Singapore-based crypto lender Amber Group today announced a $300 million fundraise that comes amid layoffs and refocusing at the company.
Amber said in a tweet that it had closed a Series C round led by Fenbushi Capital US, alongside other undisclosed crypto-native investors and family offices.
Prior to the chaos stemming from FTX’s collapse last month, Amber had been seeking a $3 billion valuation in a Series B+ round. That has now been paused after a “partial closing” of $50 million in favor of moving forward with the $300 million Series C announced today, Amber said. Amber did not disclose a valuation for the latest raise, but Bloomberg reported that it is less than the $3 billion achieved in February.
Most of the money raised in the Series C round is for customers who lost money on Amber’s product as a result of FTX’s collapse, according to Bloomberg. One such customer is troubled crypto lender Vauld’s CEO, Darshan Bathija, to whom Amber owes $130 million.
Founded in 2017, Amber provides a wide range of services to institutional clients, from trading and liquidity services to yield products. It started cutting staff in September. Those cuts have reportedly continued into December and have seen the firm’s headcount fall from a peak of around 1,100 to 400.
After the sudden implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire last month, Amber assured customers that it had no exposure to FTX’s token FTT or to sister firm Alameda Research. But it did admit to having 10% of its trading capital tied up on FTX when withdrawals were first blocked.
In recent weeks, The Block revealed that Amber had scaled back its expansion plans in the U.S. and Europe. It is also trying to renegotiate sponsorship deals with top-tier football clubs in Europe, as it rethinks its consumer-facing efforts.
In a series of tweets today announcing its fundraise, Amber said, “Moving forward, we will be scaling down our mass consumer efforts and non-essential business lines, in an effort to focus on our core businesses and clients. These have not been easy decisions, and we unfortunately have had to say goodbye to many of our excellent colleagues.”
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