Yesterday it was confirmed that Turkish embedded fintech startup Colendi has acquired enterprise blockchain firm SETL, in which Citi was the largest outside shareholder. Other backers included Credit Agricole and Deloitte. Terms of the deal were not announced.
One of SETL’s high profile projects involves the Regulated Liability Network (RLN) infrastructure, an enterprise blockchain network that will span central banks, commercial banks and other institutions. The concept is based on the vision of Citi’s Tony Mclaughlin.
Key distinguishing features of SETL’s blockchain protocol are its native support of tokens and its scalability to a million transactions per second. Last year it launched a blockchain interoperability solution PORTL, and in February, Digital Asset, the developer of the DAML smart contract language, partnered with SETL to co-develop the RLN protocol.
We contacted Citi, SETL and Digital Asset about the potential impact on RLN but didn’t receive a response in time for publication.
Colendi’s public blockchain plans
Meanwhile, Colendi has its own digital wallet offering. To date, its primary solution has been a decentralized credit scoring engine used for buy now pay later, for which it has partnered with several payment partners in Turkey, including PayCell.
According to Tech.eu, Colendi is planning to launch its own public blockchain infrastructure, including a network token, to support its millions of wallet users.
Anthony Culligan, SETL’s chief engineer and former largest shareholder, said, “Many of our clients are looking for a route from internal private blockchains to a public shared environment. This will provide that path.”
In September 2021, Colendi raised a $30 million Series A funding at a $120 million valuation. The company recently landed a Turkish brokerage license and one of Colendi’s UK subsidiaries was renamed the London Token Depository.
While CEO Bülent Tekmen controls the majority of Colendi stock, its Chairman is UK-based Ian Hannam, former Chair of JP Morgan Cazenove.
SETL was responsible for some early foundational blockchain projects. These include the French fund management platform IZNES and a DLT central depositary solution, ID2S, which shut down in late 2021. SETL aimed to take a key role in its initiatives, but it was demanding for its balance sheet. It ran into financial difficulty and went into administration in 2019, emerging as a new company focused purely on technology.