R3 Will Close Blockchain’s Biggest-Ever Investment in Q1, CEO Says

R3 CEO David Rutter

The founder and CEO of blockchain banking consortium R3CEV says the firm is on the verge of closing the industry’s largest-ever funding round.

Originally reported to be as high as a $200m, the downsized $150m round would still give the consortium of global banking members a significant war chest, if it closes at that level.

In conversation with CoinDesk, CEO David Rutter elaborated on how his company has grown, and changed, as part what he described as an imminent cash infusion.

Rutter said:

“We will be closing the largest round in the industry, with the largest number of market participants, now, in the first quarter.”

To prepare for the investment, Rutter said he’s planning to move from R3’s New York headquarters to its office in London, which is also the base of chief technology officer and Corda developer Richard Gendal Brown and chief engineer James Carlyle.

R3’s managing director Charley Cooper confirmed that the consortium now employs “over 100” people in nine different countries, with the lion’s share in London.

“It’s the hub of the tech development team,” Cooper said.

Of 77 total firms, R3 now counts among its members a number of European institutions, including founding members Barclays, BBVA, Credit Suisse, Commerzbank, SEB and Société Générale.

“Our Europe team membership is extremely active,” Rutter added.

And R3’s presence has expanded beyond just New York and London. The group now boasts offices in the US, Canada, the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea and Japan.

Overcoming obstacles

After making an initial, large splash in the blockchain industry with what seemed like a rolling list of new membership announcements, the banking consortium ended last year with a mix of notable milestones and obstacles.

In April, the company unveiled its Corda distributed ledger technology platform, which within hours of its December release to the open-source community was being built upon by contributors.

But by the end of the year, multiple reports began to trickle in that some of the consortium’s early, influential members had begun the process of leaving the group.

In spite of the difficulties, though, R3CEV held its course, and earlier this week revealed its advisory role in post-trade settlement platform DTCC’s effort to re-platform part of its services on a distributed ledger infrastructure.

Rutter concluded:

“It’s been a lot of work, some frustrations along the way in order to coordinate all these parties. But I definitely want to celebrate when we get all these things done.”

Rutter image taken at Consensus 2016. 

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