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Singapore-based financial technology company Xalts has acquired the digital trade platform, Contour Network.

ByYasmeeta Oon

Feb 21, 2024

Singapore-based financial technology company Xalts has acquired the digital trade platform, Contour Network.

In a surprising move that signals the growing clout of fintech startups on the global stage, Singapore-based Xalts has announced its acquisition of the digital trade platform Contour, originally established by a consortium of eight leading banks, including industry giants such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, and BNP. The acquisition, which combines cash and stock, is reported to be in the high single millions, though the exact terms have not been disclosed.

Leveraging Blockchain for Global Trade Efficiency

Founded just 18 months ago by former senior executives Ashutosh Goel and Supreet Kaur of HSBC and Meta respectively, Xalts has quickly made its mark. With backing from notable investors like Accel and Citi Ventures, the startup specializes in enabling financial institutions to create and manage blockchain-based applications with ease and efficiency.

Contour, which came into existence in 2017 through the collective effort of eight major banks, aimed to digitize and streamline global trade. It has since been adopted by 22 banks and over 100 global businesses, including heavyweights like the Tata Group, Rio Tinto, and SAIC. This acquisition marks a significant role reversal, with a nascent fintech firm absorbing a platform founded by some of the world’s most established banking institutions.

Strategic Integration and Expansion

Key Points from the Acquisition:

  • Integration Goals: Xalts plans to integrate Contour with its platform, transforming it into a comprehensive network that connects banks, corporations, and other institutions. This synergy aims to facilitate the development and sharing of blockchain applications within and outside organizations.
  • Expansion Plans: The startup intends to focus initially on enabling banks and logistics companies to offer embedded trade and supply chain applications through a unified platform.

Revolutionizing Global Trade:

  • Global Trade Friction: Despite the anticipation of global trade reaching $30 trillion by 2030, the sector is plagued by inefficiencies, with transactions bogged down by manual processes across various stakeholders.
  • Xalts’ Solution: By leveraging its platform and the newly acquired Contour, Xalts aims to reduce these frictions, offering banks and their corporate customers more integrated and efficient trade finance and lending solutions.

Supreet Kaur, reflecting on the acquisition, shared with TechCrunch the vision behind Xalts: to address the fragmentation in financial processes within large institutions and businesses. By building a platform that not only allows for the internal development of applications but also facilitates external sharing and connectivity, Xalts and Contour are set to pioneer a new era of financial technology solutions, particularly in the realms of trade finance and supply chain management.

This acquisition not only underscores the shifting landscape of financial technology but also highlights the increasing willingness of traditional banking institutions to embrace innovation and collaboration with agile startups. With Xalts’ ambitious plans for integration and expansion, the global trade industry could soon witness a significant transformation, paving the way for smoother, more efficient transactions and enhanced connectivity among stakeholders across the globe.

Further Elaboration on Integration Goals:

Xalts’ vision for the integration of Contour into its platform is multifaceted and ambitious. Beyond simply merging the technological infrastructures of the two entities, the startup aims to cultivate a seamless ecosystem where financial institutions, corporations, and other stakeholders can collaborate and innovate. This integration goes beyond mere interoperability; Xalts seeks to create a unified environment where blockchain-based applications can be developed, deployed, and shared with ease, fostering a culture of collaboration and efficiency in the global trade landscape.

The integration process will involve a meticulous examination of both technical and operational aspects. Xalts plans to leverage its expertise in blockchain technology to ensure that Contour’s functionalities are seamlessly integrated into its platform, offering users a comprehensive suite of tools for digitizing and optimizing their trade operations. Additionally, the startup will work closely with existing Contour users to understand their needs and preferences, ensuring that the integration process is tailored to maximize value for all stakeholders involved.

By consolidating Contour’s capabilities within its platform, Xalts aims to position itself as a central hub for blockchain-based trade solutions, offering a one-stop destination for financial institutions and corporations looking to streamline their operations. This strategic integration not only enhances Xalts’ value proposition but also reinforces its commitment to driving innovation and efficiency in the global trade ecosystem. As the integration process unfolds, stakeholders can expect to see a wave of new features and functionalities that promise to revolutionize the way trade is conducted in the digital age.

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Featured Image Courtesy of Freepik

Yasmeeta Oon

Just a girl trying to break into the world of journalism, constantly on the hunt for the next big story to share.