An EBRD convertible loan of USD 30 million for Russia’s Prognoz group, the leading Russian software developer for business intelligence (BI) applications, will help this fast-growing niche player expand in global markets.
BI software is expected to be one of the fastest-growing segments of the global information technology (IT) market and Prognoz’s key international clients already include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, African Development Bank, World Health Organization, Coca Cola and BASF.
The six-year loan, signed today, will support development of the group’s BI products and expansion of its international operations.
The goal is to accelerate the group’s future growth and make the company more attractive for potential investors, including through improvements in its corporate governance architecture, should Prognoz in future decide to tap equity markets, whether public or private ones.
“The EBRD is proud to support the international development of this niche player whose innovative software-based solutions are helping mainly Russian businesses to improve their operational efficiency,” said Alain Pilloux, the EBRD’s Managing Director for Industry, Commerce and Agribusiness.
“The loan to Prognoz fits into a wider EBRD strategy to support Russia’s modernisation and economic diversification and by funding a mid-sized regional company, the Bank is helping to promote both regional growth and the development of a knowledge-based economy,” Mr Pilloux added.
The borrower is Prognoz Systems SPRL, the group’s Belgium-registered holding. Prognoz was founded in 1991 on the basis of the Cybernetics department of Perm State University. Based in Perm, it now has a staff of over 1,400. Most of its top managers hold advanced degrees in mathematics, IT and economics.
The worldwide market for BI applications is estimated to be worth USD 12 billion. In some segments of Russia’s fledgling BI market, Prognoz is estimated to have a market share of up to 50 per cent. The BI market in Russia as a whole is recording double-digit growth.
The main clients for BI applications in Russia are the state, financial institutions and the oil and gas industry.
Organisations everywhere face a major challenge over how to process ever-growing volumes of data generated by various systems as the automation of business processes spreads. BI applications help companies react faster to changing business conditions as reported by these huge and increasingly complex data streams.