Dfinity intends to establish a research laboratory close to Zurich railway station, founder Dominic Williams revealed in an article in the Handelszeitung. The plan is for 15 employees to be working there by the end of 2018, with the workforce growing to 40 in the following year. “Zurich will become our base for Europe,” he explained.
Dfinity already operates in Switzerland, having established its Foundation in Zug two years ago that disburses funds and will now also be financing the expansion into Zurich. The startup is building an internet computer, which is created on the basis of a powerful public blockchain, also known as Blockchain 3.0. This enables the decentralised execution of complex autonomous programs. “The internet computer is designed to host the world’s next generation of software and services,” Dominic Williams recently said in a press release
Work on the internet computer will now continue in Zurich, because the company can find the talent it needs in the city, Williams told the newspaper: “Zurich is a particularly great location for us on account of the ETH (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich). The ETH offers a wealth of expertise in the areas of cryptography and distributed computing.” He also highlights the proximity to the research centres of Google and IBM in Zurich.
As recently as the end of August, Dfinity raised US$102 million in a funding round. Investors in this included the a16z funds of Andreessen Horowitz, known for past investment in Twitter, Airbnb and Buzzfeed as well as the crypto specialist Polychain Capital. Combined with the current round, the company has so far secured almost US$200 million in capital.