Enterprise blockchain firm R3 is adding a second floor to its London office to accommodate a hiring spree.
It's a move that comes amidst a momentous period in the U.K., when the country appears on the verge of completing its long-in-the-making exit from the European Union. R3's efforts to add 50 staff members to its 80-strong London office, which serves as its main engineering hub, is a demonstration of its commitment to the U.K. months ahead of its potentially messy EU departure.
In addition, R3 is opening a second engineering hub, which will be located in either the San Francisco Bay Area – staking a claim in Silicon Valley – or in another large European city. The firm said likely alternatives to San Francisco include Dublin, Berlin and Amsterdam.
The new hub will comprise a team of some 10 to 15 engineers, which is expected to be in place sometime in January 2020, according to R3.
Re-affirming R3’s commitment to London, David Rutter, CEO of R3 said there was an “enormous opportunity for London” after the October 31st Brexit date that the newly-minted Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pursuing.
“While there clearly remain some uncertainties, we believe the city is well placed and established to thrive in the coming years," said Rutter in a statement. “That’s why we are confident in making this substantial long-term commitment now,”
R3 is taking the new floor directly under the one it currently occupies in its London office. The extra space will see the company’s global headcount from its current level of 215 to nearly 300 by the end of the year, according to Charley Cooper, managing director, R3.
Cooper told CoinDesk:
Growing engineering footprint
Regarding the opening of the second hub, Cooper pointed out this was definitely not a secondary engineering center in terms of being low cost or compromising on quality in any way; the hiring standards outside of London would be the same as in London, he said.
“Outside of San Francisco, the European city we haven't nailed yet,” added Cooper, “I can just tell you that some of the cities that are being seriously considered are Dublin, Berlin, and Amsterdam. There are others like Cologne and Manchester we are looking at.”
There were rumors back in the early part of 2018 that R3 was running out of money. Those fears have clearly been allayed. Also shrouded in secrecy (thanks to some strenuously enforced NDAs) was the firm’s settlement with Ripple over a sizable trove of XRP cryptocurrency, which may have come R3’s way.
Cooper told CoinDesk the company’s policy is not to discuss its finances but added:
R3 office image courtesy of the company
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