Russian driverless tech company Cognitive Pilot sets sights on IPO

Photo: Reuters

Russian technology 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 investment from top Russian lender Sberbank, which has bought a 30% stake, though it gave no indication of a valuation of the business.

Cognitive Pilot develops components for self-driving cars as well as autonomous control systems for agricultural machinery, trains and trams. It lists state rail operator Russian Railways, farming conglomerate Rusagro and South Korean auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis among its clients.

“The first IPOs in this sector will be highly successful. It’s important not to sleep through the moment,” Chief Executive Olga Uskova said.

“So if before we weren’t even thinking about an IPO, now we really are considering it.”

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

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

However, it is likely to face strong competition from leading carmakers 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 clients.

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

Reuters

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In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

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  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.