Ilya Segalovich, the co-founder of Russia’s largest search engine Yandex, has died at the age of 48.
Yandex director general Arkady Volozh said that Segalovich died Saturday at a London hospital.
On Sunday, Volozh explained in a blog post that Segalovich was diagnosed with stomach cancer metastases in September last year, but miraculously recovered from the disease, having undergone chemotherapy. However, just last week Segalovich’s doctors found a tumor in his brain, which, complicated by meningitis, proved fatal.
“I was friends with Ilya since school; we sat behind the same desk for four years. And then we created Yandex together. Last night he died. Everything happened too quickly and unexpectedly,” one of Volozh’s posts reads.
Ilya Segalovich and Arkady Volozh founded Yandex in 1997. After 15 years of development the company became the leader of the Russian internet search market, beating American rival Google locally.
Yandex has a share of 62% of the search market in Russia compared with Google's 25.6%.
It was Segalovich who thought up the name Yandex, which stands for ‘Yet Another iNDEX’ and also contains Russian letter Я which means ‘I’.
According to Alexa.com, Yandex is the most popular Russian website and 20th most-popular internet portal in the world, providing over 50 services including internet search, news, mail, weather forecasts, maps and traffic information.
An oversubscribed Yandex IPO in New York in 2011 raised $1.4 billion, more than any other internet company IPO since Google’s in 2004. Today the company's market value is estimated at $10 billion.
Read the official Yandex blog here