Fast-growing tech startup GetSwift has voluntarily suspended trading on the Australian Securities Exchange following a clash over media reports about some of its customer contracts.
The delivery management software startup has been in trading halt since before the market opened on Monday, following a report in the Australian Financial Review that found a number of customers announced as multi-year agreements, including Fantastic Furniture and FruitBox, never went past pilot stage.
In April 2017 GetSwift announced an "exclusive multi-year partnership" with the Commonwealth Bank that would allow local merchants to compete with startups like UberEats and Foodora. GetSwift said in a December update that it expected the rollout to go live in February and would start driving revenue from the middle of this year.
However, the AFR reported the Commonwealth Bank deal was still in pilot phase and that the December ASX release had not been approved by the bank.
The company said its trading halt was "in relation to articles published by the AFR and pending the company's response"; it indicated this response would arrive by the start of trading Wednesday.
GetSwift tweeted that it had submitted its response to ASX on Monday morning. "Stand by for release."
However, the startup this morning entered a further voluntary suspension to allow it more time to respond to a "please explain" from the ASX.
GetSwift's technology aims to revolutionise local deliveries with smart routing, real-time tracking and automated dispatching. Publicly announced clients include Craveable Brands, which owns Red Rooster and signed a multi-year contract at the end of 2016.
It listed on the ASX in December 2016, and has seen its share price surge from its initial offer price of 20c per share to $4.00 one year later. Shares had fallen to $2.92 at the close last Friday, before the company entered trading halt.
The company is led by managing director Joel Macdonald, a former professional AFL player, and executive chairman Bane Hunter. GetSwift in December 2017 appointed Telstra's director of global indirect channels, Nevash Pillay, to its board.
It told The Australian in November 2016 that its software was used in 51 countries and that it expected to employ about 30 staff in Melbourne HQ "during the next few years".
The startup surged in December off the back of a two-paragraph statement to the ASX announcing a "global deal with Amazon" .
The news sent GetSwift's share price skyward so quickly that the ASX halted trading until the firm provided further details on the Amazon deal, which was a "global master service agreement" with an indeterminable commercial impact.
The AFR investigation and subsequent trading halt has led to heated exchanges in sharemarket forum on Hotcopper, with anxious investors waiting to see what impact the saga will have on their investment, arguing over the validity of the media reports and questioning why it has taken two full days with no response from GetSwift.
Updated 25 January 11.00am. A GetSwift company spokesperson said: "Due to GetSwift's continuous disclosure obligations, the company cannot comment on these matters at this time. Our response to the AFR is currently being reviewed by the ASX."