Distributed ledger consortium R3 has secured US$107mn from over 40 participants in 15 countries – the largest investment committed to the technology yet.
The amount was raised as the first two of three tranches in R3’s series A fundraising round, which were made available only to R3 members. The third tranche, which is scheduled to open later this year, will be available to R3 members as well as non-R3 institutional investors.
The funds will be used to accelerate technology development and expand partnerships for the deployment of R3’s product, namely Corda, its distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform for regulated financial institutions, and its infrastructure network.
David E Rutter, CEO of R3, says: “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.”
Investors include: Banco Bradesco, Bangkok Bank, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bank of Montreal, Bank of New York Mellon, Barclays, BBVA, BNP Paribas, B3 (BM&FBOVESPA and Cetip), Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), Citi, Commerzbank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Credit Suisse, CTBC Financial Holding, Daiwa Securities Group, Danske Bank, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, ING, Intel Capital, Intesa Sanpaolo, Itaú Unibanco, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), Mizuho, Natixis, Nomura, Nordea Bank, Northern Trust, OP Cooperative, Ping An, Royal Bank of Canada, SBI Group, SEB, Société Générale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, TD Bank, Temasek, The Bank of Nova Scotia, The Royal Bank of Scotland, U.S. Bank, UBS, Wells Fargo and Westpac.
“It is a strategic investment with high business value,” says David Sonnek, SEB Ventures. “We see a clear business value in being on this platform, which has the potential to become part of a new global infrastructure. This is something that we as individual bank cannot develop ourselves.”
Since the launch of its DLT initiative in September 2015, R3 has grown its membership from nine banks to over 80 global financial institutions and regulators.
However, some early members also decided to leave the group, including Goldman Sachs, Santander, Morgan Stanley, National Australia Bank and, most recently, JP Morgan. These are involved in other blockchain-related initiatives, and it is believed they left the consortium because of R3’s fundraising strategy: giving a 60% stake to its members in exchange for an overall investment of US$150mn.