring lessons literally to life, for instance by making a dinosaur walk around the classroom or showing students a 360-degree view of the solar system. These augmented reality clips, called 'blipps' on the website, are offered ready-made for immediate download. Users can also design their own customized blipps. Blippar is available both free (with ads) or by subscription.

In terms of mindshare, Blippar has received reputable press coverage, including being featured in City AM's 2016 Digital Innovators List. The company also received rave reviews from school administrators, the Co-Founder of the Education Foundation, and students.

ZZish

Founded in 2014, ZZish looks to 'gamify' student learning through data in order to maximize student outcomes. This is done by providing anyone anywhere with the building blocks to develop quizzes or other adaptive learning tools. This company delivers effective student learning and assessment in-line with global educational standards, while ensuring that the content remains engaging for students.

Regarding mindshare, ZZish is widely used globally. According to their website, the software is used in 110 countries by over 75,000 teachers. The ministries of education in Bahrain, Singapore, and Hong Kong are also currently reviewing ZZish with the intent to recommend the product on a national scale. The company has also been featured on Venture Radar's list of top adaptive learning companies, as well as City AM's 2016 Digital Innovators list.

EdAid

Since January 2015, EdAid has looked use technology to help users find funding for their education. Using their 'income share,' model, EdAid saves graduates £30,000 and up to a decade of debt indebtedness. The company's values include transparency, community collaboration with education providers and employers, and prosperity through education. EdAid has been featured City AM's 2016 Digital Innovators list.

BridgeU

BridgeU offers university and careers guidance rooted in technology. By aggregating data and reviewing more than a million data points, BridgeU gives students access to in-depth, global recommendations on universities and career paths. The software also utilizes predictive analysis, adaptive preparation for university, and an SaaS platform.

Currently, BridgeU operates in more than fifty countries. This global use means a greater mindshare. The company has also been featured on Venture Radar's list of top adaptive learning companies.

Karisma Kidz

Karisma Kidz is a skill-development tool designed for both children and parents. Based on twenty years of psychological research, Karisma Kidz aims to promote stronger parent-child bonds, as well as children's happiness, confidence, creativity, and emotional and social skills. To do this, the software offers an interactive virtual world in which parents and children can engage. That virtual world parallels to real-world incentives and activities. Karisma Kidz is intended to be fun and empowering for children throughout all stages of use.

In terms of mindshare, Karisma Kidz has been highlighted on Venture Radar's list of top adaptive learning companies. It has also been widely featured on news outlets including SkyNews, the Sunday Times, the Guardian, and BBC News 24. The company has also won several awards.

Conclusion

Each of the UK-based companies profiled here offers educational tools rooted in machine learning technologies. Kwiziq, Memrise, Blippar, ZZish, EdAid, BridgeU, and Karisma Kidz all offer engaging, technology-based software designed to meet educational needs ranging from university guidance to adaptive learning tools. The mindshare of each company has also been outlined using press coverage, awards, and demonstrated public support.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

Baidu - Actions, Media Coverage, and UK Move

Introduction

Baidu has made itself the king of search engines in China, where Google has no hold. However, the company wants to expand into other countries, including European countries and the United States. Baidu has partnered with a London-based marketing agency, Forward3D, to market and teach their model to companies who wish to buy in to Baidu's success. Meanwhile, Baidu is focusing on building technology in Europe. The media appears to believe that Baidu will continue to be successful in smaller countries where Google isn't prevalent, but will face increased regulations and barriers to entry in the UK and US markets.

Basics of Baidu: Current Strengths

When most Chinese internet companies started, they were dismissed as a simple copy of Western products; however, since Google left China for censorship reasons, Baidu has stepped in.

Baidu's mapping platform in China has 300,000,000 active users and holds 70% share in this market. Baidu also owns an 80% share in the Chinese search engine market. Familiarity alone will factor in significantly for its users, who are more likely to continue using a service they know rather than starting fresh with another provider; in addition, its development in the Chinese language will likely make it more favorable to Chinese natives. In addition, Baidu can access deeper data about its potential users in China, because of fewer regulations of data and privacy.

Baidu also partners with China Mobile, the largest telecommunication company (based on subscriber numbers) to provide a data center for mobile internet users. As China Mobile is increasing its services to include a 5G network, Baidu is well-positioned to profit.

