Update (12:10 UTC, March 7): This article has been updated with statements from a SETL press release received after publication.
London-based blockchain infrastructure company SETL has filed for insolvency, CoinDesk has learned.
The news – revealed in a notice of insolvency filed today with the U.K. authorities – comes as something of a shock given that, last October, the startup company was granted a license by France’s securities regulator to operate a central securities depository system using blockchain tech. The firm was co-founded by City of London trading veteran Peter Randall.
The firm said in a statement:
“Now that the CSD is operational, the organisation can move forward with the next phase of its corporate development plan. Having made an early investment in the development of ID2S, SETL Development Ltd recognises that as an early stage technology firm it is not sufficiently placed to contribute the capital required. As such it is now now seeking to place its ID2S holding with a larger financial services firm, one better placed to provide the capital required to support the growth trajectory.
“In recognition of the structural complexity and the need for a neutral party to represent the interests of all the current creditors and stakeholders, the board of SETL Development Limited has today appointed Quantuma LLP as an independent administrator.”
Sir David Walker, the company’s chairman said in the statement: “Separating the software development business from the investments portfolio is a highly complex process, requiring expert, experienced and neutral management of the interests of all the creditors and stakeholders. The directors are all fully engaged and aligned in this approach.”
Also in October, SETL appointed former Goldman banker Philippe Morel, who most recently led BCG’s principal investors and private equity practice in Europe, as CEO. Back in 2015, the firm hired former executive director of the Bank of England Sir David Walker as its chairman.
According to Crunchbase, SETL has raised a total of $39 million in funding over three rounds.
Its latest investment was raised in February 2018 via a corporate round in which banks including Citi and Credit Agricole became shareholders in the company, as well as tech firm Computershare.
Randall was previously founder and CEO of equities venue Chi-X Europe, which was later sold to Cboe Global Markets. He launched SETL back in 2015 with a focus on making wholesale payments faster and more efficient using distributed ledger technology.
Correction: This article previously used the term “bankruptcy” and has been corrected to say “insolvency.”
City of London image via Shutterstock
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