Amber Group, a cryptocurrency firm, is making a number of business-related cuts as it attempts to weather the current crypto winter.
According to the Financial Times, the Singapore-based crypto trading and lending platform’s expansion plans have been halted after raising half of a planned $100 million funding round. It is also laying off employees and terminating a £20 million ($25 million) yearly sponsorship deal with Chelsea FC, according to Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the situation.
Amber’s health has been the subject of much speculation in recent days. Despite claiming no exposure to Alameda Research, the collapsed trading firm associated with the also-collapsed crypto exchange FTX, the firm actively traded on FTX and experienced withdrawal issues, leading many to believe its finances were severely impacted. Amber managing partner Annabelle Huang claims that FTX accounted for less than 10% of the firm’s trading capital.
Concerns about Ambers’ health have not been alleviated by the news that the company will reduce its workforce from 700 to less than 400 people, according to Bloomberg. According to the Financial Times, the office was understaffed during a visit to its Hong Kong office on Thursday. Amber previously reduced its workforce in September.
Amber is also suffering from the untimely death of 30-year-old co-founder Tiantian Kullander, which does not bode well for investor confidence.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Annabelle Huang responded to “predatory and misinformed” reports by stating that there is “no disruption to daily operations,” reiterating previous statements. Huang also stated that Amber is “not under pressure to raise capital,” so the funding round should not be considered a failure.
Amber will reportedly relocate to a less expensive office in Hong Kong and may close some smaller regional offices, making attracting new clients more difficult than in the past.