The R3 consortium, the distributed ledger technology group, has raised $107 million from roughly half of its members, marking the largest funding round for the technology.
According to a report, SBI Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and HSBC led the investment, which included more than 40 participants, including R3 members ING, Barclays and UBS. Intel and Temasek Holdings also participated in the fundraising. R3 said the fundraising is the first of two tranches in its Series A round. Broadhaven Capital Partners was the sole advisor to R3 on this deal. R3 will be opening up the third round to its members and non-members during the course of 2017, noted the report.
The fundraising is the culmination of months of talks that resulted in Goldman Sachs, Santander and JPMorgan Chase getting out of investing talks. R3 was initially looking to raise $200 million but lowered it to $150 million, noted the report.
“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,” said David Rutter, chief executive of R3 in the report.
Since splashing on the scenes in late 2015, the company has grown at a fast pace. It started out with nine members and a staff of just eight people, but that has grown to more than 80 members and 110 employees. R3 said the money will go to “accelerate technology development and expand strategic partnerships for product deployment” with a focus on its DLT platform, Corda and its infrastructure network, noted the report.
In March, R3 announced the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation joined the R3 blockchain consortium. In its involvement, the Illinois regulator will be responsible for working with 80 financial institutions of R3’s membership to build out secure and scalable blockchain-based applications.