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Gold app Glint collapses just months after fundraising

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Henry Samuelson
Financial Times, London
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A U.K. startup that promised to allow people to pay for goods in gold has collapsed, dealing a blow to its backers including Conservative MP Steve Baker, who had promoted the company on Twitter.

The Glint app allowed people to load credit in various currencies, which was then used to buy a portion of a physical gold bar, stored in a vault in Switzerland. Customers could use that gold via mobile and debit card-based payments. Glint said it had attracted tens of thousands of registered users since its launch last year, and had handled transactions worth more than $50 million.

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But the company's administrators said on Tuesday that Glint had blocked all customer withdrawal and payment requests, after the company's board was unable to secure funding to repay an outstanding loan. Glint did not respond to a request for comment.

"Following a dispute with the secured creditor, the board were unable to secure sufficient funding in time to repay the outstanding loan," said FRP Advisory LLP, which was appointed as Glint's joint administrator.

The company's demise comes just a few months after Glint started operations in the United States. It also raised L5 million in a private placement in June this year, led by Canadian asset manager Sprott, which is one of the largest institutional investors in precious metals with $8 billion in assets under management.

The administrators will work with the board of Glint to seek investment to rescue the company, or if that fails, look to transfer the business and assets "to an appropriately regulated entity," FRP said. ...

Glint said on its website that customers' gold was legally allocated and "held in a secure, insured, and independent" vault run by Brink's, the US-based security company, in Switzerland. "There has been no change to this arrangement as a result of the administration," it said.

"The administrators' team is also reviewing these arrangements to verify that the amount of gold held by customers per Glint's records reconciles with the physical gold at Brinks, which the directors and management of Glint assure the administrators they do," the notice said. ...

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