Russian bank Sberbank has purchased a stake in venture capital-backed VisionLabs, a provider of face recognition solutions.
Through the deal, Sberbank will acquire a 25.07% stake in VisionLabs, with the remaining shares of the company held by the founders and venture fund Sistema Venture Capital.
The bank said that the investment is an important in its mission to building a biometric ecosystem platform, which will enable its customers to use voice and retina recognition, along with other biometric factors, to access any of its services.
The deal will support the development of VisionLabs projects in international markets, including in the markets of Europe, the US and Asia.
VisionLabs specialises in developing products and solutions in the areas of face recognition, object recognition, augmented reality and virtual reality. It delivers its solutions globally to wide range of industries, including security, banking, retail, construction, and transportation, among others. It clients and partners include facebook, Google, Tinkoff Bank, Cisco, Intel, Kaspi Bank, Equifax.
Lev Khasis, first deputy chairman of the board of Sberbank, said: “The project team has undoubtedly achieved impressive results and was able to create not just one of the best technologies in the world, but a product and solution that have been tested by practice and have already covered a significant share of the banking biometrics market in Russia and the CIS. The technology at the heart of the VisionLabs platform is one of the best in the world, both according to international testing and the results of a large number of internal tests and pilots in Sberbank.”
back in July 2016, VisionLabs closed a $5.5m Series A funding round following investment from Sistema Venture Capital. The funds were used to improve its face recognition technology, scale sales and expand into the new markets, including to the US, Europe and Asia.
Russia’s financial services market is increasingly turning its hand to technology innovation in order to improve its services. Earlier this year, Russia-based digital bank TalkBank reportedly closed a $1m seed funding round from investors including IIDF. While Russian Miner Coin (RMC) was reported to be looking to create a ‘next-gen ecosystem for miners and investors’ having raised $43m through an ICO.
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