Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Domosite spurs IT boom in Yekaterinburg

Domosite, a social media website that allows individuals to communicate with their neighbors all-the-while managing their utility bills, was launched by the Yekaterinburg-headquartered Softline and is spurring the city's IT boom.

The inspiration for Domosite was first realized in 2007 after Softline manager Ilya Korobeinikov purchased an apartment in Yekaterinburg and noticed a lack of communication between his neighbors. Korobeinikov, who studied web design in college, began developing an online space for neighbors to communicated called Cocedi.net-- the Russian word for neighbors, according to RBTH.ru.

Cocedei.net attracted the interest of a few fledgling Yekaterinburg IT firms, and in 2007 SKB Kontour agreed to invest in a Korobeinikov's plans to expand the social media site. By 2011, Cocedei.net saw a $66,000 makeover and the website was renamed "Domosite.ru".

Shortly after Domosite first launched, it successfully connected 3,000 houses in 20 Russian cities and the site's developers and investors were expecting neighbors to begin connecting with one another. Korobeinikov, however, soon noticed that only a few people from portion of the city had registered profiles on Domosite.

In response to the lower-than-expected enthusiasm, the site's management opted to approach property management companies in an effort to drive renters to Domosite. Through the partnerships, Domosite began offering services to management companies such as email and text message newsletters, as well as online utility meter readings. In exchange, property managers paid Domosite for the convenience and for encouraging its renters to create online profiles with Domosite, RBTH.ru reports.

Since 2011, Domosite has accumulated hundreds of thousands of users and millions of dollars in investments. The IT community in Yekaterinburg has grown as well, with Domosite investors SKB Kontur reportedly set to reach a net worth of $100 million in the next two or three years.

Korobeinkov expects Domosite to turn a profit for the first time this year, with property management agencies paying between $50 to $330 a month to use the site. While Domosite's future success may put pressure on Korobeinkov to relocate to Moscow, the IT entrepreneur would prefer to stay in Yekaterinburg

"The business environment in Yekaterinburg is just as good," Korobeinkov said, according to RBTH.ru.