GetSwift's brief stint as an Aussie tech star ends with liquidation

GetSwift's brief stint as an Aussie tech star ends with liquidation

GetSwift founding directors Joel Macdonald and Bane Hunter.

GetSwift Ltd, a logistics software company that was heralded as one of the biggest capital raisings in the Australian tech sector back in 2017, has today been placed into liquidation marking the final chapter in a litany of controversy shrouding the group’s brief history.

GetSwift was delisted from the ASX in January last year, but the business still operates under a new holding company, GetSwift Technologies, approved by the Federal Court for listing on Canada’s NEO Exchange following the Australian delisting. It is unclear how the liquidation will impact on the Canadian-listed holding company.

Liquidators to the company, Kate Conneely and Rahul Goyal of KordaMentha, have declined to comment on the liquidation.

GetSwift Technologies announced in May plans to sell its software-as-a-service business to US property fund Stage Equity Partners for US$10 million ($14.2 million). The sale amounts to an effective winding up of the company’s business operations, but it is still subject to shareholder approval.

GetSwift has faced a whirlwind of damaging claims since its $75 million ASX listing in 2017, after which the company’s shares rocketed 800 per cent on news that it had secured Amazon, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Yum Brands as clients. GetSwift also raised $100 million in capital from institutional investors when the share price was close to its peak.

A collapse in the company’s value after it was revealed that these clients were only trialling the GetSwift services led to a class action by shareholders in 2018 and a damaging civil court action brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in 2019, resulting in a decision against the company last November.

The Federal Court found that GetSwift and its founding directors Bane Hunter and former AFL player Joel Macdonald had made misleading statements and breached the company’s continuous disclosure obligations in statements made to the ASX between February and December 2017.

In its third-quarter update, GetSwift Technologies announced to the NEO Exchange in May that Hunter, Macdonald and the company were ordered to pay 92.5 per cent of ASIC’s costs from the court proceedings.

Adding to the pressure on the company, the class action was settled last year for $1.5 million plus contributions from any future capital raisings. GetSwift has already placed $1 million in escrow for the payment, although the remaining $500,000 remains outstanding.  

GetSwift Technologies announced a board shake-up last month with the departure of Marc Naidoo and Phil Kearney as independent directors and the appointment as chairman of Australian corporate lawyer Julian Rockett, a former company secretary of GetSwift when it was based in Australia. Rockett replaced Kearney as chairman after just two weeks in the role.

In its latest financial result for the third quarter, GetSwift posted revenue of US$8.9 million ($12.7 million) and a net loss of US$3.6 million ($5.13 million).

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