Temasek-Backed Crypto Firm Amber Group Cutting Jobs & Terminating Sponsorship with Chelsea FC

Job cuts have been everywhere on the news recently, and yet another firm is about to hop on the trend.

Temasek-backed cryptocurrency firm Amber Group is joining the job-cut club.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Amber Group to Slash Workforce Down To 400 Employees

Haven’t heard of Amber Group?

Amber Group is one of Asia’s leading digital asset companies. The firm is backed by several world-class investors, including Singapore’s very own Temasek Holdings as well as Sequoia China.

As part of the firm’s efforts to cut costs, Amber Group has announced a job cut whereby the employee headcount will be cut down to fewer than 400.

That’s almost half of its current workforce.

Currently, the workforce consists of approximately 700 employees, which is still a far cry from the 1,100 employees the firm used to have.

Amber Group’s Sponsorship of Chelsea FC To Be Terminated

With the football craze in recent years, many crypto firms have been flocking to sponsor European football clubs.

The clashing of two worlds—crypto and football. Didn’t see that coming.

However, many of these partnerships between crypto firms and football clubs didn’t last, and the Amber-Chelsea FC partnership is now the next in line.

Earlier this year, Chelsea FC partnered up with Amber Group for a sponsorship deal worth £20 million (S$33 million) a year.

That’s why the players’ shirt sleeves are printed with the logo for Amber’s WhaleFin trading platform.

Unfortunately, the partnership has been short-lived. The crypto firm is now initiating legal processes to terminate its contract with Chelsea FC.

Amber As Main Sponsor of Atletico de Madrid

There’s an oft-repeated phrase: never put all your eggs in one basket.

Amber Group definitely understood that.

The crypto firm still continues to be the main sponsor for Spanish top-flight soccer team Atletico de Madrid. WhaleFin, Amber Group’s crypto exchange platform, will be featured on the team’s playing jerseys.

However, it is unclear whether Amber’s cost-cutting strategy will affect the sponsorship agreement with the Spanish team in the near future.

Regardless, one thing we know for sure? From Lion City Sailors to Tampines Rovers, it’s unlikely that Singapore’s football clubs will be getting any sponsorships from Amber Group.

The Next To Fall In the Crypto Sector?

Just last month, a crypto firm, FTX, and its affiliated crypto trading fund Alameda Research commenced bankruptcy proceedings.

Temasek Holdings was estimated to have invested more than US$200 million in FTX, and is currently doing an internal review on their failed FTX investment.

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Speculations have been springing up online regarding the fate of the Temasek-backed Amber Group as well as the outlook for digital assets in general.

This is especially given that Amber Group was an active trader on FTX.

Shift In Focus for Amber Group

The crypto firm now intends to shift its attention away from the retail sector to large institutions, family offices and the wealthy instead.

This means that their current client pool numbering in the hundreds of thousands is likely to downsize to a just a handful, perhaps about 100.

It’s no wonder that Amber Group needs to cut costs and pull back on jobs.

Amber Group also plans to move to an office space in Hong Kong that will be better for their coffers, and to shut down some smaller offices in other regions.

The leftover staff will be allowed to work remotely instead of heading to the office.

Guess it’s still a top-half business attire, bottom-half loungewear arrangement for the Amber Group staff.

The Future of Amber Group

Amber Group was founded in 2018 and had just attained unicorn status last year.

They’ve been relatively successful, working with all sorts of companies ranging from banks to game developers. Since their inception in 2018, they have turned over $1 trillion in volumes.

However, last month, one of the company’s co-founders, Tiantian Kullander, died unexpectedly in his sleep. He was 30.

With the job cuts and the termination of the Chelsea FC sponsorship, the outlook for Amber appears to be uncertain. It is unsure where the crypto firm will go from here on, but we can only watch and see.

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Featured Image: Cosmin Iftode / + Facebook (Amber Group)