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Innovation Spotlight on R3

September 10, 2021

Innovation Spotlight on R3

We talked to David Vatchev, Venture Development Lead EMEA, and Marc Liew, Venture Development Lead APAC to learn more about R3, their approach to blockchain innovation and how they work with startups.

What does R3 do?

R3 is an enterprise software firm, initially started as a consortium to explore how blockchain could be leveraged by the world’s leading banks.

Today, industry-wide collaboration remains at our core and we lead the world’s largest enterprise blockchain ecosystem with over 400+ corporates, startups regulators, leading cloud providers, global systems integrators, ISVs and tech firms. Our enterprise distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform Corda delivers trusted data exchange between parties, while our confidential computing platform Conclave enables customers to share and process data without compromising on confidentiality. 

How do you approach innovation internally at R3?

R3 constantly adopts an outward-looking strategy when it comes to innovation because we want to make Corda the epicenter of blockchain innovation as we lead the largest enterprise blockchain ecosystem in the world, comprised of hundreds of firms building and deploying applications on Corda — known as CorDapps — as well as institutions collectively exploring and embracing this technology to solve real-world problems.

Corda’s strength in innovation is derived from its global community, which includes a diverse range of startups from a myriad of industries — from insurance to education, supply chain finance to payment messaging — building and deploying CorDapps for customers across the globe. More than 300 startups are currently working with R3 and more than half of these are already building an enterprise blockchain app for their industry on Corda.

How do you see FinTech and InsurTech develop in the next few years?

The global pandemic exposed inefficiencies in legacy systems and processes and led to an acceleration of digital transformation. The need for more efficient business transactions, combined with the competing desires for intercompany transparency and data privacy, have ramifications in almost every industry.  

In today’s digital world there is a growing demand for FinTech and InsurTech to capitalize on the latest technology and pass along innovation to their end customers. To highlight some key trends ahead:

  • Operational Resilience  

Ensuring continuity of key business processes and services remains a key operational and regulatory focus.

  • Payments and Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)

Blockchain-based CBDC solves for the inefficiencies in the banking infrastructure via the creation of a secure and scalable payments system.

  • Sustainable Tech  

Regulatory developments and consumer demand continues to drive growth in environmental, social and governance (ESG) within the financial and insurance sector  

  • Confidential Computing  

Securely send and share data across multiple different organisations, to unlock value while maintaining ownership, privacy and control.

How do you work together with startups?

Startup founders building blockchain applications are faced with unique challenges that traditional tech startups have not yet confronted. Building distributed systems often requires the participation of multiple companies all with varying incentives. R3 has been solving this problem and more since 2016, helping every type of business across industries bring Corda applications to market.

Via our global Venture Development program, we help startups unlock the deep technical and industry expertise of R3, immersing blockchain entrepreneurs in a rich ecosystem of educational content, events and hands-on mentoring from our advisor and investor networks to help accelerate the startups’ time-to-market by connecting participants to our enterprise partners through initiatives such as our Corda Challenges or Startup Discovery Program for corporates.

From your experience, what would be your one piece of advice for an entrepreneur in the FinTech/InsurTech space?  

Above all else, deliver customer value and solve a real problem. The tech is a critical enabler, not the end goal. The number 1 reasons startups fail is “no market need”. , This can avoided from the start by validating customer demand first, and then building the desired product.

How has your experience been as part of the F10 ecosystem?

Apart from supporting startups via our Venture Development program, we’re also proud to be working alongside innovative partner like F10 to inspire more successful startup stories because we recognize the importance and value of partnership and endeavour to support the entrepreneurs in our ecosystem.

The partnership with F10 has been successfully refreshing as it allows R3 to build onto our previous success in traditional verticals such as capital markets and digital assets; as well as uncovering fresh perspectives on emerging opportunities where we can collaborate with F10 to validate these use cases with promising startups.  

How does your involvement at F10 play into your overall strategy?

Our Venture Development program is the gateway into the wider R3 ecosystem for early stage blockchain and data startups.  We help early stage projects find product market fit and accelerate their GTM strategy, via our network of mentors, corporates and startup investors. Our partnerships with top-tier global incubator and accelerator programs, such as F10, allow our startups exclusive access to an additional ecosystem of mentors, advisors and investors.  

We are working with many startups from the F10 program, such as BloXmove, Bond 180 and Corizance.

Check out this article to see what these startups have to say: