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Downturn Effects

Downturn Effects: Amber Group to Reduce 5-10% of Workforce (Report)

Blockchain company Amber Group will see a reduction of its workforce in the range of 5%-10% this year.

The Singapore-headquartered firm has about 900 staff on its rolls, increasing from around 200 to 300 before the 2021 bull market.

Reducing Headcount

“We are currently reducing in roles that are lower in the priority given market conditions, and increasing headcount in roles that are higher priority,” the company’s co-founder, Tiantian Kullander told Bloomberg, adding that the company reviews and adjusts global headcount every quarter.

The company is also hiring for at least 18 positions across different locations in the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom, a Bloomberg report said. 

After nearly a year of the bull market, when the meltdown began in May, several leading crypto platforms had to announce sudden lay-off plans.

Huobi announced to reduce at least 30% of its workforce, which was later mimicked by other companies:

Coinbase 18%, BlockFi 20%, Gemini 10%, Blockchain.com 25%, OpenSea 20%, Banxa 25%, and Vauld 30%. 

$200 Million Funding   

In February, Amber Group closed a $200 million Series B+ round at $3 billion in valuation, led by Temasek along with Sequoia China, Pantera Capital, and Tiger Global Management, while also seeing the participation of Coinbase Ventures, among others.

The company said it was planning to use the fund for expansion and strategic acquisition as well as other sustainable initiatives. Last year, Amber Group raised $100 in the Series B round.   

WhaleFin is the Amber Group’s digital asset platform for individual investors and traders, and it has recently signed sponsorship deals with Chelsea FC and Atletico de Madrid.    

In Cost-Cutting Mode

Besides lay-offs, leading trading platforms such as FTX and CryptoCom have also pulled out of expensive sports sponsorship deals, apparently as part of austerity measures in the current crypto winter. FTX, which paid $135 million for the naming rights of multipurpose arcade Miami Heat last, has reportedly pulled out of a jersey patch sponsorship deal with MLB’s Los Angeles.

Similarly, CryptoCom, which bought the naming rights of Staples Center in Los Angeles for a whopping $700 million last year, has backed out of a $495 million sponsorship deal with UEFA’s Champions League. 

However, Binance and FTX announced they would be adding to their workforce, with Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao famously making fun of those who went for Super Bowl ads and Stadium naming rights in a Tweet in June. 

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