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Tokenization firm Xalts acquires Contour trade blockchain

port shipping container trade

Singapore-based Contour trade finance network backed by nine major banks said it planned to shutter late last year. Now, Xalts a Citi and Accel-backed startup, has announced that it has acquired the blockchain network. While the company didn’t disclose the details, Techcrunch said the consideration was in the high single millions composed of cash and stock.

The Contour big bank backers included BNP Paribas, HSBC, ING and Standard Chartered. Xalts and Contour have a common investor in Citi. “The combination of these two companies into one firm with an expanded vision and a great leadership team will accelerate innovation in global trade finance,” said Everett Leonidas, Director, Citi Ventures.

Since its Series A funding announcement in October 2022, Xalts appears to have pivoted towards infrastructure and providing blockchain and tokenization solutions rather than focusing on digital assets. Apart from trade finance, it also has a loyalty solution and plans for a lending application.

Contour brings credibility

If Contour’s banks and clients stick with it, Xalts will acquire significant credibility. It could call these big banks clients, as well as the corporate partners such as Tata, Rio Tinto and SAIC that have used the platform.

Not only that, but Contour was a relatively mature platform with quite a bit of integration with other solutions.

One of the challenges is how many core staff from Contour are still around, given three months have passed. A fair number still show Contour as their employer on LinkedIn, and CEO Carl Wegner worked on the Xalts deal. However, Josh Kroeker, the former Chief Product Officer who joined from HSBC and participated from the start, has moved on.

Xalts CEO Ashutosh Goel says he wants to “create a Plaid for Trade. Our vision is to expand the scope of Contour’s network which is trusted by banks and corporates, and build it into a rail that enables businesses to access digital solutions for trade and supply chain finance offered by banks, fintechs and technology partners. Combining our platform with Contour’s Network will allow participants to develop and deploy customized solutions quickly.”