Russian driverless technology company Cognitive Pilot focuses on IPO

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian tech start-up Cognitive Pilot, which makes components for driverless vehicles, is considering an initial public offering (IPO) after 2023, its chief executive told Reuters.

The company has already attracted investments from major Russian lender Sberbank, which bought a 30% stake, although it did not provide guidance on a valuation of the business.

Cognitive Pilot develops components for self-driving cars and autonomous control systems for agricultural machinery, trains and trams. Its customers include state-owned railway operator Russian Railways, agricultural conglomerate Rusagro and South Korean auto parts manufacturer Hyundai Mobis.

“The first IPOs in this sector will be very successful. It is important not to sleep all the time, “said managing director Olga Uskova.

“So if we weren’t even thinking about an IPO before, now we’re really looking into it.”

After 2023 Cognitive Pilot will either launch an IPO or announce a new round of investment, Uskova added.

With large tech companies and carmakers developing and testing autonomous vehicles, including Russia’s Yandex and Google’s parent company Alphabet, Cognitive Pilot is looking to increase capacity and mass-produce its technologies.

However, it is likely to face stiff competition from major automakers such as General Motors, Toyota and Tesla, which are working on developing in-house technology for autonomous vehicle systems.

In the first half of this year, Cognitive Pilot plans to open offices in China, the United States and Brazil, where it has several agricultural customers.

Cognitive Pilot currently operates a plant in Tomsk, Siberia, where it produces the radar technology used in autonomous driving systems.

Written by Polina Ivanova; Editing by David Goodman

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