Anticipating new regulations, Uklon, a popular Ukrainian ride-hailing business, says it’s moving out of Azerbaijan

Among other things, Baku is considering limiting how many vehicles can do ride-hailing.

“There are talks about quotas, but who will receive the licenses?” Uklon founder and CEO Serhii Hryshkov asked Ukrainian newspaper Ekonomichna Pravda.

“If they decide that there should be 5,000 licenses for 5,000 cars, then who will they be given to? These and other things will affect our ability to do business in the country.”

Baku is also considering limiting how old vehicles can be and how many places they can be registered.

Hryshkov said Uklon’s already ceased operations in Baku. It will definitively exit Azerbaijan after signing an agreement to sell its stake to its partner, Pasha Holding, an investment holding that includes Umico – an app for banking, shopping, and cashback services.

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When Uklon entered the Azerbaijani market, Umico jointly shared the investment burden. 

Uklon’s founders did not disclose the investment amount, but said it was “millions of dollars.”

One would have to wait three years before one could see a return on that investment, Hryshkov said.

Uklon entered Azerbaijan in May 2023, a little over a year after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

After halting business in the country, the company is still working in Uzbekistan, leaving it Uklon’s only external market.

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Hryshkov sees the Uzbekistan expansion as successful, although it will take a couple of years before the company is profitable there.

“Tashkent ranks second in the number of orders after Kyiv,” he told Ekonomichna Pravda, Hryshkov said, adding that the market is more transparent.

Azerbaijan has been a successful market for LeoBank – another business founded by Ukrainians Dmytro Dubilet, Mykola Bezkrovnyi, and Oleksandr Vityaz. In August 2023, it crossed the milestone of more than one million clients.

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