R3 has entered Eastern Europe by opening a R&D hub in Sofia

R3 has entered Eastern Europe by opening a R&D hub in Sofia

US-based enterprise blockchain technology developer R3 has entered Eastern Europe by opening a research and development (R&D) hub in Sofia, Bulgaria-founded consulting and venture firm INDUSTRIA chief executive Petko Karamotchev, who will run R3's local office, told SeeNews.

The move will deepen the two companies' partnership and boost capacity for blockchain development and confidential computing solutions, Karamotchev said in an interview with SeeNews last week.

The R&D centre, which will be managed by INDUSTRIA, will enable R3 to benefit from the local developer's talent pool and work more closely with INDUSTRIA to maintain and enhance its proprietary digital financial technology platforms Corda and Conclave.

The R&D hub will initially seek to hire about 50 staff, potentially doubling the number next year.

"Bulgaria is a hotspot for developers in any field you can think of. We have immensely talented developers, so it’s essential to be able to showcase that. This will also assist in positioning Bulgaria as one of the world’s leading fintech hubs," Karamotchev explained. "We already have some exciting fintech companies that operate out of Bulgaria, and this partnership is one of many developments solidifying that trend."

He added that the significant growth in overseas investor interest over the past few months is likely to continue well into 2023.

Karamotchev declined to disclose the exact amount of R3's investment, only saying it's a 'sizeable" one.

"The region of Central and Southeast Europe is a very interesting and dynamic one. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see R3 entering another market soon," he noted.

R3’s client list includes companies such as Ericsson, PayPal, Bank of America, Credit Suisse, ING, Wells Fargo, AWS, Google Cloud, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle. Elsewhere in Europe, the US company has operations in the UK and Ireland, and is also present in Singapore.

Founded in 2014, the New York-based firm started out as a consortium backed by over 60 banks. Its flagship Corda tool is a peer-to-peer (P2P) distributed ledger technology (DLT) platform that has facilitated blockchain applications, transactions and networks across the banking, capital markets, global trade and insurance industries. Conclave is a confidential computing platform for developing applications that enable several parties to securely share, process and analyse data while being used.

INDUSTRIA is a global enterprise technology consulting, development and ventures firm with a focus on distributed ledger technology, smart legal contracts, app development, and UX design, according to its website.

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