Australian diamond tracing tech company collapses

Australian diamond tracing tech company collapses - Artificial Jewellery

Brisbane-based technology company Everledger has entered voluntary administration after failing to secure vital funding.

Everledger was launched in 2015 and provides provenance services for the diamond trade, as well as other industries. The platform enables traders and retailers to share the ‘history’ of a diamond.

“A fully executed and binding investment agreement was executed with due diligence and in full support of the board and leadership of the company in 2022,” CEO Leanne Kemp told Rapaport News.

“The first settlement was completed in 2022, with a second settlement scheduled for early 2023. The second tranche of funding due to Everledger did not materialise, and subsequently we understand that there are external reasons and pressures on this investor which has meant Everledger was placed in a difficult and unexpected position.”

The company previously raised more than $50 million in investment; however, a failure to generate a second round of funding led to the collapse of the company in March.

All Australian staff have been made redundant; however, its UK holding company has not gone into administration.

Steven Staatz and Ashley Leslie from Vincents Chartered Accountants were appointed in April to handle the voluntary administration with the first creditor’s meeting held in early May.

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review, Kemp denied that any irresponsible spending had occurred.

“I would not suggest Everledger was a ‘cash burning’ start-up. Indeed, we planned this investment round as the last external funding round required before profitability,“ she said.

“Certainly, our use of capital and operational footprint was in total alignment with the board’s direction under a controlled growth plan. This is not a company that scaled too fast or took on venture capital and burnt it in 18 months.”

The company’s service uses blockchain technology to create a record of where and by whom a diamond or gemstone has been handled, helping to create an ‘image’ of the supply chain.

In 2021 the company won a contract with the Australian Government to track the supply of mineral resources, focusing on nickel. It also partnered with Ford in October to track electric vehicle batteries.

Kemp added: “While administration and tough investor liquidity environments are creating hostile conditions for doing business, my personal conviction remains strong. Also, there is a strong indication from Everledger’s customers that the business is vital to their success.”

Everledger’s platform has previously been used by the Gemological Association of America, as well as many major retailers, including Chow Tai Fook.



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