VTB and Rostelecom to develop “first” universal geoplatform in Russia
VTB, Russia’s second largest bank, has revealed its first project under the new company it created with major telco Rostelecom earlier this year.
In March, the two partners registered ‘Big Data Platform’ as a company. It’s understood that the preliminary investment into it by both companies is roughly RUB 1 billion ($12.6 million).
The joint venture is developing what the partners are calling the “first” universal geoplatform in Russia.
The firms say the platform will be based on analysis of depersonalised data. That is, data with encrypted identifiers which won’t link back to an individual.
Using automatic machine learning, the bank will generate analysis from this data. The analysis will be used to forecast demands and customer flows. It will also look at location-specific data to offer insights into the best places to invest in office space, advertising, or building.
Russian retailer Magnit is currently testing the platform, as is local advertising operator Russ Outdoor.
“The geoplatform is already available in 50 major cities in Russia,” says VTB’s deputy president and management board chairman, Vadim Kulik.
“We can use it to assess locations with an area of 500 by 500 meters,” he adds. “The geoplatform will compare 170 layers of depersonalised data from the banking sector, telecoms and digital services.”
VTB set to serve host of new sectors
Designed to be non-banking specific, the geoplatform will be useful for an array of different sectors. These could include retail, food, household chemicals manufacturers, fitness centres, and logistics firms, according to Kulik.
“The competition between retailers in Russia, has reached such levels that choosing the location of a particular store is one of the most important tasks in the development of the network,” says retailer Magnit’s executive director, Florian Jansen.
The retailer plans to test this technology in 15 cities around Russia. Jansen says the retailer believes it will “massively increase the return on investment” in new retail outlets by giving it an “optimal ratio of the rent to customer traffic”.
The geo-analytics market in Russia is growing by more than 15% year-on-year, according to PwC and Strategy&.
VTB reckons geo-analytics platforms like its own will provide revenue growth of up to 20%. This is largely down to the fact firms will be able to calculate optimal placement of retail outlets and sales offices.