- Andre Yunque
Blockchain Consortium R3 Scores Blockbuster $107 Million Series A Round
It may have been dropped by some bulge bracket firms but distributed ledger company R3 CEV continues to find new admirers.
R3 CEV, one of many firms trying to capitalize on the technology behind the digital currency bitcoin, said Tuesday that it had raised $107 million from a group of 40 global banks, including Citigroup Inc. of the U.S., France’s Société Générale SA, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group of Japan.
According to TechCrunch, the round was led by Temasek Holdings, HSBC, Intel, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Japan’s SBI Group. This was reportedly one of the largest blockchain company funding rounds in history; as the Journal notes, it’s second only to 21 Inc.’s massive $116 million round back in 2015.
R3 is looking for more though; this was apparently the first two tranches of its Series A round, and the New York-based consortium is looking to hold its third and final one later this year.
R3, which represents perhaps the largest consortium of financial institutions working on blockchain, was founded in 2014 by managing partner David Rutter, while the consortium itself began in September 2015 when nine banks, including Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan, came on board. The group now totals 80 banks.
It has lost some backers since then though: Goldman Sachs and Santander left the group late last year, while the remains of the House of Morgan – JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley – split from the consortium last month.
At any rate, R3’s current investors are nothing but happy about their stakes. Here’s what Andrew Challis, managing director of strategic investments at Barclays, had to say:
“Innovation in digital technologies is reshaping the banking industry, and this investment is reflective of our belief that distributed ledger technology and smart contracts have the potential to significantly enhance capital markets infrastructure. R3’s collaborative approach is key to the progress of this technology.”