Ripple Labs has secured the capture of Google’s erstwhile head of rich communications services (RCS), Amir Sarhangi. The startup confirmed to Reuters on Friday that Sarhangi will be joining the Ripple team as Vice President of Products. Prior to his move, Sarhangi led the rollout of a new wireless messaging system at Google after joining the tech giant through its 2015 acquisition of his startup Jibe Mobile, which developed technology that enabled cell service providers to adopt RCS.
Sarhangi brings a considerable body of experience in tech and corporate fields to Ripple, having previously spent time with Intel, Deloitte, and Vodafone, including a four-year stint as Senior Manager at Vodafone Japan between 2002 and 2006.
Alongside Steve Schroeder, he then founded Jibe Mobile, which provided an open end-to-end cloud technology solution for mobile providers to carry out IP-based communication including high-quality video calling, group chat, and large media-file sharing services which are agnostic of network, device, or region.
After raising more than $9 million in two funding rounds, the company was acquired by Alphabet’s Google in 2015 in a move that saw Sarhangi move into a new role as Director Product Management & Partnerships, Messaging. He also served a board member of the Area 120 Company , Google’s workshop for experimental products.
His departure will come as a significant blow for Google, which sees RCS as a replacement for SMS texting and has been looking to push through its vision for general cross-platform adoption of RCS in the face of resistance from Apple and Samsung.
Ripple, on the other hand, will see Sarhangi’s capture as a key part of its plan to develop the potential of RippleNet, its enterprise blockchain platform offering seamless, near-instantaneous global cross-border payment services with end-to-end tracking and transparency. RippleNet currently boasts a little over 100 members globally including banks, remittance operators, and payment providers.
Earlier this month, CCN.com reported that Moneytint, a UK-based corporate foreign exchange service provider, has integrated the RippleNet with its services, enabling it to pay out in Israeli New Shekels as well as euros on behalf of other RippleNet members. This came just a day after news of another successful RippleNet trial from Malaysia as central bank-approved fintech startup MoneyMatch successfully carried out a cross-border payment from Malaysia to Spain, converting Malaysian Ringitt (MYR) to euros at what it described as a “significantly lower cost” and in just a few hours, compared to a traditional bank transfer which would normally take days.
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