Sberbank, Digital Horizon to acquire stakes in STC
16 April 2019 07:39 GMT

Russian bank Sberbank along with Digital Horizon and Gazprombank have announced that they will acquire 51% stake in the Russian biometrics technology provider, Speech Technology Center Group (STC).

Gazpromobank, a strategic stakeholder in STC will maintain an active role in the company’s development. The deal is set to close by end of May 2019.

Stanislav Kuznetsov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank commented: “For Sberbank, this deal is a logical step on the road to digital transformation and the construction of a biometric platform for the Bank’s growing ecosystem. In the future, we will use this platform to create a range of services that will take interaction with clients to a completely new level in terms of ease and information security. In turn, Sberbank’s expertise in AI and big data will help STC broaden the use of speech technology in Russia, bring Russian technology to foreign markets and help the company compete for global leadership.”

According to the bank, the acquisition is expected to provide STC with access to Sberbank‘s and Digital Horizon’s resources and expertise as well as allow the company to gain a competitive edge in the biometrics ecosystem.

Dmitry Zauers, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprombank said: “Gazprombank Group has successful experience of investing in promising hi-tech companies. This can be seen in our long-term partnership with STC. We intend to maintain our strategic focus on developing this area as part of the Group’s work to deploy cutting-edge biometric solutions for the Bank’s everyday operations in the interests of our many retail and corporate clients.”

Alan Vaksman, co-founder of Digital Horizon added: “This is a historic deal, not only for the development of biometrics but also for the Russian venture industry. Thanks to the long-term vision of Gazprombank, which saw potential in STC more than a decade ago, today Sberbank — the leader of the Russian digital economy — is building a biometric platform that is truly unique by world standards. As an investor in STC we will continue our work on positioning the company in global markets and growing its shareholder value.”

Established in 1990, STC is a provider of voice and facial biometric systems and solutions in the field of professional data processing and machine learning and its customer base spans across 75 countries.

“STC is gaining another serious partner. The synergy with Sberbank will significantly boost the development of our company’s technologies and products. We are receiving access to the expertise and competencies of one of the world’s largest retail banks. STC is already a key player on the biometrics market, but with such a team behind us we plan to become a global leader in the next few years.” commented Dmitry Dyrmovksy, CEO of Speech Technology Center Group.