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Contour Trade Network Shuttered as Stakeholders Withdraw Funding - GTR

Contour Trade Network Shuttered as Stakeholders Withdraw Funding - GTR

(27 October 2023 – Singapore) Digital trade finance network Contour is shutting down after falling to raise capital from bank stakeholders to remain as a viable consortium.

In a statement cited in GTR’s exclusive coverage, Contour will be discontinuing operations permanently as of 30 November. Despite an expansive rebrand in 2020 after launching as “Voltron”, a prototype R3 Corda blockchain enabled trade finance application, users including BNP Paribas, Citi, HSBC, ING, SMBC, Standard Chartered, Bain and R3 amongst several others must finalise or transfer outstanding transactions and archive required data before platform access is terminated. 

Absa CIB recently become the first African bank to join Contour’s production network along with MUFG Singapore. 

Although recent developments such as the UK’s Electronic Trade Documents Act generated optimism towards finally thrusting trade into the digital age and the inherent transformational opportunity, Contour CEO Carl Wegner calls for a “long term commitment to commercialisation” to turn potential into reality. 

“Attempts by the management team to attract venture capital funding failed to bear fruit, due in part to the company’s unwieldy ownership structure. Having a large group of investors without a lead investor makes it hard. It would be the lead investor who would manage the board and manage the round, and we’ve never had that” Wegner commented to GTR. 

“We are going to have to figure out a way to have the industry work together somehow, and there needs to be some leadership to shepherd everyone into moving in the same direction” Wegner added. 

“For over three years, we have provided the global trade industry with a best-in-class digital trade solution and take pride in what we have accomplished. We are very grateful for your support and belief in our vision to transform the industry. The investment climate has been incredibly challenging in the past year, and like many companies, it has affected our ability to raise funds and sustain our operations” the company said in a statement. 

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