Acronis Joins Runa Capital and Parallels In Accelerating Innovation and Supporting Blockchain Initiatives in Malta

Technology innovations and strong customer demand for data protection solutions fuels need for expansion in the Mediterranean region through a concerted and strategic partnership approach with the Mediterranean Island of Malta.

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Acronis, a global leader in hybrid cloud data protection and storage, in collaboration with Runa Capital and Parallels, today announced the opening of a new European Technology Hub in the Mediterranean island of Malta.

The group of companies will support Malta in becoming the first Smart Island through accelerating innovation and participating in national Blockchain initiatives. Runa Capital will be the first Venture Capital firm in Malta to provide funding to local startups, and Acronis and Parallels will engage in joint research projects with local firms and institutions with a possibility of a new R&D center focusing on advanced technologies in data protection, AI, and Blockchain. The group of companies is expected to contribute up to $10 million over a three-year period through expanding their presence in the country, venture capital, and R&D.

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“We are happy that another global investor chose Malta to expand its operations in Europe”, says Dr. Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta. “There is one added crucial factor that brings us here together today. We share the same vision for Malta – that of becoming a hub for technological innovation.”

“The government is embracing new disruptive technologies and wants Malta to become a leader in new technology in Europe.  We are doing this by preparing the right regulatory frameworks as well as laying the foundations for businesses such as Acronis, Parallels and Runa Capital who offer support for our national Blockchain efforts to invest in this new emerging economic niche. Government is laying the grounds for such sectors.  We can, and we are, providing leadership and policies that allow ideas to flourish.  We are also simplifying access to finance and investment which will help our young professionals to make their ideas happen. But we surely cannot succeed without companies such as Acronis, Runa and Parallels who are coming forward to invest in local start-ups.”  

As part of the joint collaboration, Acronis will support Malta’s drive to become a center for Blockchain applications. Earlier this year, Malta’s Cabinet approved the first draft of a national strategy to promote Blockchain, supporting local firms in applying the technology in a variety of industry sectors. Acronis will share its expertise in using Blockchain in production, being the first global company to deploy Blockchain-based Acronis Notary for data certification. In the first six months since its release, Acronis Notary certified more than 500 thousand backups, giving users undisputable proof of data integrity.

“Malta is becoming a focus for our presence in Europe, similar to Singapore in Asia, where Acronis, Runa Capital, and Parallels created a functional eco-system for innovation and startups to flourish. Government’s commitment to innovation, strong economy, and convenient geographical location between Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia, creates a perfect environment for our innovative activities,” said the co-founder and CEO of Acronis, and the chairman of the Board of Directors of Acronis, Parallels and Runa Capital, Serguei Beloussov.

Peter Bauert, Partner at Runa Capital, agrees:

“Supportive to innovation on the highest level, English-speaking and friendly to business, Malta is to be the right place to be for an EU-focused venture capital firm like Runa Capital.”

Jack Zubarev, President of Parallels, whose company opened a Malta office four years ago and currently employs more than 40 staff, also welcomes the move: “From my side, I want to note a good positive investment climate in Malta, a high level of IT-industry, that’s why we can develop here really fast and spread our products around the world.”

Malta’s transformation into an international technology center is on the rise. The Maltese government is developing the concept of Malta as the Smart Island, embracing technology as a primary business enabler and transforming Malta into a European ICT innovation hub.

According to the 2017 Digital Economy and Society Index published by the European Commission, Malta ranks 12th out of the 28 EU Member states, with strong positions in broadband connectivity, use of digital technology by businesses, and the provision of public digital services.

With its stable macroeconomic environment, recording strong GDP growth of 4.6% in 2017, well ahead of the 1.9% in the EU as a whole, Malta offers high tech companies new avenues of growth amidst a backdrop of financial and political stability.

Acronis continues to expand its presence internationally, reaching new markets and at the same time supporting local talent and government initiatives. With its Corporate Headquarters in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, and International Headquarters in Singapore, Acronis already employs over 1,000 highly skilled professionals in more than 14 different countries.

About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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