In late December VEB Ventures (formerly VEB Innovations), a venture fund backed by state development agency VEB.RF (Vnesheconombank), announced an investment of 990 million rubles ($13.4 million at the current exchange rate) in Zyfra.
This Russian company develops AI, IIoT-based solutions and robotic mining equipment to digitize the heavy industry. These solutions are intended to provide “objective data analysis” for industrial companies to “gradually shift to [highly-efficient, robotized] production [modes].”
Zyfra’s solutions are used in such fields as machinery, mining, metals, oil and gas and the chemical industry. The company claims some 300 customers in Chile, Finland, France, Germany, India, Morocco, Peru, South Africa and Turkey, in addition to its home market.
The capital injection from VEB Ventures will be used to develop sales in the Russian and international markets, develop its platform and create new products.
In addition, VEB.RF may provide debt financing to support industrial projects involving Zyfra solutions — for example, for the development of copper deposits, the production of polypropylene, methanol and polymers, and the development of natural gas processing facilities.
In 2019, Zyfra generated some 2.4 billion rubles ($37.3 million at the exchange rate of that time) in revenues, up 37% from 2018.
“One of the leaders in the niche of industrial digitalization and IT services for production, Zyfra has a huge potential for further development, including in the global IoT market,” Oleg Teplov, CEO of VEB Ventures, was quoted as saying.
“The economic value of the digital transformation of the mining and processing industries can reach 3 trillion rubles by 2024 [$40 billion at the current exchange rate], which will bring additional profits to the industrial sector and ensure GDP growth,” Zyfra GM Igor Bogachev was quoted as saying.
“For successful competition, enterprises need to digitalize all stages of the production process, and preferably the product life cycle, in order to increase labor productivity and profit. We are not talking about connected devices, but platforms that allow you to get more from devices, as the Internet-of-Things is moving towards real-time data analytics and AI applications,” he emphasized.