Tech firm Fetch.ai has been put into administration and sold back to a consortium of its founders, the Standard has learned.
Advisors to the Suffolk-based business, which is the firm behind the Fetch.ai crypto token, said it “ran into financial difficulties towards the end of 2023” and appointed administrators in order “to find urgent rescue capital or to secure a sale of the shares, business and/or assets.”
FET, the Fetch.AI crypto token, has a market cap of more than half a billion dollars and around $50 million in daily trading volume according to CoinMarketCap. It was launched by the founders of the business in 2017 and “powers its internal economy” with “Fetch.ai users spending FET to consume services within the platform.”
In its most recent accounts, Fetch posted a loss of £16.7 million and wrote down the value of its assets by £231 million following a plunge in the value of FET between 2021 and 2022.
It is understood that the token is not owned by the company and will not be directly impacted by the administration process.
According to an official insolvency filing published today, Fetch.ai appointed administrators from ReSolve last week. It was subsequently bought by a consortium made up of the firm’s founders, known as Assmbl.ai, according ReSolve who said the founders put forward “the best offer.”
ReSolve partner Ben Woodthorpe said: “After a wide marketing campaign, we are pleased to have achieved a sale of the business and assets of Fetch.AI, which is in the best interests of the creditors.
“With the rapid developments currently taking place in the world of artificial intelligence, there is great scope for the business to thrive over the coming years.”
In a statement posted online, Fetch.ai said the move was part of a restructure aimed at shifting operations to Dubai.
Fetch.ai offers a platform for users to build autonomous agents, or ‘digital twins’ to interact and transact within a range of online apps and services.
According to an explainer by the company, Fetch.ai users spend FET to “consume services within the platform…for example, instead of searching for and booking a flight via a price comparison website, you’d use Fetch.ai to automate the task.”
Users also stake their own FET for the opportunity to have a say in the governance and direction of the Fetch.ai platform, according to the explainer. Users who stake their FET earn interest at a variable interest rate of 10% annually.
The company was founded by Humayun Sheikh, a Cambridge-based entrepreneur and founding investor of DeepMind, which is now owned by Google.