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Fintech Xalts acquires banking platform Contour Network
Thu, 22nd Feb 2024

Singaporean fintech Xalts, known for building financial infrastructure, has acquired Contour Network, a platform connecting global banks including HSBC, BNP, Citi, DBS, and ING to multinational enterprises like Tata Group, Rio Tinto, and SAIC. This marks an intriguing role reversal as Contour Network was set up by global banks.

The acquisition offers Xalts, a platform used by institutions to build multi-party digital finance applications, the opportunity to leverage Contour Network’s established connections to create an application ecosystem for embedded trade finance solutions.

Contour Network, which since its inception in 2017 has grown from a pilot by eight global banks, is currently used by over 22 banks and 100+ businesses for digital trade finance solutions. With trade reach exceeding $30 trillion in 2023, Xalts aims to leverage Contour’s standard workflows and integrations to facilitate communications and transactions across the network, addressing the current digitisation shortfall in the sector.

Despite the astounding figures associated with international trade, QED Investors claim less than 1% is carried out digitally, owing to complexities and differing regulations involved in cross-border transactions.

Xalts CEO, Ashutosh Goel, outlined the firm’s vision, stating: “We want 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 customised solutions quickly."

Initially, Xalts has plans to focus on embedded solutions for trade and supply chain finance. GOel continued, “our platform also enables institutions to build new innovative applications and products by leveraging blockchain and tokenization. We partner with leading blockchains and integrate with multiple infrastructure providers to help our clients build tokenization applications."

Supreet Kaur, COO of Xalts, added that the acquisition of Contour "will also enable network members to work with us to launch applications in this space".

Offering a unique perspective on this acquisition, Everett Leonidas, Director at Citi Ventures, commented: “Citi has long been a leader in driving innovation in financial services. We invested in Contour in 2020 and led the seed round for Xalts in 2022. 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."

Carl Wegner, the former CEO of Contour Network, is expected to take a senior leadership role at Xalts following the acquisition.