Blockchain Firm SETL Seeks Buyer After Filing for Insolvency
Blockchain infrastructure provider SETL has filed for insolvency in the U.K., saying it's seeking a buyer for its CSD business.
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 and is looking for "a larger financial services firm" to take on some of its holdings.
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 (CSD) system using blockchain tech.
The firm, which was co-founded by City of London trading veteran Peter Randall back in 2015, said in a statement:
SETL added that because of the "structural complexity and the need for a neutral party to represent the interests of all the current creditors and stakeholders", the firm's board has appointed Quantuma LLP as an independent administrator.
Around the time SETL was granted a CSD license, former Goldman banker Philippe Morel was appointed CEO. Back in 2015, the firm hired former executive director of the Bank of England Sir David Walker as its chairman.
Sir David 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.”
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
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.