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Sberbank and Sistema team up to create adtech leader and monetize Big Data at an unknown scale

Under the agreement, Sistema_VC is to acquire a 50% stake in Sberbank’s subsidiary Segmento for an undisclosed amount

Jan 23, 2017
Russia’s national savings bank Sberbank has announced a "strategic agreement" with Sistema, a major Russian conglomerate, and Sistema_VC, the venture arm of Sistema, in the fields of advertising technology and Big Data monetization.

Under the agreement, Sistema_VC is to acquire a 50% stake in Sberbank’s subsidiary Segmento for an undisclosed amount. Sistema_VC will also provide Segmento with expertise and resources to scale its business, while the companies of the Sistema group will use Segmento to monetize their Big Data.

Segmento is a major programmatic platform in the Russian digital advertising market, using a machine learning technology for targeted campaigns. Sistema and Sberbank intend to use Segmento as the foundation of a "national leader in digital advertising sales and joint monetization of depersonalized Big Data."

In an exchange with East-West Digital News, the Sistema_VC press service specified that this Big Data monetization strategy may apply to a variety of industries — from telecommunications, to e-commerce, to medicine or others, depending on the involved Sistema subsidiaries.

"According to our assessment, Segmento is the most sophisticated Russian programmatic platform and the volume of user activity data it works with is comparable to the volume of data available to the leading Internet companies," said Alexey Katkov, President of Sistema VC, commenting on the deal.

Depersonalized banking data

Segmento was founded in 2011 by Eugene Legkiy, Roman Nester and Kirill Safonov. Since Sberbank acquired a controlling stake in 2015, Segmento has been using depersonalized data from 84 million Sberbank clients and their online behavioral data in order to deliver advertising in real time — be it through banners, videos, mobile apps or social networks.

This collaboration between Sberbank and Segmento is presented as "the first example of large-scale monetization of banking data in Russia and Europe."

By partnering with Sistema, Segmento will get even further, becoming "the first example of bringing together banking data and data of major companies from other sectors, and using it for effective online communications," said Segmento co-founder Roman Nester.

"Advertisers will obtain new, previously inaccessible opportunities to communicate with clients through all types of devices, as well as new [analytical capacities]. For example, advertisers will be able to measure the number of visits to offline points of sales and even the number of purchases [triggered by an ad campaign]," Nester explained.

Sistema’s move comes as an illustration of the growing interest of large corporations in advertising technologies. Earlier this year a Chinese consortium acquired Media.Net for $900 million in the third-largest ever adtech deal, according to Forbes. Norwegian telco Telenor acquired retargeting platform Tapad for $350 million, while Salesforce bought data management platform Krux for $700 million.