R3, a consortium of more than 200 blue-chip financial institutions that works on how to use blockchain in global financial markets, is thinking of an IPO.
Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg reported that the 5-year-old startup is speaking with advisers about an initial public offering, although no specific, final decisions have been made at the moment.
The private sources did not provide a timeline or a location for the offering which would make R3 open to public scrutiny, a development that could make the entire arrangement less attractive for its heavyweight members.
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Despite intense media spotlight and headline-grabbing new additions, the company struggles amid questions about its ability to build a business around its version of blockchain. Although it managed to raise $107 million last year, some reports said it’s faltering and could be out of money by early 2019.
Furthermore, the uncertainty surrounding its digital assets and the limited public information about its proven success would make any estimate of the New York-based startup’s value involves a lot of guesswork.
Last year, R3 developed Corda, its own version of a blockchain, and over the last few months it has rapidly added dozens of additional partners. But as the Bloomberg article points out, although an IPO would provide an opportunity for early adopters to cash out, some R3 users may no longer feel comfortable using its software after the new investors would have the big say over its future path or at least focus areas.
Commenting on the news, R3 said in a statement: “We’re not surprised about the speculation given the success of Corda, but an IPO is not a path we’re pursuing at this time. Our mission from the start was to deliver a blockchain solution for the widest possible business community, and any decision we make will have that goal in mind.”
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