Consensus 2017: R3 secures $107m funding for distributed ledger technology

Top investors include SBI Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Intel & Temasek.

Financial technology innovator R3 has secured $107m (£83m, €95m)– the world's largest distributed ledger technology (DLT) investment to date. The banking DLT consortium completed the first two of three tranches in its Series A fundraising round, allying any consternation about lack of support from some quarters.

The first two tranches of the Series A round were made available only to R3 members, while the third and final tranche – which opens later this year – will be accessible to R3 members and non-R3 institutional investors.

R3 will use the funds to accelerate technology development and expand strategic partnerships for product deployment. The company's efforts will be focused on Corda, R3's DLT platform for regulated financial institutions, and its infrastructure network, which will support a vast range of partner-built financial applications that interoperate seamlessly with each other, existing systems and networks.

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Since the launch of its DLT initiative in September 2015, R3 has grown from a staff of eight finance and technology veterans with nine bank members to a global team of over 110 professionals serving over 80 global financial institutions and regulators on six continents, said a statement released at Consensus 2017 in NYC.

The company's work is further supported by over 2,000 technology, financial, and legal experts drawn from its global member base. That base includes banks, clearing houses, exchanges, market infrastructure providers, asset managers, central banks, conduct regulators, trade associations, professional services firms and technology companies.

David E. Rutter, CEO of R3, said: "This investment is unprecedented. Many of the world's largest financial firms have come together not just with capital support, but with a robust commitment to work with R3 in developing industry solutions that will be the building blocks of the new financial services infrastructure. We've got unparalleled momentum.

"R3 has proven the collaborative model can successfully drive innovation in financial services to a degree never before seen," added Rutter. "In the space of less than two years, we have built a network of over 80 members, launched an open-source distributed ledger platform specifically for wholesale financial markets, conducted over 60 detailed use cases across a variety of asset classes, led the way in regulatory engagement on behalf of the broader DLT community and are ahead of schedule for initial commercial deployments this year. We are on our way to becoming a new operating system for financial services."

R3's globally diverse group of investors represents an equal geographical split across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, counting over 40 participants from over 15 countries. Investors include:

Banco Bradesco1 Itaú Unibanco S.A.
Bangkok Bank Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG)
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Mizuho
Bank of Montreal Natixis
Bank of New York Mellon Nomura
Barclays Nordea Bank
BBVA OP Cooperative
BNP Paribas Ping An
B3 (BM&FBOVESPA and Cetip) Royal Bank of Canada
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce SBI Group
Citi SEB
Commerzbank Societe Generale
Commonwealth Bank of Australia Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
Credit Suisse TD Bank Group
CTBC Financial Holding Temasek
Daiwa Securities Group The Bank of Nova Scotia
Danske Bank Northern Trust
Deutsche Bank The Royal Bank of Scotland
HSBC U.S. Bank
ING UBS AG
Intel Capital Wells Fargo
Intesa Sanpaolo[2] Westpac

Mauricio Minas, Vice President at Banco Bradesco, said:"Bradesco has been studying blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for some time. Today, it is clear to us that these technologies can, in fact, produce benefits to the Brazilian economy, such as cost reduction and process efficiency improvements. We have decided to invest in R3 because it is one of the companies that best translates the needs of the financial services industry with its distributed ledger technological platform – Corda. R3 has been successful in aggregating large banks across the world into collaborative work, which we believe is an important factor when considering these technologies."

Ather Williams, Head of Global Transaction Services at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, added: "We are pleased to continue working with R3 on the development of the Corda effort. The investment reflects our commitment to innovating and collaborating on the next generation of financial services. We are excited about Corda's potential to advance interoperability and common standards, which will bring greater efficiency to the financial community and ultimately benefit our clients."

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