Over the past few months, R3 has explored the best way to accelerate the growth of the Corda ecosystem and drive adoption by harnessing the momentum we’ve gained across various industry sectors, from financial services to healthcare, insurance to energy, and beyond. Our state-of-the-art Corda platform has won accolades from around the world, and the recent launch of our Network Foundation has put in place a governance structure designed to meet the needs of a global, diverse client base. We’ve reorganized our corporate structure to best support aggressive hiring in all areas. Our partner community (including central banks and regulators) has grown so quickly that we’re expanding the team in support of it. Most importantly, live CorDapps are already in production and new ones are coming to market, solving real world problems for our customers.
At our quarterly board meeting earlier this month, we took the next step: one that will leverage our strong capital base to position us as the blockchain for business for the long term. Our board approved the creation of a dedicated Corporate Development function tasked with: 1) supporting early stage companies building on the Corda platform; and 2) exploring a variety of potential joint venture, acquisition, and related activities focused on later stage companies aligned with R3’s vision.
R3 Board Chairperson Fred Dalibard put it this way: “The board has approved R3’s strategy creating a robust internal Corporate Development function that will deploy capital to support and accelerate ventures. We are presented each and every day with the chance to help companies at various stages of growth, and now is the time to take advantage of those opportunities. This is a critical time in the blockchain industry, and given the massive potential for the Corda ecosystem to expand rapidly, this function will help enable the next phase of R3’s development.”
This is exciting news for all of us, and we thank the board for its support of this initiative.
We had earlier explored the idea of launching an outside fund built with R3 capital and supplemented with third party investment focused on the same goals with early stage companies. Yet after careful consideration, and especially in light of the financial strength of R3, we determined that we would accomplish these objectives more rapidly and with a more streamlined process by doing it ourselves.
As many people know, our co-founder Jesse Edwards was heavily involved in getting R3’s initial funding in place and launching the organization. Jesse had told us early on that he planned some day to set up his own independent investment shop, one dedicated to driving Corda adoption globally. In laying out our new internal CorpDev function, we and Jesse decided that it made sense for him to explore his own path, which we fully support. Jesse remains an investor in and a close friend of the firm, and we look forward to working with him closely in the future. He asked us to share his thoughts directly:
Jesse said: “It’s true that my work here is done and it is time to move on. This has been one of the best experiences of my professional career, and I am incredibly privileged to have worked alongside such a talented and passionate team in building this business. R3 has broken away as the market leader and standout partner of choice for professionals looking to apply this technology to their industries. I couldn’t be prouder.”
R3 CEO David E. Rutter also weighed in: “Jesse Edwards is an amazing friend and colleague, and we continue to invest alongside each other in multiple business ventures. We are forever grateful for the contribution he made to launching R3. People come and go in your professional life, but I am proud and honored to have worked with Jesse at R3, and look forward to continuing our work together in other ventures.”
As the blockchain industry digs into 2019 – the year of live deployment – and beyond, you’ll hear much more from us on the CorpDev and many other fronts. Stay tuned!