Technology

Singapore Fintech Startup Xalts Acquires Contour Network to Streamline Digital Trade

In a notable role reversal, Singapore-based fintech startup Xalts has acquired Contour Network, a digital trade platform established by a consortium of eight major banks, including HSBC, Standard Chartered, and BNP. The terms of the deal were undisclosed, but the acquisition price was reported to be in the high single millions, comprising cash and stock.

Xalts, backed by Accel and Citi Ventures, specializes in empowering financial institutions to develop and manage blockchain-based applications. On the other hand, Contour, initiated in 2017 by the consortium of banks, focuses on digitizing trade processes and is currently utilized by 22 banks and over 100 global businesses, including Tata Group, Rio Tinto, and SAIC.

Founded in 2022 by Ashutosh Goel and Supreet Kaur, former senior executives at HSBC and Meta, respectively, Xalts aims to address the fragmented handling of financial products within large institutions. The traditional approach involves different teams managing various aspects like corporate loans, letter of credit issuance, or bank guarantees. Xalts enables businesses to build their own applications, fostering collaboration not only within their organizations but also with external partners.

Xalts plans to transform Contour into a connecting rail for banks, corporations, and institutions, integrating it with its existing platform. This strategic move will allow Xalts’ clients to build and share apps securely and compliantly, with an initial focus on facilitating banks and logistics companies to offer embedded trade and supply chain apps on a unified platform.

Despite the projected growth of global trade to $30 trillion by 2030, the industry faces significant friction due to manual processes involved in transactions. Xalts aims to streamline this by providing a platform for secure and efficient collaboration among importers, exporters, banks, logistics firms, and customs.

Supreet Kaur, Co-founder of Xalts, highlights the company’s primary growth area as enabling banks to establish stronger connections with corporate customers and offering B2B finance solutions, including trade finance and lending. An illustrative example involves a global fast fashion conglomerate with vendors in different countries. Using Xalts, the conglomerate’s bank can provide vendors with access to financing through an integrated application, streamlining the entire process.

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