Baidu previously existed only in China, where Google had minimal presence. Recently, though, Baidu launched services in Japan, Thailand, South Korea and Singapore, all of which are popular destinations for Chinese travelers. In each country, Baidu launched "local language versions" of its search engine. By focusing its network expansion to the countries that are most popular to Chinese tourists, Baidu would likely solidify its market there. This means that Google would struggle even further if it attempted to compete in the future.

Nasdaq suggests that Baidu still has a huge opportunity for growth within China; due to rising incomes and urbanization, the middle class will increase demand significantly for digital usage, commerce, travel, etc. Another opportunity for growth within the company's home countries lies in internet usage overall: Approximately 50% of Chinese consumers use the internet, compared to 90% in the United States.

Baidu has taken a huge step towards global expansion by partnering with HERE, an organization whose goal is to partner with companies to develop future technology. HERE provides services for 99% of the world, mapping 200+ countries.

Uber

Baidu partners with Uber in China as its mapping service; if Baidu can expand this success into other countries, the company can burst into the O2O (Online-to-Offline) market. According to Baidu's president, Zhang Yaqin, this will expand the company to a point where users can place requests through a website or app and buy move tickets, order food, and even book rides and schedule air travel. An analyst with a U.S.-based consultancy company agreed that the best route for Baidu to succeed is to expand into as many destination based services as possible; however, the company also needs to enhance their existing services, such as mobile payment. If Baidu can enhance their own technology to reach a similar level of similar ride-sharing apps, Uber could be a resource for expansion into the European market, as the ride-sharing app already services at least 97 cities in Europe. Baidu's current process of translating the product into the native language of new markets could be a big selling point to both Uber (who could use the change in mapping systems to offer superior services to customers) and Baidu (who would benefit from expanding such a large account).

Existing Presence in Europe

Baidu signed two contracts in Germany in 2017 to begin piloting driver-less cars. A company called CharmClick functions as an intermediary for European businesses who wish to use Baidu's services. Baidu has already implemented a search engine platform in Europe. An additional 32 European countries have access to Baidu's mapping interface. Baidu Europe even has its own Facebook page. Brand recognition is there, and the future offers many additional opportunities.

Baidu's FUTURE IN EUROPE

Despite Brexit, Baidu continues to expand to European markets, focusing on building technology while outsourcing its marketing. London-based agency Forward3D will focus on marketing and advertisement, and will start off as the only agency allowed to do so. Forward3D will sell two training products for Baidu. The first one would provide a basic rundown of search advertising using Baidu, and the second one would focus on both search optimization and advertising. Over time, Baidu plans to expand this model to other agencies in other international markets.

As previously mentioned, Baidu can use some of its existing successful strategies to further their presence in Europe. Bringing the Baidu mapping service to Europe's Uber would allow for a better individual driver/client experience. Baidu also believes that the U.S.'s dominant prescence in Europe is leading countries frustrated due to lack of alternative. Baudi could fill this hole.

Media Coverage

Nasdaq reports that Baidu is a big-growth technology stock that has fallen into being undervalued, but asserts that Baidu has promising growth prospects through the digital and mobile advertising markets. CNBC calls Baidu the "Google of China" and expects the company to eventually expand not only into Europe but the United States as well, per a statement from Baidu's chief executive.
CNBC also predicts that getting a strong foothold in Europe and the U.S. will be very difficult due it Google's prevalence in those markets. The increased regulations may also put a cramp in their efforts.

However, Baidu continues to reevaluate markets for potential success; they not only have driverless cars being tested, but have also looked into the finance industry, where Baidu could potentially offer loans. Baidu's openness to expanding into multiple fields suggests a high level of determination, and that failure is not an option.

"Baidu is Wikipedia, Facebook and Quora all in one" asserted Web Republic after attending a masterclass designed to educate Europe about their services and abilities. The same source indicated that Baidu's complexity may be intimidating at first but once a company fully understands it, they will see the interlinked platforms that make Baidu successful.

Conclusion

Baidu has already taken steps to secure their position within China and other partnering companies, and are quite successful. However, some sources see their success as limited to areas where Google is not prevalent. Baidu's plan to enter the UK market is already underway with a London-based marketing agency with no plans to stop. Additional partnership with HERE will improve relations and open doors for Baidu that they may not have had otherwise. Expansion into O2O markets may also offer additional sustainability.
Sources
Sources

From Part 03