R3 has Lost Two of its Executives, Start New Businesses.
Blockchain consortium R3 has lost two of its most public employees.
It has been confirmed that both Tim Grant, director of global business development at R3 and Tim Swanson, its director of market research, have left the project to create their own businesses. It is mentioned that they have already raised $ 100 million this past May.
But while details about their possible replacements weren’t forthcoming, R3 managing director Charley Cooper said he sees the moves as a sign of a maturity in R3’s Corda platform, which he expects Grant and Swanson will continue to evangelize in their new ventures.
In this regard, Cooper reported the following: “These guys know so much more about our platform than a company that comes to us as an issue of first impression. They’re in a really unique place to go out and push the benefits of Corda because they were there to help develop it.”
Both Swanson and Grant confirmed their intent to maintain ties with the group.
Launched or launched in 2014 with a mission to streamline transactions at financial institutions by using shared, permissioned ledgers, the consortium now boasts more than 100 members. Still, even with those achievements, the executive exits demonstrate how hard it is for blockchain companies to hold onto talent.
Also mentioned, the R3 now employs 140 people, including about 15 contractors.
It is known that Swanson’s project is as follows. Swanson, who left R3 earlier this month, plans to stay on as an advisor, but is focusing his attention on Post Oak Labs, a consultancy he founded to help fintech firms navigate regulatory requirements and other challenges.
In his first interview since the launch of Post Oak, Swanson said, “I felt there was a big gap in the market in the fintech world and blockchain-related stuff, and I felt that I could leverage the knowledge I had to fix that.”
Prior to R3, Swanson spent almost four years as an independent market research consultant. During that time he published two books (one on smart property and one on bitcoin), and advised firms including Koinify, a now-closed bitcoin crowdfunding platform.
With that experience, Swanson said that with his knowledge of consulting, he is also part of the intellectual property firm, it will also help entrepreneurs turn dormant or misused ideas into businesses and drive investment opportunities and partnerships.
Instead of raising capital, Swanson said he’ll fund his new business with revenue from existing relationships. Of the 500 or so companies he said he’s spoken with during his time at R3, Swanson said he’s now in talks with 45 family offices, startups and other organizations looking for a sense of clarity around blockchain.
In this sense, Swanson mentioned the following: “They hear the permanent bullish perspective on blockchain, but they don’t hear from anyone who has a more nuanced view. They’re wanting a different perspective than the pumpers you see on social media.”
It is mentioned, that Grant has his own projects. On the other hand, Grant’s new startup, DrumG, has all the markings of an R3 spin-off, with a business model that appears geared toward providing consulting services to companies building with the enterprise version of R3’s Corda. It is to provide added value to this project.
Grant, who previously worked as managing director of risk management at the hedge fund manager UBS O’Connor, joined R3 in December 2015 as CEO of its Lab and Research Center, where he helped oversee projects with the consortium’s members.
While an early version of the DrumG website described the company as having a “DLT vision with execution,” the now-modified site has dropped that language. LinkedIn describes the project as focused on building distributed ledger applications using Corda Enterprise.
In this deep sense, in the recent update of the website is speed-test service that appears to let users test transaction volumes. The test is processed by 14 nodes around the world using both the RAFT consensus and Byzantine Fault Tolerance algorithms. Further, a password-protected guest area appears to be focused on trade finance applications.
At present, little is known about the company, other than a commentary provided by R3’s Cooper: “The conversations around DrumG have been going on longer than with Tim Swanson’s group. We’re still finalizing conversation with Post Oak.”
That statement seems to suggest both Tims will continue to work closely with their former employer the Consortium R3, in the future.
In summary, Blockchain technology specifically the applications emanating from Project Corda R3, is already providing good results, especially to new developers who see good opportunities. New announcements are expected.
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