I started my first company, Comptek International, in Russia in 1990. Long story, but we eventually became the first and biggest distributor of Cisco gear in the former Soviet Union. Along the way, we developed some search technology as a skunk works project that debuted in 1997, right after Alta Vista made a big splash with its supposedly best-in-the-world search engine. We wanted to show that our search engine, called Yandex, was superior. We spun Yandex out of Comptek in 2000, convinced that we had world class technology but less certain how search monetization would work. We figured it out, and yesterday Yandex was ranked #6 on Silicon Alley’s list of “the world’s most valuable digital startups,” comfortably sandwiched between Mozilla and Webkinz. Not bad!
Check it out at http://www.yandex.ru.