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.
“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.
Acronis, Parallels, and Runa Capital were co-founded by Serguei Beloussov and have a cross-shareholding structure.
About the Republic of Malta
Malta became an EU Member State in May 2004 and began using the euro as currency in 2008. Malta's main trading partners are Germany, France and Hong Kong, while its main import partners are Italy, the Netherlands and the UK. The Maltese economy has experienced strong growth over the past years with growth rates that rival those of other EU member states. In September 2017, Standard & Poor's has maintained Malta's sovereign credit rating at A-, but has raised the outlook to positive from stable. S&P says that the outlook on Malta was revised to positive on strong growth prospects. They said that the outlook revision reflects their expectation that Malta's economy will continue its strong cyclical expansion.
Parallels (parallels.com) is a global leader in cross-platform solutions, makes it simple for customers to use and access the applications and files they need on any device or operating system. The company is a key partner of Apple and Microsoft and has more than 5 million users worldwide. Parallels has invested heavily in its Maltese branch since 2014, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. In 2016 the Parallels has got award as the Most Innovative Company of the Year as well as the Best Software & Web Development Company in Malta.
About Runa Capital
Runa Capital (runacap.com) was founded in 2010 by a group of successful serial IT entrepreneurs, each with significant experience building companies, and has since become a leading Global VC firm with European roots. Runa Capital is currently investing from Fund II, which focuses on early stage investments in cloud infrastructure, artificial intelligence and SaaS, including vertical solutions for the healthcare, finance and education industries. Runa Capital has invested in over 50 companies across Europe and North America to date, including: Acumatica, Brainly, Lendio, MariaDB, NGINX, Smava, Zopa and others. Runa Capital currently has offices in San Francisco and Moscow.
Acronis (acronis.com) sets the standard for hybrid cloud IT data protection through its backup, ransomware Active Protection, disaster recovery, and secure file sync and share solutions. Powered by the Acronis AnyData Engine and set apart by its image technology, Acronis delivers easy, fast, complete and affordable data protection of all files, applications and operating systems across any environment virtual, physical, cloud, mobile and applications. Founded in 2003, Acronis protects the data of over 5 million consumers and 500,000 businesses in over 150 countries and 20 languages. With more than 100 patents, Acronis products are consistently named best product of the year and cover a range of features, including migration, cloning, and replication. Today, Acronis solutions are available worldwide through a global network of service providers, distributors, and cloud resellers.