Amber Group, a Sequoia- and Temasek-backed crypto trading firm, has closed a hefty $300 million Series C funding round as the collapse of FTX shakes the crypto world.
The news, which the Singapore-based firm announced on Twitter Friday morning, follows on the heels of a Bloomberg report claiming that the crypto trader has ditched a Chelsea FC sponsorship deal and is axing 40% of its staff amid market turmoil.
Like other crypto trading firms, Amber was exposed to the FTX implosion. Less than 10% of its total trading capital was with FTX at the time of the collapse, the company said, “but we did have to rebalance some positions.”
That rebalance strategy has come to light as Fenbushi Capital US, the lead investor in Amber’s latest round, pours money into the crypto market maker to keep its business afloat. Fenbushi Capital also backed Amber’s $100 million Series B round in June 2021.
“While the vast majority of our clients and products remain intact, a few of our specific products would have experienced significant drawdowns as an aftermath of the FTX default, unless we could find ways to further protect those affected clients,” Amber said in a tweet.
“That’s why we reacted quickly to adjust our fundraising strategy. The Series C investors came on board with the understanding that we will be laser-focused on providing best-in-class services to our client base of institutional and high-net-worth investors.”
The Series C financing was joined by other crypto-native investors and family offices. Amber was last valued at $3 billion in its $200 million Series B extension round in February. Bloomberg reported Friday that the firm’s valuation has slid under $3 billion.
Amber, which provides liquidity and market-making services mostly in Asia, had traded $1 trillion worth of cryptocurrencies cumulatively as of February, with assets under management exceeding $5 billion.
TechCrunch has reached out to Amber regarding the scale of its recent layoff. Sources told us that the trading platform, which provides a mix of institutional and retail services, is cutting a “sizable” portion of its staff.
Amber hinted in a tweet that the layoff would indeed be substantial, as it 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.”
Update from Amber’s comment: “Unfortunately, difficult but decisive adjustments were needed, and this included an organizational realignment to an estimated 300 staff as well as the prudent decision to cut management salaries, organization-wide annual bonuses and marketing expenses. This is so that we remain resilient amidst the current market environment.”