Sberbank, Gazprombank and Digital Horizon create a leader in biometrics

Sberbank, Gazprombank and Digital Horizon announce the signing of a deal under which Sberbank has acquired a 51% stake in Speech Technology Center (STC) from Gazprombank. Venture company Digital Horizon has also acquired a stake in STC. Gazprombank remains a strategic shareholder of STC and will continue to play an active role in the future development of the company. The deal is scheduled to close by late May 2019.

The shareholders will create a new board of directors at the company, which will consist of four Sberbank representatives including the chairman of the board and two representatives from Gazprombank and one from Digital Horizon.

STC is a leading Russian developer of biometric technology. The deal will give STC access to the resources and competencies of two of Russia’s largest financial organisations, including in the field of artificial intelligence and big data. In addition, the expertise of Digital Horizon’s international team will provide STC with additional competitive advantages on the global market, which is expected to be worth around $40 bln by 2022.


Stanislav Kuznetsov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board of Sberbank:

“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 comfort and information security. In turn, Sberbank’s AI and big data expertise and experience will help STC broaden the use of speech technology in Russia, offer Russian technology to foreign markets and compete for global leadership.”


Dmitry Zauers, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of Gazprombank:

“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.”


Dmitry Dyrmovksy, CEO of Speech Technology Center Group:

“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.”


Alan Vaksman, co-founder of Digital Horizon:

“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 unique by world standards. As an investor in STC we will continue our work on positioning the company on the international market and growing its shareholder value.”


STC is a leading developer of voice and facial biometric systems and solutions in the field of professional data processing and machine learning, and is well positioned to become a leading international player in this area. The company’s products are sold in more than 75 countries. In Russia, STC’s technology is used by a large number of major corporations, including Sberbank, Gazprombank, VTB, Vimpelcom, Rostelecom, and Russian Railways.



Yulia Emm

Press Office

Tel. +7 495 957-57-21




Anton Trifonov

Press Secretary
Tel. + 7 (499) 277-25-25 



Digital Horizon

Dilyara Belyakova

Tel. 8-985-975-92-66



Sberbank is Russia’s largest bank and a leading global financial institution. Sberbank holds almost one third of aggregate Russian banking sector assets, it is the key lender to the national economy and the biggest deposit taker in Russia. The Central Bank of the Russian Federation is the founder and principal shareholder of Sberbank owning 50% of the Bank's authorised capital plus one voting share, with the remaining 50% held by domestic and international investors. Sberbank has more than 145 million customers in 22 countries. Sberbank has the largest distribution network in Russia with almost 15,000 branches, and its international operations include UK, US, CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, India, China, Turkey and other countries.


The Bank holds the general banking licence No.1481 issued by the Bank of Russia. Official websites of the Bank: (Sberbank Group website),


STC is a group of IT companies that develops systems for multimodal biometrics, speech recognition and synthesis, multichannel recording, and processing and analysis of audio-video information. It was founded in St. Petersburg in 1990 by a group of enthusiasts from Dalnyaya Svyaz Research & Production Enterprise and St. Petersburg State University. STC’s products are sold in more than 70 countries (exports account for 30% of revenue), including the US and Canada, and in Latin American and Middle Eastern countries. According to research agency Technavio, STC is one of the key players of the biometrics market. Its main competitors are Nuance, NEC and Agnitio. STC’s official site is


Gazprombank PJSC is one of Russia’s largest universal financial institutions. It offers a wide range of banking, financial and investment products and services to corporate and private clients, financial institutions, and institutional and private investors. It is one of Russia’s three largest banks in terms of all primary indicators and is the third largest bank in Central and Eastern Europe by capital.

Official site:


Digital Horizon is an international investment company from Russia that combines a tech incubator and a venture fund. The incubator operates according to the venture-build model to create breakthrough projects in finance, retail, marketing and media. The Digital Horizon venture fund invests in early-stage start-ups that have working products and promising solutions for industry 4.0 (software and marketplaces), retail, and the financial sector. Digital Horizon’s team possesses unique expertise in its target industries and extensive links with strategic partners, funds and developers.

Official sites: and