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Crypto Investor Amber Group Exits U.S. and Europe Amid Crypto Winter

To weather the crypto winter, Asian cryptocurrency investment firm Amber Group is abandoning plans to grow in the United States and Europe.

Photo by Manki Kim / Unsplash

To weather the crypto winter, Asian cryptocurrency investment firm Amber Group is abandoning plans to grow in the United States and Europe.

High Profile Exits

The CEO of MENA, Dimitrios Kavvathas (1); Angie Beehler, the head of U.S. institutional sales; the managing director for Switzerland, Francesco Adiliberti, and the managing director for Europe, Sophia Shluger, are among the leaders who have departed the company. Along with leaving his position as director of Amber's U.K. affiliate, Olaf Ammermann ended his firm's consultancy relationship with Amber in July.

All the executives joined the company during the past 18 months, and the firm frequently hailed them as high-profile hires. Kavvathas declared that he would continue to serve as the MENA company's adviser.

Since its founding in 2017, Amber has offered several services to institutional clients, including yield products and trading and liquidity services. With the launch of its wealth management platform, WhaleFin, it has lately entered the consumer market. Even though the financial reports weren't audited, the company reported a 25% revenue increase during the first half of this year compared with the previous year.

According to Annabelle Huang, managing partner of Amber, "Amber will continue to serve our global HNW [high net worth] and institutional clients. Asia has always been our key market because it is where our home base is and where we have the most resources."

Headcounts in the Single Digits!

Not only have these prominent employees left, but the bear market in cryptocurrency has been made worse by the failure of the cryptocurrency exchange FTX in November. According to a person acquainted with the company's operations, managers in Singapore began to announce in June that some overseas firms would be shutting down. As a result, Amber's U.S. and European offices now have a workforce in the single digits. The insider claimed that management didn't provide any justification for the choice.

According to Huang,

"those deprioritized regions did experience considerable headcount losses. Europe headcount indeed declined from the high of 30 to 40 to single digits."
In anticipation of weakening investment mood, "we started scaling down in non-core regions, especially on the retail consumer side, since Q3," she continued. "The FTX event, however, was unexpected, so we have decided to be more aggressive in scaling down those non-profitable efforts," the statement continued.

Sports Sponsorships will End

Additionally, the organization has been rearranging its sponsorships and international marketing goals.

Amber had signed sponsorship agreements with Chelsea and Atletico Madrid, two soccer teams with annual values of around $44 million & $25 million, respectively. According to a source familiar with the corporation, the firm is attempting to renegotiate both obligations.

According to a Friday Bloomberg article (2), Amber wants to end its contract with Chelsea. Amber choose not to respond.

Job Cuts

In September of this year, Amber began to reduce its workforce by 5% to 10%. Huang clarified that these reductions were a routine component of the company's quarterly business strategy. Huang said, "We wanted to remain sensible and focus on the essential areas of the core operations." Therefore, we had to make some difficult decisions, which was regrettable.

Bloomberg stated (3) that job losses have continued this week despite anticipation that they would be finished in November.

According to business requirements and other operational factors, Huang added, "We modify headcounts and team compositions." Quarterly, however, we typically examine our internal structure and team makeup.

Huang estimated that Amber's population peaked at 1,100. According to a story published by Bloomberg on Friday, that number has now decreased to about 400.

Amber's issues were made worse when Tiantian Kullander, also known as T.T., one of the company's co-founders, passed away in his sleep on November 23 at the age of 30. Additionally, it owes (4) Darshan Bathija, the CEO of the problematic cryptocurrency lender Vauld, around $130 million.