Amir Sarhangi joined Ripple after leaving his role at Google as the lead of Google’s new wireless messaging system. According to a Reuter’s article published on October 27, 2018, Ripple is excited to have Sarhangi onboard to develop and lead RippleNet, Ripple’s decentralized global payments network that unites banks and payment providers.
RippleNet: Ripple’s Global Payments Network
According to RippleNet, there is a significant problem with today’s existing payments infrastructure. The existing system is over four decades old and is expensive and costly. Not only are the transaction fees high, but they also take three to five days to settle and have limited visibility of certainty. The high costs, delays, and lack of transparency are contrary to consumer expectations. Today, consumers demand real-time, low-cost, and fully trackable payments on a global scale.
Ripple recognizes the importance of creating faster, more efficient, and secure cross-border payment systems. The San Francisco-based organization aims to solve these problems through RippleNet, a network of banks, payment providers and parties in the financial sector connected under Ripple’s decentralized payments system. By leveraging Ripple’s solutions and standardized rules, financial institutions can efficiently send and receive transactions internationally in a low-cost, and seamless manner.
Sarhangi to Lead RippleNet
Sarhangi will lead the RippleNet payment network as the Vice President of Products of Ripple. According to Sarhangi’s LinkedIn, his vast experience in many technology and corporate companies ranging from Google, Intel, Deloitte, and Vodafone will be very useful for the San Francisco startup.
Reuters reported that Sarhangi joined Google since the technology giant acquired his startup, Jibe Mobile in 2015. Jibe Mobile created Rich Communication Services (RCS) which is potentially a successor to short message service (SMS) texting. RCS enables messages to share high-resolution photos, larger files, commercial messages, enable group chats and allow video calls. After raising over $9 million in two raises, Alphabet’s Google acquired Jibe in 2015.
Sarhangi spent over three years as the Director of Product Management, Partnerships, and Messages at Google after the acquisition. During this time, he was also an advisor and investor to many technology-based companies like Spektral, Zyma, and Virtual Visions. He was also a board member of the Area 120 Company, a new Google workshop for emerging and experimental products.
During Sarhangi’s time at Google, Google saw his RCS technology as a potential revenue generator and partnered with many device makers and wireless carriers to introduce the new technology. Sarhangi was ultimately responsible for leading the rollout of an RCS-based messaging app. The app, however, was not widely adopted because of leading phone makers such as Apple and Samsung. Both smartphone makers did not support RCS on phones which made it difficult for users to take on RCS.
While Sarhangi’s departure from Google will be a significant loss for the technology giant, it’ll be a great gain for Ripple, as his experience and knowledge will help the company grow. RippleNet currently has over 100 members which include large global banks, payment provides, and remittance operators.
Ripple Attracts Major Talent
It isn’t the first time Ripple has attracted top talent. The San-Francisco-based company in July 2018, poached Kahina Van Dyke as their new Senior Vice President who is responsible for Business and Corporate Development. According to Ripple’s blog post, Van Dyke has over 20 years of experience in fintech, especially in banking and technology. In the past, she has forged relationships between Facebook and Citibank, PayPal, TD Ameritrade, Visa, and Western Union. She will be responsible for driving new strategic partnerships for the organization across the global financial services sector.
In 2016, Ripple also attracted SWIFT Board member Marcus Treacher. Treacher soon became Ripple’s Global Head of Strategic Accounts. Treacher was originally a board member of SWIFT since 2013. In SWIFT, he was a member of the technology, banking, and payments committee. As a big supporter of Ripple, in an interview with TFX, he mentioned that:
“We recognize that our model could eventually lead to SWIFT’s demise, as it is equally equipped to handle large as well as low-value transactions, but we are happy to coexist with the SWIFT world.”