i-Free is a group of companies operating in various segments of IT market. The group evolved from i-Free company, founded in 2001 in St. Petersburg, Russia, that was focusing on creation and distribution of mobile content. Currently i-Free Group includes more than 20 companies and startups. i-Free is a specialist developer and implementer of cutting-edge projects in mobile and NFC technology, dealing with digital content distribution, electronic payments and micropayments, applications and games for smartphones, ad mediation, promotion of digital products on B2C market and implementation of B2B projects in mobile marketing, use of big data technologies in retail domain, as well as digital media and SmartTV projects.
In 2014, i-Free was ranked sixth in the list of top Russian Internet companies by Forbes. In 2013, i-Free turnover was equal to $250 million.
i-Free is present and operates successfully outside Russia since 2006. The group includes companies in Mumbai (India), Beijing (China), Minsk (Belarus), and Almaty (Kazakhstan). i-Free Group products and services are now available in more than 100 countries. Group holding company is located in St. Petersburg, Russia.
i-Free is partnering with manufacturers of mobile devices, mobile networks operators in Russia, CIS, India and China, with banks, transnational brands, highly rated TV networks, publishers, media groups, Internet resources, as well as engineering startups.
As its strategy priorities, i-Free emphasizes commitment to the public market, deep trend analysis and aggressive investing in innovation.
i-Free’s proactive investment policy has led to the establishment of several successful businesses, each of them a leader in its field. i-Free keeps a close watch on numerous new trends in technology and in the marketplace. The company actively reaches out to potential partners and co-investors, in order to secure their support in advancing highly promising innovation ideas. These activities are supported by a partnership agreement between Russian Venture Company’s Seed Fund and i-Free, signed in 2010. i-Free Ventures fund has been founded in 2013, while several companies within the group caught the interest of major players on that market (Internet Initiatives Development Fund, Skolkovo Foundation, FinStar) and became residents, obtaining development support.
Organizationally, i-Free Group strategy prizes flexibility, openness, employee involvement, meaningful knowledge sharing and encouragement of initiative. The group has been praised repeatedly by experts for its human resources policy. i-Free won the Most Democratic Workplaces Award in 2007 (run by US-based consultancy WorldBlu Inc.), and won the Grand Prix as the HR Brand of the Year in 2008 (a competition run by Headhunter). In 2009, i-Free made it again to the finals of the same competition. i-Free case studies were included in the manual How to Build Your Company’s HR Brand, published in 2010.
i-Free Group is committed to promoting growth in the market of mobile value added services. i-Free has founded the Mobile VAS Conference, the biggest mobile VAS industry forum in the CIS and Eastern Europe. The Group also provides support to a variety of conferences and seminars for developers and sponsors the RussianMobile VAS Awards, rewarding the most vibrant innovation projects, as well as the international conference "AINL: Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language".
i-Free has instrumentally contributed to the formation of the foremost mobile VAS industry associations: the Russian Mobile Content and Service Providers’ Association (CSPA) and the Russian Electronic Money Association, established in partnership with Yandex.Dengi, WebMoney and Qiwi.